Immigration and Migration, Intellectual and Cultural, Post-war (1945 and after)
The California Historical Society (CHS) is a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to make the state’s richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives in order to create a more just and informed future. Founded in 1871, CHS maintains a premier collection of original materials documenting the history of California from the Spanish conquest to the present day. The CHS Collection represents the environmental, economic, social, political, and cultural heritage of the entire state, including materials from outside California that contribute to a greater understanding of the state and its people. Beginning with its founding, and especially since establishing its Yerba Buena District headquarters on Mission Street in 1995, CHS has served residents of the Bay Area, the state, and beyond with its research library, exhibitions, publications, and public educational programs that draw on its important and wide-ranging collections of California history.
CHS has a Board of 14 Trustees from both Northern and Southern California. The Historical Society’s facility is comprised of exhibition space, a library and archive. With a staff of 30, CHS serves people throughout the State and has an active program for students including Teaching California, a collaborative two-year grant project funded by the State of California. designed to offer California K-12 teachers and their students an innovative online collection of teaching resources. The budget of CHS has increased from $1.5M in 2009 to $5.1M today.
In the past ten years, CHS has produced award-winning public history projects such as the commemoration of the 1967 Summer of Love in San Francisco and PST:LA/LA exhibition Murales Rebeldes!-L.A. Chicana/o Murals Under Seige, and has acquired the Peoples Temple Publication Department Records and records of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.
CHS is embarking on a four-pronged effort to increase its public accessibility, relevance, and impact through innovative and thought-provoking exhibitions; impactful educational programs for youth and adults; expanded programming in Southern California (where CHS holds significant collections in partnerships with the Autry National Center and the University of Southern California); and a major digital preservation, management, and access initiative.
CHS and the City of San Francisco are jointly evaluating the feasibility of undertaking the restoration of the Old U.S. Mint at Mission and Fifth Streets in San Francisco as the new home of CHS, with the decision expected by the end of 2019. If the $80-100 million project goes forward, it would present an enormous challenge—and opportunity—for CHS. The project would involve a significant capital campaign to supplement public funding and would require a transformation of CHS into a much larger organization as it migrates into, and becomes the steward of, a historic monument.
The California Historical Society is seeking an energetic and entrepreneurial leader to direct the institution with strong grounding in California history, institutional and financial management, fundraising and community engagement. The Executive Director and CEO, reporting to the Board of Trustees, should bring vitality and direction to the Historical Society; working with the staff and external partners to build on CHS’s educational mission; to augment its financial resources; and to develop and implement short- and long-term strategic plans. The Executive Director and CEO must be creative and passionate in his/her approach to history and be highly regarded by his/her peers. S/he must be able to articulate a strategic vision for the Historical Society. The Executive Director and CEO serves as the organization’s spokesperson and ambassador to all constituencies, both external and internal, increasing awareness of the Historical Society by clearly articulating the Society’s ambitious goals and programs. The new Director and CEO will help define the future of this unique and exciting organization in a partnership with the city of San Francisco by assessing the viability of San Francisco’s Old U.S. Mint as CHS’s future home and—if the project is approved—leading the transformation of both the Old Mint and CHS.
Subject to the direction of the CHS Board of Trustees, the Director serves as the Chief Executive Officer of CHS and is responsible for directing all aspects of the Historical Society including the presentation and preservation of CHS collections; for overseeing the development of educational and other mission-related programs that draw on CHS resources; for maintaining the standards of integrity and excellence that characterize CHS; for prudent management of the operations and finances of CHS; for leading efforts to raise public and private funding for CHS’s projects and programs; and for direct supervision of the department heads and its day-to-day operations
In particular, the CEO and Executive Director will:
Oversee the completion of the feasibility study of the Old Mint renovation project and—if the project is approved by CHS’s Board and the City—lead the transformation of CHS and the project partnership with the City.
Maintain and grow revenue from the state by continuing to promote CHS’s visibility and relevance, and define outcomes that align with state interests, to state legislators, policy makers and other key stakeholders.
Oversee and expand, as appropriate, high-quality and innovative educational programs for multiple audiences.
Promote the profile of CHS and its collections in the local community and statewide; develop and implement fund-raising strategies, including the Old Mint capital campaign, if approved; marshal public, private, foundation and corporate support for CHS operations, programs and objectives; and host a successful gala annually.
Develop and implement budgets approved by the Trustees; monitor the financial performance of CHS (including the prudent management of its endowment).
Oversee the overall operation and maintenance of CHS’s property, plant and equipment; and promote visitor satisfaction.
Promote inclusivity and diversity within and outside the organization, inspire and facilitate informed discourse, research and scholarship.
Engage with the city and state to build awareness of and support for CHS and develop collaborations and partnerships with other local, statewide and national and cultural institutions.
The Trustees consider the following characteristics desirable:
An advanced academic and/or professional degree;
Five to seven years of experience in a leadership position with a history center or equivalent experiences in another cultural, educational or governmental entity;
Demonstrable leadership, interpersonal and written and oral communication skills and the desire and ability to relate to diverse constituencies;
Broad-gauged interests and the energy, enthusiasm, desire and ability to manage multiple and multi-faceted projects simultaneously;
Strong knowledge of California history with the ability to provide historical understanding, context and intellectual leadership in support of collections, exhibitions, education, and relevant programs;
Prior success in and enthusiasm for fund raising, including capital campaign experience.
In sum, candidates must be visionary and strategic, having already given thought to the future of historical societies. They must be ambitious and enthusiastic about the opportunity to make their mark while building on the excellent reputation of CHS and its history of exemplary exhibitions, public history programs and services.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION:
The California Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer, deeply committed to diversity among its staff. CHS fully complies with all applicable regulations pertaining to non-discrimination, including the San Francisco Administrative Codes 12B, 12C, and 12T. This is a full-time exempt position with benefits, including fully paid employee health, vision, dental, life, and AD&D, a generous holiday and time off policy, and a team full of interesting and warm people to work with. Position is based in San Francisco, and involves some overnight travel, evenings and weekend work.
COMPENSATION: The position will offer a competitive salary and benefit package.
START DATE: Summer 2019
PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATION: Diane Frankel of Management Consultant for the Arts, is the consultant assisting the California Historical Society on this search. To be considered for this position, you must submit pertinent information and attach a current résumé, a one-page narrative describing interest and experience, and three professional references utilizing our online application system:
Once all your materials have been submitted online, you will receive a confirmation of your submission via the email address you have provided in the application.
About California Historical Society
The California Historical Society is working with Management Consultants for the Arts on this important search.
For over 34 years, Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc. has specialized in working with the cultural field and has had a rich involvement with cultural organizations of all types and sizes throughout the country. We have built our reputation on our deep understanding of the needs and objectives of America's individual cultural organizations as well as our knowledge of the national context in which they operate.
Our services include consultations in: planning, executive search, organizational analysis, board/staff retreats and seminars, conference and workshop development and facilitation.
We provide these services to a broad range of cultural organizations, including theaters, art museums, dance companies, historical societies, visual arts centers, children's museums, science centers, performing arts centers, orchestras, service organizations, arts councils, foundations and public agencies.