Following the retirement of a well-respected long-term Executive Director, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center seeks a new leader who will build upon the organization’s recognized assets to increasingly connect the Center’s mission with contemporary issues. The Stowe Center Executive Director is a flagship position in the cultural landscape of Connecticut and throughout the country.
The Person and the Institution
In Harriet Beecher Stowe’s (1811-1896) fifty-year career, she published more than 30 books and was one of the 19th century’s most widely read authors. Her best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was a demonstration of Stowe’s commitment to justice and catapulted her to international celebrity. In addition to authoring anti-slavery literature, Stowe also wrote extensively about issues pertaining to women and gender, racism, class, domestic life, and even gardening. It is these issues around which the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center seeks to foster conversation and social action.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is a nonprofit museum, program center and research library in Hartford, Connecticut with an active and innovative program schedule and new house tour experience. Stowe’s 1871 home is a National Historic Landmark and the Stowe Center is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Center’s mission is to preserve and interpret the home of Harriet Beecher Stowe and related historic collections, promote vibrant discussion of Stowe’s life and work, and inspire commitment to social justice and positive change.
Leadership Transition and Opportunities
After nearly 20 years of leadership, the current Executive Director is retiring from her position at the end of May 2018. In this time, she led the transformation of the Stowe Center from a private foundation to a publicly orientated museum with a diverse audience, innovative programs, and expanded regional and national partnerships. The new director will have the opportunity to provide a fresh perspective to the organization as the Stowe Center’s primary representative. The Executive Director will serve as the chief fundraiser, spokesperson, and advocate of the Stowe Center, and be a visible and involved member of the Greater Hartford and Connecticut communities, as well as with select regional and national cultural opportunities.
Additional functions of the Executive Director include:
- Revisit, refine and implement the organization’s strategic plan and vision
- Leverage the Stowe Center’s assets, reputation, and experienced and talented staff
- Galvanize community and alliance partnerships
- Implement a staff development program
- Drive fundraising efforts
- Maintain and develop a strong relationship with the board
The Ideal Candidate
The next Executive Director should be an experienced museum or historical site professional, with relevant knowledge of and experience with organizations like house museums and research facilities serving both the general public and scholars from around the world. The successful candidate will be passionate about the Stowe Center’s role and future aspirations (e.g. human rights, civic engagement).
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Ability to maintain/encourage open communications with staff, the board, volunteers and the community.
- A level of education appropriate to the position, such as an advanced degree in history, literature of the United States, American Studies, or other relevant field.
Personal Characteristics and Leadership Attributes
- Effective listener; excellent communicator; open-minded; flexible
- Relationship/coalition builder; approachable; fair; passionate
- Strongly committed to equity, diversity and inclusion
- Self-confident, diplomatic; honest; sense of humor
- Well-organized, results-driven and inspiring; maturity, judgment
- Enthusiastic, focused, driven; visionary; managerial savvy
Submission of Candidacy
This search is being conducted by the Consulting and Executive Transitions team at TSNE MissionWorks with Transition Consultant Michael Negrón. All submissions are confidential. For the complete position profile and submission guidelines, please visit: http://www.tsne.org/executive-director-harriet-beecher-stowe-center or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We will seek, and welcome, a diverse pool of candidates.