Executive Director

Company Name: 

Arizona Historical Society


1300 N College Ave
Tempe, AZ 85003

Contact Name: 

James Burns





Job Description: 

Salary: $110,000-$130,000 

Grade: E3

Closing Date: Open until filled. Review of applications begins immediately and continues on a rolling basis.

Job Summary:

The Executive Director is charged with conducting the affairs of the Arizona Historical Society and directing efforts towards meeting the mission and goals of the institution in accordance with guidelines established by the Board of Directors. The Director interprets and applies the policies adopted by the Board of Directors and controls the operations and activities of all staff. Responsible for planning, developing, coordinating, directing and managing all grant request, financial gifts, donations of property and sponsorships from private and public sources. Responsible for monitoring the progress of the institution and the staff in meeting the overall organizational objectives and initiatives in accordance with the mission and goals.

Job Duties:

Responsibility flows downward from the Board to the Director. When the responsibility and authority have been delegated, the Director becomes accountable for the conduct of the organization’s affairs and is an ex officio member of all Board committees and shall serve on said committees or appoint a staff member to do so; attend Board meetings and present information, coordinates, schedules, and arranges for all Board of Directors meetings and Board committee meetings. Prepare meeting notices and associated documents and ensure compliance with the Open Meetings Law.

  • Develop proposals for review and approval by the Board of Directors, including program and facility plans, implementation and attainment of short and long-term operational goals. Maintain positive working relationship with the Board of Directors and provide information, orientations sessions, participation in fundraising and enhance Board development
  • Within the limits of the State statute governing the Society, and the bylaws and policies of the Board of Directors, the Director is responsible for and has commensurate authority to accomplish the execution of the duties, the Director may delegate as appropriate certain responsibilities, along with corresponding authority. Ultimate responsibility and accountability for the operation of the organization may not be delegated.
  • The Director will provide the vision and personal leadership for the organization’s growth and development; Responsible for the maintenance of integrity and high standards of professionalism; Responsible for keeping privileged information confidential and representing the organization in a professional manner.
  • The Director shall manage through appropriate subordinate personnel the daily activities of all departments; Assist with development and implementation of overall marketing; Remain current on policies, laws, and accepted practices pertaining to the museum profession, through involvement in professional groups and continuing education.
  • The Director shall operate the organization in compliance with American Alliance of Museums standards and best practices in order to maintain AAM accreditation.
  • The Director shall provide input on exhibitions, educational programs, and events. Review monthly fiscal status reports with Board of Directors. Participate in annual budget: initiate, review, evaluate and present budget requests to the Finance Committee, the Executive Committee, and the Board of Directors. Executive Director has ultimate responsibility for adherence to operating and capital budgets. Responsible for adherence to all ADOA policies.
  • The Director shall play a key role in the fundraising activities of the organization, actively working with the Board of Directors to meet financial giving, capital campaign, and sponsorship goals; Oversee an Annual Appeal campaign each year, including drafting the materials, coordinating the production and distribution, recording donations, acknowledging gifts, reporting results, and analyzing results to improve future campaigns; Develop and oversee a grant writing program; Responsible for organizing and implementing a comprehensive capital gifts solicitation and implementation program. Responsible for establishing and maintaining a planned giving program, periodically reminding members, volunteers, and the public of these opportunities.
  • The Director shall oversee the production and distribution of all solicitation materials; Track the progress of all proposals and fulfillment and reporting requirements for grants and sponsorships are met; Ensure that development records are reconciled with accounting records, kept confidential, and that processing and documentation of donations is done in accordance with IRS requirements; Develop and maintain relationships with professionals in the giving, financial, and estate planning communities; Maintain current knowledge of new developments affecting donations, taxation of gifts, estate planning and the general philanthropic environment.
  • The Director is responsible and accountable for all personnel actions involving staff and consultants Ensure that employees understand the mission and goals of the organization, maintain building and collection security, maintain cleanliness of facilities, handle and care for the collection appropriately, conduct regular staff meetings to ensure communication of information throughout the organization. Oversee the human resource functions to include hiring, termination, employee review, employee goal setting, salary recommendations, attendance records, training, and adherence to applicable laws, policies, and procedures for all staff; Oversee recognition and appreciation for all docents and volunteers.
  • Serve as the spokesperson and advocate for AHS, effectively representing the organization to community, professional, governmental, civic and private agencies, enhancing the organization’s public image in order to expand interest and support.
    • Present lectures, participate on panels, or serve as a judge at events to increase awareness of the Museum.
    • Attend appropriate professional meetings on national, regional, state and local levels.
    • Develop positive relationships with museums, other institutions, and individuals to facilitate lending and/or giving opportunities.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSAs):

  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Strong organizational and project management skills.
  • Strong knowledge of fundraising techniques.
  • Problem solving skills and delegation skills.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Ability to effectively network for organization, interact well with communities, members/sponsors and artists.
  • Strong public speaking skills.
  • Knowledge of computers, including fundraising software.
  • Knowledge of general business practices and accounting preferred.
  • Experience handling personnel matters.
  • Knowledge of non-profit tax law.
  • Knowledge of planned giving.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:

  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Membership in appropriate professional organizations a plus.

Working Conditions

  • Office environment, non-standard hours, generally within 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday with extended hours and weekends probable. Overnight travel and some out-of-state is required on a regular basis. The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate.

Pre-Employment Requirements:


  • Advanced degree in non-profit management, museum studies, history, or related field and seven years museum or non-profit management experience preferred, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Work Experience

  • Must possess a basic understanding and appreciation of the importance of sound public and employee relations.
  • Strong conceptual and leadership abilities required.
  • Prior experience in working with a governing board is highly desirable.


The State of Arizona offers a comprehensive benefits package to include:

  • Sick leave
  • Vacation with 10 paid holidays per year
  • Health and dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Life insurance and long-term disability insurance
  • Optional employee benefits include short-term disability insurance, deferred compensation plans, and supplemental life insurance

For a complete list of benefits provided by The State of Arizona, please visit our benefits page


  • Positions in this classification participate in the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS).
  • Please note, enrollment eligibility will become effective after 27 weeks of employment.