Work at the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Executive Director, Chesterwood Historic Site

Department: Historic Sites
Location: Stockbridge, MA

About Chesterwood

Chesterwood is a National Historic Landmark and a historic site of the National Trust. Located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, it is the summer home, studio, and gardens of America’s most distinguished sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). See

The National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States protects significant places representing our diverse cultural experience by taking direct action and inspiring broad public support. We strive to tell the full American story. See


The National Trust seeks an Executive Director to lead Chesterwood through the transformation from a typical house museum with a regional reputation to a historic site housing a dynamic artists-in-residency facility with a national reputation. The Executive Director ensures that Chesterwood embodies best practices in historic preservation, interpretation, education, and in making history relevant to today’s audience by exemplifying justice, diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in all aspects of its operations.

This position reports to the Senior Vice President for Historic Sites located at headquarters in Washington, DC, and works in collaboration with other headquarters staff, especially the Historic Sites Department’s technical support positions in collections, finance, interpretation, and architecture. This position also works with an advisory council to achieve the site’s financial self-sufficiency and strengthen and expand connections at the local and national levels.

As the rehabilitation of the residence continues, the Executive Director also guides the development of a strategic vision for the use of this building to include a sustainable multiple artists’ residency program as well as other revenue-generating opportunities.



  • Develops a strategic vision for the use of the site, including a sustainable artists’ residency program, Grows special property use and develops other earned revenue sources.
  • Acts as spokesperson for the site, monitors site brand and messaging, and ensures alignment with National Trust brand and messaging.
  • Models leadership for site staff, aligned with National Trust values and best practices.
  • Leads the site to integrate Justice, Equity, Diversity, Access, Inclusion (JEDAI) measures site-wide and ensure metrics are tracked, targets are reached, and ensure timely maturation of the site in JEDAI practices.
  • Continues to develop the site advisory council, including identification of needs, capacities, and recruitment materials. Lead ongoing council meetings, communications, events, and philanthropy by individual members.
  • Works with the National Trust’s Historic Sites SVP and management team, site staff, advisory council and greater community to create the Site’s strategic plan and oversee implementation.

Program Management

  • Recruits, retains and supervises well-qualified and culturally diverse staff. Monitors direct reports’ productivity and performance, provides constructive feedback and coaching, and conducts annual performance reviews.
  • Works closely with the Director of Interpretation & Education at headquarters on updating tour scripts, exhibitions, and interpretive planning for Chesterwood to tell a more inclusive, nuanced, contextualized stories of the site and reach new audiences to help them see the humanity in one another.
  • Works closely with site staff to develop collateral materials, maintain the website, and develop and implement communications, sales, outreach, booking, budgets, and marketing plans.

Operations Management

  • Works with and continues development of an advisory council to achieve financial self-sufficiency and strengthen and broaden connections at the local and national levels.
  • Builds visitation, engages new and repeat visitors, and expands revenue-generating activities.
  • Develops and maintains a balanced operating budget, including tracking expenses and meeting revenue goals. Ensures that monthly and annual financial reports are completed in a timely and accurate manner, working with Senior Director of Sites Administration at headquarters.
  • Works with the Office of Human Resources as needed to identify, respond to, and resolve performance issues as they arise. Monitors and approves timekeeping and related budget for direct reports.
  • Oversees collections management activities in collaboration with the John & Nevill Bryan Senior Director of Museum Collections.
  • Ensures agreements and contracts are reviewed and approved in accordance with the procurement policies in the Employee Handbook.

Fundraising and Marketing

  • Directs fundraising to support ongoing operations and expansion of the site’s long-term financial reserves. Works with headquarters’s Development staff to ensure development efforts are aligned.
  • Develops and implements a plan to promote site programming at the local, national, and international levels through social media, group tour outreach, tourism bureaus, and new partnerships. Works with headquarters’s Marketing staff on major initiatives to ensure development efforts are aligned.
  • Ensures robust social media presence and updated informative website, keeping up with available technologies and current site interpretations.

Site Management

  • Works closely with the Senior Director of Preservation Architecture (Graham Gund Architect) to develop and monitor major repair or capital projects and ensure the maintenance staff’s work program is aligned with preservation standards.
  • During emergency events, takes appropriate measures to protect the property, staff, and patrons, and communicates to appropriate local emergency and HQ staff.


  • At least 8 years of professional level experience, including at least 5 years of experience in an executive capacity. Prior work in the cultural heritage/museum/historic sites field is preferred, experience with artist related sites and/or artist residencies a plus. Relevance of experience and size and type of organization worked for may be taken into account when considering background/qualifications.
  • Proven direct fundraising success, including donor cultivation, grant writing, annual fund appeals, and membership development. Experience in capital campaigns preferred.
  • Demonstrated success budgeting, staffing, supervising professionals, and leading teams to generate high quality results.
  • Commitment to and experience with implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives. Demonstrable experience updating interpretation to tell the full American story.
  • Advanced analytical and problem-solving skills, including issue identification and prioritization.
  • Advanced project-management, team-management and client-management skills. Ability to achieve results with limited supervision.
  • Experience coaching and leading staff, as well as successfully managing key internal and external stakeholders and relationships.
  • Personable style with effective presentation skills. Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Must be able to articulate the site’s mission to a wide range of audiences in a variety of ways.
  • Strong organizational skills with excellent attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated success in marketing to and engaging diverse audiences and partners. Connections within culturally diverse professional and social affinity organizations are a plus.
  • Experience successfully managing key stakeholders and relationships. Proven ability to collaborate across departments to implement processes and achieve results. Track record of building and maintaining productive relationships with multiple stakeholders. When working in the office, public contact and ability to work successfully in close proximity to others required. When working off site, ability work effectively in a remote environment, maintaining productivity and communications to meet deadlines and goals, is required.
  • Bi-lingual language skills a plus. Ties to culturally diverse affinity groups, professional organizations, or related associations are a plus. Able to talk effectively about identities such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, ability, or gender in plain, specific terms as they relate to the workplace and cultural heritage.
  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task efficiently and respond to a high volume of ongoing requests in a timely fashion. Ability to adapt and be flexible in a dynamic work environment. Ability to work effectively with frequent interruptions required. Able to handle frequently changing and/or unscheduled tasks with accuracy. Entrepreneurial spirit and skill set a plus.
  • Proven ability to continually develop skills related to use of rapidly changing technology and communications best practices.
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel required. Familiarity with other software, including databases, a plus.
  • Effective combination of work experience and studies, training, and/or certifications in fields related to business, non-profit management, museum studies, and/or cultural studies preferred.
  • Regular and reliable attendance required.
  • Travel required.
This is a full-time, exempt level position, eligible for full benefits, including health, dental and life insurance, retirement benefits, and 3+ weeks of vacation, plus sick time and holidays.
Hiring Range: $100,000- 120,000 per year

The National Trust for Historic Preservation an equal opportunity organization and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation  actively seeks opportunities to include members of these groups in its programs and activities.

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