Director of Heritage Outreach

Company Name: 

Washington State Historical Society


1911 Pacific Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98402

Contact Name: 

Kathy Tarli


Job Description: 

The Washington State Historical Society invites qualified and interested individuals to apply for an outstanding opportunity as the Director of Heritage Outreach.

The Opportunity: 
The Director of Heritage Outreach oversees all heritage outreach services of the Washington State Historical Society.  A primary duty is administration of the Heritage Capital Projects Program, a competitive grant program through which the state supports the capital needs of heritage organizations, tribal governments, public development authorities, and local government agencies that interpret and preserve Washington's history and heritage.   Additional heritage outreach programs include the Pacific Northwest History Conference, Heritage Caucus, and annual History Awards. The heritage outreach department is also currently conducting an audit of statewide historical markers at this time.  The Society is also charged with supporting  the needs of heritage organizations across the state by providing technical trainings, networking opportunities, information sharing and other opportunities.  . Connecting with these organizations is central to the Society’s mission of partnering with our communities to explore how history connects us all. This position will supervise 1.5 FTE.
A little about us:
Founded in 1891 and now into its second century of service, the Washington State Historical Society is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and vividly presenting Washington’s rich and storied history. The Historical Society offers a variety of services to researchers, historians, scholars, and lifelong learners, as well as operating the State History Research Center and the Washington State History Museum.
Our mission is to partner with our communities to explore how history connects us all. Our vision is to be the recognized destination for Washington State history. We will achieve this by serving as our state's primary history educator, making history relevant to our modern lives, and supporting civic dialog where all are welcome.
The Washington State Historical Society is a dynamic place to work, with a dedicated staff continuously expanding our impact, by connecting with communities across the Evergreen State through exhibitions, heritage projects, workshops, public programs, publications, and conversations. Our goal is to bring history into focus in such a way that the reader, visitor, or participant cannot help but feel deeply connected to the people and events of the past.
We have a strong commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility and are looking for team members who have a passion for professionalism and serving the public, and a desire to contribute to a positive work culture.
Why work for the Society? 
At WSHS, you will join a team of talented and driven professionals who work on projects that are incredibly rewarding and invigorating. You will work collaboratively with WSHS staff and support the WSHS mission through your actions. PLUS, we offer great benefits.

  • Work/life balance 
  • Exposure to a diverse array of programs, traveling exhibitions, and cultural experiences 
  • Workplace in the museum district of downtown Tacoma
  • Subsidized parking (to include personal weekend fun) 
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Eligibility 
  • A comprehensive benefit package that includes significant employer contributions toward health insurance, paid holidays, retirement plans, sick leave and vacation days. Visit for more information. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee



Administration of the Heritage Capital Projects Program 
With assistance from the Capital Projects Coordinator:

  • Makes day-to-day decisions concerning the administration of the Heritage Capital Projects program and is responsible for the program per the relevant RCWs, WACs and program guidelines.
  • Makes decisions about administration and expenditures of the Heritage Capital Projects budget within parameters set by the agency Director and the Chief Financial Officer. 
  • Manages day-to-day relationships with active and prospective grantees through email, phone, and written communication in a timely manner.
  • Collaborates with the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation (DAHP), to ensure appropriate reviews of state undertakings per the Governor’s Executive Order 05-05 and the State Environmental Policy Act, and of federal undertakings per Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
  • Manages the grant application process including recruitment workshops, issuing of guidelines, review of applications, organizing Advisory Panel review, and preparation of the final ranked list for the CFO and legislature.
  • Develops and executes grant contracts, amendments, and close-out files.
  • Conducts site visits with grantees and prospective grantees.
  • Reviews invoices and authorizes grant payments.
  • Responds to inquiries and provides technical assistance regarding the program.
  • Manages the HCP record of data, files, and communications for reference and potential public records requests.
  • Serves as database administrator for Fluxx grantmaking system. Communicates with Marketing regarding updates to website.
  • Directs the HCPF-related work of the Capital Projects Coordinator.

