VFS Executive Director

VFS logo

On Dec. 15, 2022, current VFS Executive Director Mike Hirschberg announced to the membership that he will step down on May 31, 2023, marking 12 years leading the Society. The VFS Board of Directors is seeking dedicated VFS members — or others knowledgeable of the Society and the vertical flight technical community — who are interested in being considered for the full-time position of VFS Executive Director. 


The VFS Board Executive Committee approved the Executive Director transition plan (pdf) in December. The Executive Committee will interview downselected candidates at Heli-Expo in Atlanta, on or about March 6, 2023. The chosen candidate should begin as an employee in late March or early April. Interested candidates should familiarize themselves with the backgrund of VFS (such as documents linked from this page) and submit a comprehensive résumé package to jobs@vtol.org no later than Jan. 31, 2023.

About VFS

The Vertical Flight Society — officially the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International, Inc. — is the world’s oldest and largest technical society dedicated to advancing vertical flight technology. Since its inception in 1943, the Society has provided an international forum through which to expand the body of knowledge of vertical flight. Learn more about VFS, its staff, Directors and Officers, and its history.

According to the Society Bylaws, the purpose of the Society is to "advance the theory and practices of the science of vertical flight aircraft." The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognizes the Society as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable educational and technical organization.

The VFS Board recently approved an update to the Vision and Mission Statements, and the Society's Goals & Supporting Initiatives (pdf). These documents lay out the trajectory of the Society under the current leadership, and summarize the scope of activities underway. Candidates wishing to become the new Executive Director should consider these guiding documents in envisioning the future direction of the Society. 


The ideal candidate will have capabilities and experience germane to the many aspects of the position, such as:

  • VFS membership, length of service and extent of engagement
  • Author/chair and/or other positions and exposure in VFS and/or other technical societies
  • Availability to work regularly onsite with the VFS staff in the Fairfax, Virginia, USA headquarters
  • MBA (or similar) and/or supervisory, management and leadership experience, including managing a constrained $2M annual budget
  • Ability to travel frequently for VFS events, and as needed for other events and purposes within the US and internationally 
  • Experience working with the military, government, research agencies, industry, academia, etc.
  • Excellent writing, editing, communications and public speaking skills
  • Non-profit/professional society/association experience
  • Experience in publications and meeting planning
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • A passion for vertical flight, education and people

Summary of Duties

See the VFS Executive Director position description (pdf), with the position description from the VFS Bylaws, as well as additional responsibilities and duties. 


Outgoing VFS Executive Director Mike Hirschberg is willing to continue to serve at the pleasure of the incoming VFS Executive Director through the rest of 2023 (or potentially longer, if desired) to ensure a smooth transition, particularly as editor-in-chief of the Society's Vertiflite magazine and/or for special projects. 

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

VFS provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

Posted Jan. 3, 2023