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Executive Director

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Posted: 07/30/2014

The Redwood Library & Athenaeum

The Redwood, founded in 1747 in Newport, RI (then a prosperous colonial city of unique cultural and religious diversity) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) open membership, circulating library and athenaeum that still pursues its original purpose: “having nothing in view but the good of Mankind.” Today, the Redwood is home to collections of books, paintings, sculpture, decorative arts and furniture of the colonial period, and a book collection of 200,000+ volumes. The Redwood currently has a professional staff of 12 full-time and 11 part-time employees – including full-time directors for Institutional Advancement and Finance & Administration. It is governed by a volunteer Board of 24 Trustees and has a growing membership of approximately 1,850 individuals. This year, the Redwood will operate with a budget of $1.6 million.

Executive Director
Professional Opportunity
Newport, RI


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director of the Redwood Library & Athenæum is responsible for the leadership and management of the entire organization. Responsibilities include: ensuring implementation of the Boards strategic focus, fundraising, administrative staff supervision, strategic planning, financial management, overseeing outreach programs, forming partnerships with other organizations, oversight of marketing activities (including print and digital), and community and donor relations.To sustain its high level of academic competence and to continue expansion of its respected outreach programming, the Redwood has recently begun to plan a major capital campaign with help from the Boston-based, cultural advisory firm, TDC. This summer, a fundraising consultant will help the Redwood with the feasibility phase of this campaign.


The ideal candidate for the Executive Director position must be prepared to assume a leadership role in this multi-year, fundraising effort being undertaken to sustain Americas oldest, continuously operating lending library along with its various historic collections. The position requires a proven leader with exceptional communication and inter-personal skills, excellent fundraising skills, strong management capabilities, and a passion for the Redwood and its mission. Candidates must have past success in working with and engaging a board of directors and demonstrated success in fundraising and attracting major gifts.


This position offers a unique career opportunity for an energetic, self-starter, relationship-builder who has a passion for managing people, historic preservation and community involvement.  




The Executive Director position requires an individual with strong leadership and management skills who can assume the following responsibilities with enthusiasm, confidence, a strong belief in collaboration, and a spirit for innovation:

·      Fundraising Leadership Lead the Redwoods fundraising strategy to attract financial donors from the Newport area and to develop additional support nationally.

·      Strategy - Ensure that the Redwood has a long-range strategy for attaining its mission and that timely and consistent progress toward its established goals is made.

·      Board Liaison - Be the organizations primary liaison with its Board of Directors and report directly to the Boards President. Keep the Board fully informed, in a timely fashion, of any developments affecting the organization or its property.

·      Operational Leadership - Lead and oversee all operations of the institution to:

o   maintain and grow its collection of 200,000+ volumes,

o   curate, protect and showcase its various historic collections, and

o   develop programs that both educate and entertain library users and the public.

·      Staff Management Direct administrative staff in the recruitment, employment, and release of all personnel, both paid staff and volunteers. This involves working with the Director of Finance & Administration to ensure that job descriptions are current, regular performance evaluations are held, and that effective human resource policies are in place and respected. The Executive Director will create and maintain an employment culture that attracts, retains and motivates a diverse staff. The Executive Director will report regularly to the Board on personnel matters.

·      Community Outreach - Be the Redwoods ambassador to the Newport community and beyond by actively participating in efforts to join with other cultural not-for-profits in efficiently serving both their separate and combined constituents.

·      Research Outreach - Lead and oversee all efforts to reach out to academics and others who use the Redwoods special collections and historic documents in their research, academic and educational pursuits.

·      Fiduciary Controls See that official records and documents are maintained, and ensure compliance with all regulations and legal covenants. Work with staff, the Boards Finance Committee and Board to prepare an annual budget and ensure that the organization operates within that budget and has adequate funds to carry out its work.




 The Executive Director should:

·      Have a Masters Degree in library science, museum studies or public administration or similar advanced, academic degree and a minimum of 710 years of high-level managerial experience in a not-for-profit cultural organization, library, museum, or academic institution.

·      Be able to provide specific examples of having formulated and implemented strategic plans that have taken an organization to the next stage of its growth. This will include experience and proven success in fundraising.

OPen until

How to apply
See Job profile above. Email resume etc to redwoodLAsearch@redwoodlibrary.org
Mary Lou Daly
Phone: (401) 845-3259
Fax: (401) 845-6965
50 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI 02840

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