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Executive Director, Oklahoma Historical Society

  • 01 Jun 2020 11:48 AM
    Message # 9006989

    Job Description:

    The Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) Board of Directors is seeking applicants for the job of executive director, who serves as the chief executive officer of a state agency/private membership organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing Oklahoma history with an annual budget averaging $21 million. As authorized by state statutes, the OHS Constitution and Bylaws, and policies adopted by the OHS Board of Directors, the executive director leads a staff of 150 dedicated public servants and more than 300 volunteers working in the fields of museums, historic sites, research, historic preservation, publications, membership, fundraising, grants, and operational support. By statute, the executive director also serves as State Historic Preservation Officer affiliated with the National Park Service.

    Key Duties:

    Developing community support for collecting, preserving, and sharing Oklahoma history is the most important duty of the executive director. To achieve complex, statewide goals, the executive director must reach out to and develop relationships with donors and support groups, legislators, legislative staff, the governor and his or her staff, tribal leaders, members of the press, other state agency directors and officials, and constituencies such as family historians, scholars, educators, minority groups, and leaders in the business community. These relationships are developed through clear and transparent communication, collaborative planning, speeches, publications, and private meetings across the state.

    Resource management, as authorized by the OHS Board of Directors, is a constant duty shared with a deputy director/chief financial officer, senior staff members, and partners across the state. Since 1989, the agency has developed a compact planning process that includes long range and annual goals and objectives, budget allocations and quarterly reports, and an annual cost/benefit analysis of every program and staff position. Equally important to planning ahead and reviewing results is staff and volunteer development, which includes recruitment and training, opportunities for advancement, and shared responsibilities with the freedom to learn through experience.

    Vocational or avocational historical skills enhance the ability to lead the OHS.  Foremost, the OHS executive director must have a passion for Oklahoma history. The job must be a calling with a sense of responsibility to capture and share the stories of the state and its people in all of its diversity. It is critical that the executive director have a broad understanding of Oklahoma history in order to properly lead the conversation about policies, practices, and priorities that result in the acquisition of collections and the development of programs. It is equally important to understand the processes of historical research, writing, and presentation if the agency is to collect, preserve, and share materials that will serve the community in the future.  The ability to share stories through speeches and publications is critical to developing community support.

    Preferred Education and Experience:

    Applicants should have at least a master’s degree in Oklahoma or American history, art history, anthropology, archival management, museum management, public administration, or related field of study. In lieu of an advanced degree, consideration will be given to applicants who have exceptional experience through scholarly achievements in the field of history, leadership of an historical organization, or leadership in a program that succeeded through a combination of community support and resource management. Applicants should have experience in managing large, complex programs or projects.

    Salary Range and Benefits:

    The executive director is an at-will employee who is annually evaluated for renewal by the OHS Board of Directors every January. The OHS Board of Directors sets the annual salary, which can range from $120,000 to $137,000 depending on experience and qualifications. Benefits include health insurance for families, generous annual and sick leave, state holidays, longevity pay, and state contributions to a 401K retirement plan. Travel allowances include either reimbursement for mileage or access to a state vehicle. The person selected for the position will report for duty on January 4, 2021.

    Instructions for Applying:

    Please send a resume, cover letter, and no more than three letters of reference to: Executive Director Search Committee, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73105. Mailed applications must be delivered or post marked by 5:00 pm on July 1, 2020. Emailed applications should be sent to Bblackburn@okhistory.org by 5:00 pm on July 1, 2020.


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