Executive Director - Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island Historical Society, Staten Island, NY

Founded in 1856, the Staten Island Historical Society (SIHS) oversees Historic Richmond Town (HRT), an authentic community and museum farm complex at the geographical center of Staten Island.  HRT was established in 1958 as a living museum and nonprofit organization by the City of New York’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the Staten Island Historical Society.  The largest and oldest cultural institution on Staten Island, HRT offers unique opportunities for the public to explore the diversity of the American experience from the colonial period to the present.

HRT’s campus comprises 40 structures on 100 acres and its collections include more than 130,000 artifacts, photographs, and archival materials dating back to the 17th century.  In addition to its historic buildings and collections, HRT has become a community gathering center for a wide variety of programs. 

HRT welcomes annual attendance of over 75,000 visitors and has an operating budget of $1.8 million.  To learn more, visit: www.historicrichmondtown.org


The SIHS’s mission is to create opportunities for the public to explore the diversity of the American experience, especially that of Staten Island and its neighboring communities from the colonial period to the present.  To accomplish this the Society: 

1. Operates and interprets Historic Richmond Town, the largest and most complete historic village in the city of New York.

2. Collects and preserves the materials of everyday life including the artifacts, archives, and buildings that tell the story.

3. Conducts and promotes research based on the museum’s collections.

4. Shares the collection and knowledge with the public through creative and engaging interpretative activities. 


The SIHS seeks an Executive Director (ED) with the vision and experience to lead a complex organization and its programming, collections, facilities, and community stakeholders. Reporting to the SIHS Board of Trustees, the ED will advance the Society’s mission to engage audiences of all ages and backgrounds through meaningful opportunities on the HRT campus and beyond.  Ideal candidates must have a background in managing a museum or cultural institution of a similar size and scope, passion for American history, excellent leadership skills, and a successful record of fundraising.


The Executive Director is responsible for:

• Executing the strategic vision for the SIHS and its facilities: the HRT campus and activities.

• Goal setting and development of exhibition and program plan.

• Providing leadership for institutional activities.

• Serving as a highly visible ambassador and friend-raiser for the Society.

• Leading an effective development program working closely with the Board of Trustees.

• Supporting effective Board operations, governance and continuity. 

• Leading, motivating, and developing a productive staff and volunteer corps.

• Financial stewardship and delivery of a balanced budget.

• Facilities management and capital budgeting.

• Stewardship and use of the collection.


• Create and implement an ambitious and aspirational long-term plan for the museum that will build on its demonstrated success and take it to a new level of impact and vitality in the local and regional community. 

• Continue to strengthen staff capacity and support a culture of innovation, collaboration, professional development and accountability.

• Develop new strategies for friend and fundraising, to energize community support of and engagement in HRT’s activities.


The ideal ED will be an experienced leader and administrator, who has a deep commitment to the arts and will generate support from current and potential donors, and a broad range of individuals. He or she will ideally have the following:

Qualifications and Experience:

• Advanced degree in a field related to American History or Studies, with a deep knowledge of museum management.

• Five to ten years of museum management and leadership experience. This may have been as a Director of a smaller institution or as a Department Head in a larger organization, but in either case, it will have involved administrative and organization responsibility.

• Demonstrated experience in the development and implementation of a visionary strategic plan.

• A proven record of sound financial, staff and facilities management.

• Proven fundraising ability, from a variety of sources, including successful experience cultivating and soliciting individual gifts and maintaining long term relationships with individual patrons, and city and federal agencies.

• Demonstrated ability to serve as an effective spokesperson and ambassador for an institution or program, with outstanding oral and written communication skills.

• Strong network of colleagues and other professionals and a commitment to collaboration and partnering.

Personal Characteristics:

• Passion for American history and innovation with commitment to making the past relevant and come alive for audiences of all ages.

• Strong interpersonal and leadership skills, with the ability to make decisions thoughtfully, thoroughly and decisively, and to manage change.

• A diplomat and a consensus builder with a successful record of engaging, partnering and building alliances with a wide range of stakeholders.

• The ability to energize the community in support of the Museum and its programs.

• A high energy level to deal with the seasonal demands, extensive entertaining, and special events.

• A team builder with an understanding of the subtleties of motivating, directing and working with a group of diverse personalities, as well as the ability to delegate, handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities.

• A creative thinker with excellent marketing instincts and a high comfort level with technology and emerging digital platforms.

• Superb communication skills, both written and verbal.

• The ability to work in partnership with an active and dynamic volunteer Board of Trustees in support the strategic goals of the SIHS.


Compensation is commensurate with the importance of the role and the candidate’s experience.  SIHS offers a competitive benefits package.


Applicants should submit a resume, a one-page narrative describing interest and experience, and the names of three references.  Applications will be reviewed by Management Consultants for the Arts, an executive search firm working with the Museum’s Board President and Search Committee.  Suggestions of candidates are welcome.  Send resume and accompanying materials to:

Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc.
Attn: Bill Appleton

Email only:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject Line: HRT Executive Director Search

Historic Richmond Town is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Last modified on Wednesday, 04 April 2018 22:51