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Executive Director

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Posted: 02/27/2017

Schenectady County Historical Society

Founded in 1907, the Schenectady County Historical Society is an established 501c3 cultural organization located in the Capital Region of upstate New York. The Society has long preserved and interpreted significant local, statewide, and national history for county and regional audiences, and it seeks to expand and diversify its service to newer, less traditional constituencies within the community and to visitors from other regions of New York and elsewhere. The Society has an operating budget of more than $500,000, an endowment of $3.6 million, a professional and administrative staff of 5, and a large and devoted volunteer force. Currently, the Society owns and operates a museum and research library in the City of Schenectady’s historic district and a living history farm, museum, and educational facility in the nearby town of Rotterdam Junction. In addition, the Society will soon be acquiring and developing a historically significant building in downtown Schenectady. Further information about the organization is available at http://schenectadyhistorical.org/.

Executive Director
Professional Opportunity
Schenectady, NY
Commensurate with experience

The Schenectady County Historical Society is searching for a dynamic and capable Executive Director. He/she will report to the organization’s Board of Trustees and work with trustees to achieve goals approved by the board. The ideal candidate for this position will possess outstanding leadership capabilities, strong administrative skills, and a commitment to public service. He/she will also appreciate the power of history to create a more informed citizenry, raise the quality of life, and promote economic development.

Priorities and Responsibilities

The Executive Director will report to the Society’s Board of Trustees and provide the vision, leadership, and operational skills that will inspire and unite board members, staff, and volunteers to accomplish the Society’s mission and guide the organization to greater local, regional, and national growth and prominence.

Specific responsibilities include the following:

  • Develop and maintain ongoing communication with and among trustees and work with board members to attract, recruit, and engage a strong, diverse, and committed Board of Trustees.
  • Lead the effort to develop a long term strategic plan for the Society.
  • Plan and manage research-based public programs, publications, online resources, exhibitions, and events that engage diverse audiences and raise awareness and appreciation for Schenectady County history (within the context of New York State and American history).
  • Articulate a compelling vision for the Society’s—and the community’s—future and ensure full community engagement by working cooperatively with local and state governments, businesses, cultural and educational organizations, professional and community groups, and other key organizations and individuals in the region and elsewhere.
  • Lead and manage the Society’s professional and administrative staff by creating a work environment that attracts and retains productive and committed employees; identify training needs and promote professional growth.
  • In cooperation with appropriate trustee committees, oversee day-to-day operations: plan and manage the Society’s budget and financial affairs; ensure that personnel management policies and procedures comply with all state and federal legal requirements; oversee collections and facilities management, contracts, and legal agreements in accordance with best professional practices and all legal requirements.
  • Capitalize on opportunities to expand Society operations by working with trustees and community supporters to develop our properties and contribute to the organization’s mission.
  • Work with trustees to lead the Society’s fundraising and development efforts: identify and cultivate new partnerships and donors to increase the organization’s resources; arrange fundraising events; aggressively seek grant support through public and private funding organizations; maintain and develop earned income opportunities through innovative programming, facility rentals, gift shop operations, etc.; cultivate endowment support throughout the community; increase membership base and expand member services; maintain and expand the Society’s volunteer network.
  • Promote Society programs and outreach efforts to raise the organization’s visibility in the region and elsewhere: cultivate strong, positive relationships with local and regional media; issue press releases to ensure appropriate media coverage; develop social media resources; actively pursue speaking engagements and represent the Society before community and professional organizations.


  • A Master’s Degree in History, Public History, Museum Studies, or a related field and two years of supervisory experience (preferably in a museum, historical society, public humanities organization, or non-profit setting).
  • Knowledge of American history, with an emphasis on New York State and/or the mid-Atlantic region (as evidenced by coursework, publications, public programming experience, active participation in professional organizations, teaching, etc.).
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Experience in fund development.
  • Demonstrated organizational, problem solving, decision-making, and time management skills; ability to work in a team environment.
  • Ability to listen to different points of view and build consensus among diverse constituencies.
  • Proficiency in modern technology, including office and collections software and social media.
  • Knowledge of budget preparation and management.
  • High ethical standards, a commitment to quality programming, and a passion for community service.
  • An appreciation for the importance and seriousness of his/her work, combined with a manageable ego and, ideally, a sense of humor.
OPen until

How to apply
Qualified applicants should send a one-to-two page cover letter linking personal and professional knowledge, skills, and abilities to qualifications listed above, along with a one-to-two page resume, salary requirements, and contact information for three references to Marianne Blanchard, President, Schenectady Count Historical Society, at humanresources@schenectadyhistorical.org. Electronic submissions are preferable, but applicants who prefer to send hard copies can mail four copies of application materials to Marianne Blanchard, President, Schenectady County Historical Society, 32 Washington Avenue, Schenectady, New York 12305, by March 5, 2017. The Schenectady County Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action Employer.
Marianne Blanchard
32 Washington Avenue
Schenectady, NY 12305

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