Development and Management of Heritage Outreach Program

  • Develops and leads heritage outreach strategy as per the Society’s strategic plan
  • Oversees the development and implementation of programming statewide that advances the field of public history, and builds capacity for regional history organizations dedicated to public history. This includes but is not limited to:
    • Pacific Northwest History Conference
    • History Awards
    • Technical training, workshops and affinity groups
    • Heritage Caucus
    • State and Federal Commemorations
  • Develops and leads heritage operating grant programs, as funding allows.
  • Actively develops relationships with local and regional heritage organizations statewide in an effort to improve collaboration among heritage organizations and identify community needs.
  • Serves as the liaison to the Fort Vancouver National Park and ensures proper allocation of Castles endowment. 
  • In collaboration with the Tribal Liaison, actively develops partnerships and positive relationships with Washington State Tribes.
  • Supervise and direct the work of the Heritage Outreach Manager.
  • Collaborate with other WSHS departments to align outreach programming with broader audience engagement strategies.



  • Undergraduate Bachelor’s degree or 7+ years equivalent experience, or an equivalent combination of experience and education on a year for year basis
  • 3+ years experience with government and/or non-profit grants management 
  • 5+ years experience developing public history programs 
  • A background in historic preservation or architecture 
  • Excellent project management skills with demonstrated experience in managing administrative projects with excellent organizational skills. 
  • Excellent oral communication and presentation skills; demonstrated written communication skills.  
  • Excellent relationship management skills.  
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders. 
  • Experience with basic financial management skills, including developing and monitoring budgets and financial reporting and accounts receivable. 
  • Ability to work both independently and to collaborate with diverse external audiences with solution-oriented approach. 
  • Ability to handle multiple projects and work well under pressure, including working with interruptions and deadlines; ability to prioritize work, meet deadlines and produce quality results on schedule with attention to detail. 

Preferred/Desired Qualifications: 

  • Working knowledge of RCWs and WACS application to division programs, specifically Heritage Capital Projects program. 
  • Educational emphasis in historic preservation, architecture, or history  
  • Experience working with historical society, museum or cultural organizations 
  • 5+ years experience with government and/or non-profit grants management. 
  • 7+ years experience developing public history programs



Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment
Must pass background check
Must have a valid driver's license
     Some travel is required for site visits of Heritage Capital Projects.

NOTE:  Prior to any new appointment into the Washington State Historical Society record history will be conducted.  Information from the background check will not necessarily preclude employment, but will be considered in determining the applicant's suitability and competence to perform in the position.

Application Process
To be considered you must apply online at (Click on the APPLY button above). You must complete the entire online application to be considered for the position.

Required Attachments:

  • A letter of interest describing how your experience and qualifications relate to the position profile, required and desired position qualifications and special position requirements.
  • Attach your Resume - please do not add it into the text of the application, it must be an attachment.
  • The names of three to five professional references - you may attach a document, use the References text field in the online application, or include with resume. Please be sure to include current contact information.

Please carefully follow the below instructions:
We are looking for evidence in your application materials that you have the education, experience, skills, and abilities indicated in this job posting. The information you provide will be used as a basis for deciding who will be selected for the next step in the process.  An incomplete application packet may automatically be disqualified.

By submitting these materials, you are indicating that all information is true and correct. The state may verify information. Any untruthful or misleading information is cause for removal from the applicant pool or dismissal if employed.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

Washington State Historical Society is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, marital status, race, creed, color, national origin, religion or beliefs, political affiliation, military status, honorably discharged veteran, Vietnam Era, recently separated or other protected veteran status, the presence of any sensory, mental, physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, equal pay or genetic information. Persons requiring accommodation in the application process or this job announcement in an alternative format may contact the Human Resources Office at (253) 798-5901. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call through Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6384

You are welcome to include the name and pronoun you would like to be referred to in your materials and we will honor this as you interact with our organization.
Should you have any questions regarding this position or the online application, contact Kathy Tarli at (253) 798-5901 or