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Executive Director, Woodrow Wilson House

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Posted: 11/08/2016

National Trust for Historic Preservation
Woodrow Wilson House

Executive Director, Woodrow Wilson House
Professional Opportunity
Washington, DC


The National Trust for Historic Preservation is seeking an Executive Director for the President Woodrow Wilson House in Washington, DC. At a time when America is observing the centennial of World War I and at the start of a new presidential administration, there is a great strategic opportunity at this National Historic Landmark to engage, inform and inspire the public through creative programming that also ensures its financial sustainability. The Executive Director will utilize expertise and enthusiasm in all facets of fundraising, exemplary non-profit and historic site management, detailed and responsible financial administration, and strategic communications.

To assist in the search for this position, the Trust is consulting with Dr. Brent Glass, director emeritus of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Please see below for application and contact information.

Job Summary:

The Executive Director is responsible for providing innovative leadership, expertise and overall strategic direction for all aspects of operations, finances, planning, promotion, and fundraising for the President Woodrow Wilson House, a National Trust Historic Site, and to assure that the site is managed, preserved and interpreted to the highest professional standards.

In keeping with the National Trusts vision for its historic sites, the Executive Director will build the staff, partnerships, programs, and earned revenue to create greater financial self-sufficiency, national impacts, strong local governance, new models of preservation, and alignment with the mission of the National Trust. The Executive Director will provide focused strategic direction and operational management, including meeting revenue targets, expanding earned income sources, and managing a balanced budget. In close coordination with the technical services staff in the National Trusts Sites Department, the Executive Director ensures active and appropriate maintenance and conservation of the site's buildings, grounds, and collections.

Working with the leadership of the National Trust Historic Sites Department and the sites Advisory Council, the Executive Director will build upon the rich history of the Woodrow Wilson House to lead it through its next phase of growth and success, increasing its relevance and long-term sustainability. The position manages two full-time employees, as well as a part-time guide staff and volunteers. The Executive Director reports to the Director of Strategic Planning and Development and has opportunities to interface with the Vice President of Historic Sites, and other National Trust senior management and colleagues directing other National Trust Historic properties. The Executive Director is the primary liaison to various local Washington, DC organizations, other entities associated with President Wilson, and a range of donors and other stakeholders.

About the Site:

In 1921, President Wilson and his wife Edith retired from the White House to an elegant townhome located in the Embassy Row neighborhood of Washington, DC. While the President would only live in the home for the final three years of his life, Mrs. Wilson remained in residence for another 37 years, bequeathing the house and contents to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961.The Woodrow Wilson House opened to the public in 1963, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. Designed by noted American architect Waddy Wood and built in 1915, the house is a fine example of Georgian Revival style. Today the site contains a collection of more than 8200 objects including state gifts, fine and decorative arts, textiles, books, and photographs that provide a glimpse into Wilson as an educator, president, world statesman, and peacemaker. The collection and public programs at the Wilson House offer many opportunities to explore the stories, ideas and controversies that influenced the 28th President and the times in which he lived. The Executive Director will have the opportunity to promote a fresh understanding of Woodrow Wilson as a wartime leader, a progressive politician and promoter of world peace after World War I. Recent scholarship about the racial policies of Wilsons administration will also shape the public programming agenda of this site. The new leader will also be in a position to leverage the media and public attention toward the Woodrow Wilson home during the time of transition for President Obama and his family as they become neighbors in the Kalorama neighborhood.


The Woodrow Wilson House Executive Director is responsible for the development and management of a strategic and proactive fundraising program that secures resources to ensure the preservation and sustainability of the site; for the creation of a multi-use site strategic plan consistent with the mission and goals of the National Trust; for a consistent and high quality work product from the Wilson House staff; and for the implementation and promotion of creative and engaging programming.

The Executive Director will:

  •  Direct fundraising and business activities to ensure financial self-sufficiency and assure adequate operating and capital monies. Focus on growing the Woodrow Wilson House earned income program, donors, and the endowment through such means as implementing new business ventures, special use rentals, establishing funding partnerships, cultivating supporters, and initiating new revenue streams.
  •  In consultation with the National Trust, prepares and monitors the annual budget (approximately $500,000): provide excellent fiscal oversight, control receipts and expenditures, meet financial objectives, and exercise delegated procurement responsibilities in compliance with National Trust policies and procedures.
  •  Ensure active and appropriate maintenance and conservation of the site's buildings, grounds, and collections, in accordance with the best practices of the National Trust.
  •  With National Trust staff and the Woodrow Wilson Advisory Council, develop and implement a site strategic plan consistent with the goals of the National Trust.
  •  Direct inspiring work plans for the creative and entrepreneurial use and interpretation of the site that expands upon the traditional historic house museum model and connects the site with the community through the nexus of civic discourse, the arts, culture, historic preservation, and business.
  •  Grow community and supporter engagement and satisfaction, and improve net visitor and donor gains, loyalty and word-of-mouth behaviors. Improve methods for gathering feedback to inform development of mission-relevant quality programming and events that are responsive to community needs and that ensure diversity in visitors and donors.
  •  Provide excellent staff management, offering timely and consistent guidance and performance feedback, establishing performance measures and tracking return on investments, encouraging professional development, and
OPen until
Until Filled

How to apply
Please submit your cover letter and resume to: 461570-CS-1121@nthp.hrmdirect.com.

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