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African American Resources Cultural and Heritage (AARCH Society) Executive Director

Position Summary

AARCH Society is seeking an Executive Director to provide strategic direction for all aspects of launching, leading and growing the new African American Heritage Center. The Executive Director reports to the President of the AARCH Society Board of Directors and will bring leadership experience in fundraising, grant writing, marketing, financial management, operations. The candidate should have a background in museum or collections management and the ability to work cooperatively with community leaders, Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers.

The Executive Director is a strong and dynamic leader who understands, supports, and promotes the mission of the AARCH Society. The Executive Director is responsible for implementing the plans and policies authorized by the board, developing operations and financial plans, and directing programs to ensure the Heritage Center is effectively fulfilling its stated mission according to the strategic plan. The Executive Director oversees and maintains the day-to-day operations of the Heritage Center and builds overall support and revenue opportunities. The candidate will lead the development of new exhibits, programs, outreach efforts to increase community support and visibility.

The Executive Director will serve as an ex officio member of the board (no vote) and is expected to attend exhibit openings, board meetings, fundraising and public relations activities.

Primary Responsibilities:

Strategic Planning


  • Develops and implements initiatives in conjunction with the AARCH Society Board of Directors and Board Committees to refine and carry out the strategic plan.
  • Provides the Board with vision and leadership for the Heritage Center’s growth and development to increase local, state-wide, and national visibility and visitorship.
  • Develops strategies and initiatives to fulfill the Heritage Center’s mission to increase its audiences, including development and oversight for marketing to create a stronger brand.
  • Recommends policies and plans to the Board of Directors; provides the overall leadership, direction and information required for the Board to make decisions and take actions to fulfill the strategic plan.

External Face of the Heritage Center

  • Promotes the Heritage Center’s reputation among local, state and national audiences.
  • Engages and energizes current stakeholders, and develops new strategic partnerships and alliances.
  • Cultivates and maintains relationships with various committees, clubs, and organizations, schools, and media. Oversees and directs vibrant public relations and community outreach through press releases, social media posts, and other advertising for the Heritage Center.
  • Serves as a spokesperson and advocate of the Heritage Center.
  • Positions the Heritage Center as an active team player in the community service and downtown revitalization efforts. Work collaboratively with city officials to enhance the Center’s reputation and opportunities for support.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with a variety of representatives of public and private organizations, members of boards, foundations, commissions and support groups, organizational managers, volunteers and staff; and the general public.

Build Financial Capacity

  • Develops relationships within the community to support fundraising, donations, partnerships, and memberships.
  • Actively solicits strategic partnerships and collaborations, State support, outside private support; and cultivates gifts and bequests.
  • Responsible for the planning and execution of fundraising activities, setting annual goals, participating in the budget process, executing strategies and tracking results.
  • Actively seeks and develops grant opportunities. Participates in research for major gifts/grants, and solicit gifts/grants from individuals, corporate foundations, private foundations, and government funders.
  • Manages approved grants to ensure compliance with requirements.

Day-to-day Leadership

  • Operates the Heritage Center within best practice of nationally recognized standards.
  • Provides leadership to volunteers in order to assure that there is proper staffing during open hours.
  • Supervises and directs volunteers of the Heritage Center, including recruitment, training, motivation, and retention of volunteers.
  • Ensures that all initiatives are consistent with the Heritage Center’s mission and supports long-term growth. Effectively represents the Heritage Center to community, professional, governmental, civic and private agencies; enhances the Heritage Center’s public image to expand interest and support.
  • Develops and implements plans to grow the AARCH Society membership and sponsorship base.
  • Oversees scheduling for community use of versatile space within the Heritage Center.
  • Oversees operations and maintenance of the Heritage Center building.

Collection Management

  • Directs the maintenance, display and general welfare of the collection in accordance with the highest professional and ethical standards.
  • Develops and maintains appropriate record keeping systems consistent with industry standards.
  • Develops, maintains and reviews the Heritage Center’s collections policies, engages in research and organizes artifacts that are archived.
  • Responds to inquiries from researchers and the public regarding the Heritage Center’s collection; arranges for appropriate public access to artifacts and documents for research purposes.

Budget Administration

  • Oversees and controls the financial records of the Heritage Center.
  • Oversees all financial matters and ensures consistency in financial policies and procedures.
  • Manages the fiscal and business planning process the Heritage Center.
  • Work cooperatively with the AARCH Society Treasurer. Oversees budget established and approved by the Board of Directors.

Working Relationship with the Board of Directors

  • Informs and educates the Board of status of the Heritage Center and activities and bring issues of concern before the Board in a timely manner.
  • Carries out plans and policies authorized by the Board.
  • Maintains a positive, professional, communicative relationship with the Board, making it a priority to have a frequent oral and written communication with the Board Chair.
  • Other duties as assigned by the AARCH Society Board of Directors.

Minimum Qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s degree in African American history or museum studies and an experienced track record of museum operations. Education and work experience concentrated in African American history or museum studies preferred.
  • Minimum of 5-8 years of relevant experience in a museum, educational, or similar setting.
  • Knowledge of current practices, theories, ethics, and policies in the field of museums
  • 3-5 years of management experience in a related field. A previous leadership position overseeing volunteers (or staff) and development is preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Record of professional accomplishments; demonstrated success in fundraising and financial management, audience development, and institutional planning.
  • Commitment to excellence in all aspects of museum management including scholarship, education, collections care, research, public outreach and institutional development.
  • Excellent managerial, planning, business, organizational and administrative skills; strong interpersonal and written/oral communication skills; high level of presentation, negotiation, problem solving and conflict resolution skills.
  • Ability to provide strong leadership, vision and strategic direction, inspire and motivate staff, volunteers and donors.
  • Ability to recruit, develop, and retain a highly qualified workforce and volunteers.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.
  • Evidence of the practice of a high level of confidentiality, diplomacy and integrity.
  • Strong computer skills in Microsoft Word, Quick Books, social media.

This is a full-time position. Salary commensurate with experience. Applications will be accepted and reviewed until the position is filled. We seek to have someone in place by early Spring 2023. The AARCH Society is committed to building a community that is inclusive and represents a vibrant diversity of background, experience, perspective and thought. Candidates across all identities (age, race, gender, ability, etc.) are encouraged to apply.


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