Executive Director and CEO

Company Name: 

National Nordic Museum

Job Description: 

The National Nordic Museum (“the Museum”) seeks an experienced and innovative cultural leader to be the next Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO will propel the Museum’s mission to “share Nordic culture, values, and ideas with people of all ages and backgrounds to create connections, generate dialogue, and inspire new perspectives,” using the Museum’s assets and platform to enrich lives in the Seattle area, nationally, and beyond.

Founded in 1979, the National Nordic Museum is the only institution of its size and scale in the United States to present the history and culture of the entire Nordic region (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the regions of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland, and the cultural region of Sápmi) and the legacy of Nordic immigrants to the United States. Located along Seattle’s working waterfront in an iconic building that embodies Nordic design, the institution is both a museum and a community gathering place. Home to beloved festivals, pathbreaking exhibitions, innovation summits, and visiting dignitaries, the Museum offers a unique perspective on Nordic culture today.

Following the successful tenure of Eric Nelson, who will retire in 2024 after nearly 17 years of leadership at the Museum, the next CEO will join an organization that has significantly increased in size, scale, and impact. The Museum is federally recognized as a nationally significant cultural institution and draws regional, national, and international audiences. Today, the Museum has an operating budget of $5.2 million and a staff of 38. The CEO will guide the next stage of the Museum’s remarkable trajectory by providing strategic leadership within the organization and partnership with its wide range of stakeholders. The next CEO will lead an innovative, internationally recognized museum and cultural hub.

Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the CEO will develop and steer a compelling vision for local, national, and global engagement within a top-tier cultural organization. They will be a genuine relationship builder dedicated to an expansive, inclusive understanding of Nordic nations and people. The CEO will take a creative approach to forming partnerships and fundraising to support the Museum’s rising profile and future growth. This role requires passion for the Nordic values of openness, sustainability, social justice, and innovation, and a commitment to establishing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace that puts these values into practice.

The Executive Director and CEO will address the following key opportunities and challenges:

  • Collaboratively define the Museum’s future strategic vision to drive relevance, innovation, and impact
  • Enhance the Museum’s mission by expanding its regional, national, and international reach
  • Ensure long-term financial well-being through exceptional management and fundraising
  • Lead and develop a high-performing team to sustain excellence as the Museum evolves
  • Elevate the governance structure to respond to the needs and aspirations of the National Nordic Museum

The National Nordic Museum has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in the recruitment of the new Executive Director and CEO. For more details, including the full position profile and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: https://www.imsearch.com/open-searches/national-nordic-museum/executive-director-and-chief-executive-officer. Electronic submission of materials is required.


Ben Tobin, Aku Ammah-Tagoe, Alaine Small

Isaacson, Miller


The National Nordic Museum provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.