Episode 57 • 09/14/2023

Melanie Gottlieb, Executive Director, AACRAO on Birthing a Profession and Inclusive Strategic Planning

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How do you birth a new profession to shape the industry and create better outcomes for students? How do you create a truly inclusive and participatory strategic planning process?

In this episode of Associations Thrive, host Joanna Pineda interviews Melanie Gottlieb, Executive Director at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers (AACRAO) . 

Melanie discusses:

  • How AACRAO was established in 1910, which makes AACRAO the oldest higher education association in the US. 
  • The journey from being an admissions officer and active AACRAO member to becoming the Deputy Director and then Executive Director. 
  • How the latest strategic planning process at AACRAO was the most inclusive of members and staff. 
  • The reorganization of the staff to support the new strategic plan. 
  • AACRAO’s 90-day process improvement process. 
  • AACRAO’s Learning Mobility initiative, which is tied to getting a learner into and through the higher education system successfully, especially as higher education becomes less traditional. 
  • How a higher education transcript is central to the higher ed experience, and it hasn’t changed in 50 years!
  • How AACRAO’s caucus groups help members find their community. 


About Melanie Gottlieb


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About Associations Thrive

Associations Thrive podcast is hosted by Joanna Pineda, CEO & Chief Troublemaker at Matrix Group International. Joanna’s personal mission and the mission of Matrix Group is to help associations and nonprofits increase membership, generate revenue and thrive in the digital space. 

We believe that every association has a unique mission and unique story that demonstrates how they’re serving their members, impacting their industry, and ultimately changing the world. Every guest is an association Chief Executive, Executive Director or President. We’re here to help amplify their stories so all associations can learn and thrive, together.

If you and your organization have a great story,  apply to be on Associations Thrive!