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Monday, September 19, 2011

F/T - Executive Director - National Jazz Museum/Harlem, NYC

Executive Director

Job Description

While Jazz may have born in New Orleans out of the African American music tradition, no one can dispute that there is a robust jazz culture in Harlem where artists and music have been developed and supported for decades.  The National Jazz Museum has become a focal point for this jazz tradition, and has played a key role in contributing to Harlem’s renaissance of culture, commerce and tourism.  The Museum is located in the heart of the community on 126th Street, and runs a number of educational and cultural programs.  It also houses an extensive collection of ‘lost’ recordings which are available for listening by visitors to the Museum.

Since its founding, the Museum has grown significantly, both in terms of its operating budget and in influence in the community.  The Museum is now ready to take the next step, which is to build a structure that will house its collections, provide more suitable performance space, and provide room to carry out its programming.  A site at Mart 125 on 125th Street has been identified and funding has been secured. 

In order to help build the Museum and bring it to the next level in terms of growth and financial support, the Museum’s Board has decided to restructure its management team.  The current Executive Director will become its first Artistic Director, responsible for the collections, programming and the artistry of the Museum, and there will be a new Executive Director who will be responsible for building and operating the new Museum.  Both the Artistic Director and the new Executive Director will report directly to the Board, and they will share responsibility for fundraising, and overall management of the new Museum.

The Executive Director must be a hands-on manager, and a self-starter who can work closely with the Artistic Director to run the institution.  He or she must also share the Artistic Director’s and Board's vision and commitment to the Museum’s core mission. He or she will most likely have substantial experience in arts and cultural institutions, and must demonstrate significant accomplishments and past successes.  In addition, he or she must be a capable fundraiser, a hands-on manager, a strategic thinker and planner, a problem solver and be able to respond to crises quickly and effectively. 

Leadership and management skills and experience will be key qualifications for this position.  In addition, he or she must be comfortable in making presentations before foundation and corporate executives, elected officials, government agency administrators, and the public. He or she must be able to work closely with the Board and staff to promote an open, inclusive environment that emphasizes cooperation and teamwork. In addition, he or she will be diplomatic, analytical, of the highest integrity, and possess sound judgment as well as a sense of humor.

Specific Responsibilities:
  • Financial Management:  Maintains overall responsibility for Museum’s finances. Supervises ongoing accounting functions in all areas of the organization’s financial operations, ensuring that all financial accounting is in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles.
  • Fundraising:  Engages as the primary staff leader with fundraising staff and consultants regarding fundraising for the Museum’s operations (in conjunction with the Artistic Director).
  • Communications:  Helps implement an effective marketing and communications program plus strategies and plans for membership and museum fees.
  • Mart 125 Financing and Contractual Processes and Logistics:  Serves as the Museum’s point person in all matters pertaining to financing, contracting, and logistics, functioning as the Museum’s chief liaison with participating government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
  • Budget Development and Oversight:  Designs the annual budget development process and templates and establish timeframes for budget development and submission of documents with the Artistic Director (for subsequent review by the Finance Committee and approval by the full Board).
  • Operations Oversight:  Supervises the organization’s day-to-day operations, reviewing priorities regularly with the Artistic Director.  Responsible for facilities, human resources, information technology and administrative services.
  • Board Relations:  Together with the Artistic Director, serves as principal staff liaison with the Board of Directors.

·         Bachelor’s degree from an accredited school; advanced degree preferred
·         At least ten years of senior management experience in non-profit organizations.
·         Strong fiscal skills with experience in creating and controlling operating and program budgets of $1M or greater,
·         Excellent oral and written communication skills and computer literacy.
·         Experience in building, mentoring and motivating a dedicated staff that are able to collaborate and problem-solve
·         Knowledge of the arts, cultural and funding communities. Must have a strong commitment to the mission of the Museum.

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is an Equal Opportunity Employer with a commitment to a diverse workforce.  For more information about the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, please visit their website at

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search.  Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:
Jack Lusk, Managing Partner, or Anne McCarthy, Senior Associate
Harris Rand Lusk
261 Madison Avenue, 11th Floor
New York, NY  10016