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Posted: 08/21/2012

Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

THE ORGANIZATION Founded in 1996 through the merger of two previous preservation organizations, the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia is the premier preservation advocacy organization in the Philadelphia region. The Alliance’s leadership has been widely recognized in Philadelphia and many of its programs are considered national models in the preservation field. During the past ten years, public recognition of the Alliance’s advocacy role and its programs has grown substantially. Preservation organizations throughout the city and region look to the Alliance for leadership and support on local advocacy issues, and the Alliance has not been reluctant to take controversial stands, including legal appeals, to protect important historic resources and preservation policies. Its neighborhood preservation programs and African American outreach have broadened and greatly diversified the engagement of community organizations, residents, and historic sites. These programs are considered to be among the most innovative programs of their type. As a result of past and current grants and contracts, the Alliance has also been able to directly support preservation activities including $1.7 million in grants to low and moderate income homeowners. A complete description of the Alliance’s programs and accomplishments can be found at www.preservationalliance.com with information especially relevant to Executive Director candidates in the section “About PAGP.”

Executive Director
Professional Opportunity
Philadelphia, PA


For the past ten years the Alliance has been led by John Andrew Gallery, who will be retiring. The Board of Directors is seeking a new Executive Director capable of providing creative and innovative leadership and vision, and challenging the organizations board, staff and partners to pursue new directions in historic preservation and community development relevant to issues that may emerge in the coming years. The Executive Director reports directly to the Board, leads a small staff of professionals and manages an annual budget of approximately $1 million.

In anticipation of this transition, the Board and staff began an examination of the Alliances programs and a review of its Strategic Plan, leading to the adoption of a new Strategic Plan in May 2011. This Plan recognizes that the Alliance has many strong programs that continue to be relevant to preservation and community development in Philadelphia, but it also recognizes the need to strengthen its partnerships, increase its membership support and broaden its base of financial support.

In 2012 the Alliance initiated a number of activities that are indicative of new directions and a stronger emphasis on education in all of its activities. These new initiatives include the following:

·      Historic Preservation in the Citys Comprehensive Plan:  The Pride of Place initiative consists of workshops and grant programs designed to engage community residents in identifying historic resources in their neighborhoods. In addition to preparing residents for participation in the Philadelphia City Planning Commissions Philadelphia 2035 comprehensive plan, this data will also contribute to the creation of a comprehensive preservation plan for Philadelphia.

·      Developing New Leadership: The Emerging Leaders Training Program is intended to develop new preservation leaders by providing training and education in historic preservation and non-profit boards to motivated individuals.

·      Advocating for the Preservation Community:  To advocate for broad support of historic preservation, a comprehensive report on the state of historic preservation in the region will be issued annually.

·      Providing Public Information: The Preserve Philadelphia website (http://www.preservephiladelphia.org/) is a comprehensive source of information regarding historic preservation in Philadelphia.

·      Focus on Cultural Heritage Initiative: The Alliance will broaden its African American initiative to include the cultural heritage of other segments of the Philadelphia population.


The new Executive Director will be responsible for shepherding these initiatives as well as identifying new ones as appropriate. While the new Executive Director should have knowledge of historic preservation policies and practice, he or she must also understand and be experienced with the larger issues of community development and planning of which preservation is a part. Creating partnerships and nurturing relationships is one of the key characteristics for candidates for the position. Since advocacy is a fundamental part of all the Alliances activities, candidates must also be comfortable presenting the Alliances positions in a variety of public contexts. A willingness to work creatively and collaboratively while exhibiting enthusiasm for exploring new initiatives is a must.


Candidates must possess the following qualities:

·      Leadership: Ability to work collaboratively with Board and staff, and to foster collaboration among various organizations in the city and region, while providing visionary leadership and inspiration, including leadership in fundraising strategies and campaigns.

·      Management: Ability to recognize new and innovative opportunities and approaches to enhance program impact; demonstrated senior level management experience with organizations of similar size; commitment to staff development and operating efficiency.

·      Preservation Perspective: Knowledge of historic preservation practice, with a special emphasis on the relationship of historic preservation to community development, urban planning and real estate development.

·      Commitment to Diversity: Strong support for making historic preservation relevant to the diverse population of Philadelphia through an emphasis on the cultural heritage of African American, Latino, Asian and other populations.

·      Strong Interpersonal Skills: The ability to nurture relationships with organizations, foundations, individual donors, and with public agencies and political leaders.

·      Development: The ability to formulate, manage and lead successful development and grant-writing initiatives.

·      Judgment: Track record of experienced-based sound judgment; confidence and ability to make and communicate decisions and keep the organization focused.

·      Professional Education and Experience: Appropriate academic and/or professional experience in the areas of historic preservation, community development, city planning or real estate economics.

OPen until
Until Filled

How to apply
Prospective candidates are encouraged to review materials on the Alliance’s website and to send a letter of interest and a resume in .pdf format to the Preservation Alliance Search Committee, at PAGPsearch@gmail.com. The Alliance is an equal opportunity employer; members of minority groups, women, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply. All expressions of interest will be kept confidential. Review of applications will commence in September.

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