Detroit Historical Society

Executive Director and CEO

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The Society has engaged Non Profit Personnel Network to assist in the search for this position. Additional information on the position and how to apply can be found at
Posted On: March 6
Location: Detroit Historical Society
5401 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202
Job Type:
Full Time

Job Description:

The Detroit Historical Society seeks an innovative, entrepreneurial and visionary leader who demonstrates a passion for engaging others in delivering high-quality experiences that are memorable, relevant and financially sustainable. S/he will be able to translate the vision and strategy into plans that are actionable and effectively executed.

The Executive Director and CEO is responsible for the overall strategic direction, management and operations of the Detroit Historical Museum in Midtown, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle, and the Collections Resource Center – which houses the city’s collection of more than 250,000 historic artifacts. The museums operate 7 days a week, hosting walk-in visitors, scheduled tours for schools groups and adults and special programming and events. In addition, the museums host hundreds of private events ranging from corporate meetings and retreats to weddings and other celebrations.

The successful leader will understand and value the importance of history to individuals, to our communities and to our future – and have a specific interest and passion for urban America - and Detroit’s past, present and future.  A high level of demonstrated experience in building and sustaining partnerships and mutually beneficial relationships with a wide range of community and cultural stakeholders is necessary. The Society seeks a dynamic, energetic communicator who understands and effectively utilizes traditional marketing and social media and can influence others to action, be they staff, board members, donors, elected officials, corporate executives, members, volunteers and other supporters. The ideal candidate will show evidence of successful fundraising leadership that includes the acquisition of major gifts and grants from foundations, corporations, individuals and the public sector. The successful candidate will be committed to building a diverse staff inclusive of different backgrounds, identities and philosophies and creating an equitable and inclusive work environment.

Preferred Skills:


The ideal candidate will have at least ten years of successful executive leadership experience; proven experience in managing a team and achieving results; a thorough understanding of the cultural sector and an appreciation of the unique attributes of diverse urban environments like Detroit.


The Executive Director and CEO will be a collaborative, flexible, passionate doer, well-versed in leadership skills and non-profit best practices and committed to the overall mission of the DHS. In concert with the Board of Trustees and other senior DHS leaders, s/he will lead and be responsible for envisioning and executing on a strategic development plan aimed towards expanding the DHS reach and impact.


A Bachelor’s degree from four-year College or University is required. Membership in relevant community, business or cultural organizations is preferred. And advanced degree in a relevant or related discipline is preferred.

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