Welcoming our new Agile Alliance Managing Director, Teresa Foster

Introducing Teresa Foster – Agile Alliance Managing Director

We are excited to announce Teresa Foster as the new managing director for Agile Alliance! She starts with us on March 1, 2022, and will join the Agile2022 Conference Planning Committee in Nashville for their meeting next week!

About Teresa

Teresa is a visionary leader with extensive experience in the non-profit space, focusing on leading member associations. She has demonstrated abilities in leading and supporting diverse teams and volunteers with a strong background in acquiring, retaining, and nurturing sponsors. Teresa also has vast experience in successfully creating new revenue streams within the 501(c)6 space.

About the Managing Director role

The evolution of Agile, particularly over the last few years, has spread into industries and initiatives outside of traditional software development. Today, our thriving and diverse community is comprised of more than 80,000 people who share those interests.

Over the last 15 years, the Alliance’s work has primarily been done through physical conferences and the sponsorship of individual initiatives to grow the community. But our world is shifting rapidly. Our key organizational objectives today include the following:

  • Defining Agile Alliance’s value proposition and implementing distinctive areas of engagement for the organization
  • Creating leadership capabilities  to drive growth and innovation
  • Growing new membership and increasing engagement levels of existing members
  • Diversifying revenue sources and increasing fundraising capabilities
  • Prioritizing the portfolio of offerings that support sustainability and/or create scalability
  • Developing strategic communications plans to grow thought leadership and member relationships

Given these objectives, our search criteria focused on recruiting a leader with the experience and vision for developing and implementing a growth strategy for our 501(c)6 organization. We were looking for someone who would be able to understand, grow, and connect with Agile Alliance’s strategic partners. In addition to deep leadership experience in operations, development, programs, and communications, we wanted to find a leader who would have the ability to inspire confidence in staff and be passionate about our work as a member-driven/volunteer-based nonprofit with the skills to align the staff and board toward our common vision, goals, and strategies.

About the search process

We launched the managing director search in November of 2021. The search committee included Paul Hammond (immediate past board chair), Ellen Grove (interim managing director), Craig Smith (secretary), Brian Button (our new treasurer), Song Bac Toh (one of our new board members), and me, Heidi Musser (current board chair). We also engaged the services of an experienced executive recruiter, Priya Sethuraman, who facilitated the rigorous search process and ensured an exceptional candidate experience.

Agile Alliance’s ambition is to create spaces for people and organizations seeking to humanely, effectively, and sustainably discover and deliver outcomes that matter. We are more committed than ever to building an inclusive global community that supports exploring and applying Agile values, principles, and practices. In this regard, we embraced this search focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition to a job posting on ASAE.com, we identified several other sources to maximize exposure and access to the role in traditionally underrepresented groups.

Within hours of the initial posting, we received numerous qualified candidates for this critical role! Overall, 36 candidates applied, 12 were interviewed and four completed all four rounds of paired interviews. The selection committee strove to eliminate biases from the recruitment process and ensured that the applicant and candidate pools represented the diversity of our community. I was impressed by the extraordinary accomplishments of the candidates I had the opportunity to meet. More importantly, they were impressed by the mission and vision of our member organization and shared some fascinating insights as to how they would strengthen our foundation and help us to serve our members better while expanding our global community!

About the transition

Ellen Grove and I have been collaborating to develop a transition plan to effectively onboard Teresa to Agile Alliance. Teresa has already been introduced to Agile Alliance staff and will be reaching out to each of our board members in the next week to hear their thoughts on the organization. While Teresa learns as much about the association as possible, Ellen will also be introducing her to our corporate sponsors, initiative leaders, and other key stakeholders in the community. We’ve designed the transition so that Teresa will effectively be “pairing” with Ellen for the next several weeks. As transition objectives are realized, Ellen will leave her role as interim managing director and continue her tenure on the board.

Appreciations, hopes, and wishes

My sincerest thanks to the entire search committee for their contributions in interviewing candidates and providing candidate feedback as we rigorously assessed candidates against the role profile and the evidence-based assessment template. What an exciting time for Agile Alliance! As the pandemic transforms into an endemic, I am confident Agile Alliance will emerge stronger than ever and become increasingly more relevant as we commence our third decade!

My deepest gratitude to Ellen Grove, who has been serving as the interim managing director for almost two years. She has provided outstanding leadership to Agile Alliance and has guided us through both the prior managing director’s resignation and the COVID pandemic with agility, humility, and resilience. On behalf of the entire board, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for her steady leadership during these extraordinary times. I am humbled and honored to have served with you on the board for over four years now. And I’m grateful for your friendship. I truly appreciate you.

My wish for Agile Alliance is that we emerge stronger than before the pandemic under Teresa’s leadership. I hope to see many of you in Nashville at Agile2022.

This is an Agile Alliance community blog post. Opinions represented are personal and belong solely to the author. They may not represent the opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.

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Heidi Musser

Heidi Musser

As a senior Executive, I have spent over 30 years leading and advising businesses on designing new operating & engagement models to drive digital transformation and achieve operational excellence and enterprise agility. My passion is 'managing the soft side of technology'© – through the adoption of fundamentally different ways of working, thinking and being. I am recognized by industry peers for my contributions and thought leadership on the topics of enterprise agility, design thinking, and…

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