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Job Details

Senior Director General Counsel

Company name
The Optical Society

Washington City, DC


The Optical Society (OSA) is recruiting for a Senior Director, General Counsel. The successful candidate serves as a one-person legal department for 21,000+ member global scientific professional society and its foundation. Provides legal, compliance and risk management advice and counsel to the Board, executive staff, and staff at all levels. Manages all legal affairs for OSA and the OSA Foundation, in accordance with best practices and policies approved by Board of Directors and senior management. Oversees several law firm relationships and temp support when needed.




1. Contracts. Manage all aspects of the contracts process, including:

  1. Preparation and review of vendor contracts, memoranda of understanding, licenses, leases and other agreements.
  2. Assist staff with general contracting needs.
  3. Prepare periodic reports on contract status for senior staff.
  4. Conduct staff training on contract processes and procedures.
  5. Maintain contract templates and update as needed.
  6. Maintain contract database.
  7. Maintain contract policy and update as needed.


2. Intellectual Property. Manage and oversee the society’s intellectual property portfolio, including:

  1. Maintain inventory of trademark registrations and coordinate with outside counsel on filings and renewals.
  2. Work with staff and outside counsel to monitor and enforce intellectual property rights as needed.
  3. Monitor legal trends affecting OSA’s intellectual property and educate OSA staff as needed.
  4. Coordinate with relevant department heads regarding trademark-related legal costs.
  5. Maintain copyright assignment/transfer templates.
  6. Maintain repository and archive of executed agreements.


3. Manage Outside Counsel.

  1. Engage and oversee outside counsel on specialized or complex matters. 
  2. Monitor pending legal claims involving OSA; coordinate with outside counsel, insurance providers, and other parties as necessary.
  3. Develop and manage legal portion of Operations budget, including review and approval of outside counsel invoices.


4. Corporate Governance.

  1. Attend all OSA Board meetings attend council/committee meetings as needed.
  2. Report on significant Legal issues and Legal department activity to the OSA Executive Council.
  3. Perform functions appropriate to any corporate officer positions to which the Board appoints the Senior Director, General Counsel.
  4. Maintain corporate documents and prepare amendments, as needed.
  5. Act as secretary of Employee Benefit Plan Committee.
  6. Prepare memoranda on legal issues for Board or council/committee consideration, as needed.


5. Policy Development and Review; Compliance.

  1. Assist in developing and/or reviewing OSA policies as requested.
  2. Maintain and oversee compliance with relevant laws, regulations and policies.
  3. Update and maintain Board and employee conflict of interest policies and disclosures.
  4. Assist Human Resources on general compliance matters and other employment-related legal matters as needed.



6. OSA Liability Insurance.

  1. Oversee annual renewal of OSA insurance policies.
  2. Act as primary contact with insurance provider/broker regarding claims.


7. General.

  1. Provide advice and counsel to Senior Staff and Executive Team on matters of strategic importance to Society.
  2. Develop and maintain legal orientation and training materials for staff.
  3. Maintain OSA legal archive.
  4. Monitor legal trends/developments affecting OSA operations.
  5. Work on special projects as determined by COO or CEO.
  6. Other duties as assigned.





1. Maintain constructive relationships with all departments.




  • JD degree required.
  • Admission to a state bar and current membership in good standing
  • Minimum of 8 years relevant work experience.




  • Knowledge of legal issues affecting tax-exempt associations.
  • Knowledge of copyright and trademark law.

Company info

The Optical Society

Company Profile
Since 1916, OSA has been the world’s leading champion for optics and photonics, uniting and educating scientists, engineers, educators, technicians and business leaders worldwide to foster and promote technical and professional development. Through publications, events and services, the Optical Society is helping to advance the science of light by addressing the ongoing need for shared knowledge and innovation.

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