Small Museum Association

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Executive Director Search

26 Jul 2019 1:30 PM | Search Committee

Executive Director Search

The Stonington Historical Society, located in Stonington, CT a coastal community in Southeastern Connecticut, seeks a dynamic, imaginative, and proven fundraiser to serve as its executive director. Supported by a strong community presence and a broad base of support, the Society’s mission is to preserve, interpret, and celebrate the history of Stonington.

Stonington’s shared cultural heritage includes native peoples, farmers and fishermen, explorers and entrepreneurs, artists and authors, and more. The Executive Director will work collaboratively with the President and report to an engaged and committed Board of Directors, providing strategic vision, direction, development, and administrative leadership for this prominent nonprofit.

The Stonington Historical Society is a vibrant and active organization with a strategic plan in place. Current grant funded projects are underway from the National Park Service for a marine archaeological survey of Stonington Harbor and from the State of Connecticut DECD for the creation of a permanent exhibit on the life of Venture Smith in Stonington. The Society is poised to launch the public phase of a capital campaign that will provide restoration, preservation, and access to the Lighthouse Museum.

The ideal candidate will be an outgoing and personable museum professional with a proven record of success in community engagement, fundraising, grant writing, administration, capital campaigns, community collaborations, donor stewardship, and volunteer management. Also essential are a passion for history, effective written and verbal communication skills, financial literacy, and the ability to lead both board and staff with tact and diplomacy.

The Stonington Historical Society operates two seasonal museums including the Captain Nathaniel B. Palmer House, a National Historic Landmark and the Lighthouse Museum at Stonington Point, as  well as  the Richard W. Woolworth Library & Research Center. The Society’s sites are an important community resource and attract a significant number of visitors. The director of development and communication, the library director, and the museum curator report directly to the executive director. A business manager provides financial support on a contract basis.

Essential Functions

·         Provide strategic and organizational leadership in implementing the mission and goals of the SHS as an ex-officio member of the board of directors.

·         Provide innovative and creative strategies to grow the organization and engage the community in meaningful and impactful ways.

·         Increase and diversify financial support from individual donors, foundations, corporations and government.

·         Build strategic partnerships and collaborations with a wide range of constituencies and sister organizations.

·         Provide management and oversight of SHS properties, staff, volunteers, programs, and activities.

·         Lead and develop board, staff, volunteers and programs to ensure that the strategic objectives of the organization are clear and attained in a fiscally responsible manner.

·         Serve as an effective business partner to the board, developing business plans as well as annual budgets for operations and/or capital projects.

Education and Experience

The ideal candidate will have:

·         A minimum of 5+ years’ experience in nonprofit museum leadership with proven results in community engagement, financial sustainability, and capital campaign experience.

·         Proven leadership and organizational skills, management experience, financial literacy, and effective communication skills.

·         A graduate degree or equivalent experiences in museum studies, history, public humanities, preservation, or other related field is preferred.

Salary Range: 50K - 70K


For consideration, please send a letter of interest and a current resume or CV to:                                                               

Executive Search Committee at  stoningtonhistory@gmail.com


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