Executive Director Position (p/t) – Maritime Industry Museum at Fort Schuyler

We are a niche museum full of interesting seafaring history, models, and artifacts! And we would love to have someone on board who believes in keeping alive and relevant both our Maritime industry history and its future.

The Maritime Industry Museum is located on SUNY Maritime College’s 55-acre scenic waterfront campus on the Throggs Neck peninsula where the East River meets Long Island Sound. The New York City skyline provides a stunning backdrop to the Museum which is safely housed within the massive 10-foot granite pentagonal walls of historic Fort Schuyler.  This unique 2,000+ artifact-filled museum is a family adventure, an educational resource, and a testament to the importance shipping and the seafaring way of life has on our modern global society.

Job Description Overview

The Maritime Industry Museum seeks an Executive Director to provide dynamic leadership and, in partnership with the board and key staff, implement a vision and strategic plan for the organization going forward into the future. The Executive Director will work closely with the Board of Directors to refine, develop, and implement a dynamic program for the Museum’s revenue generation, fundraising, exhibitions, collections management, educational activities, and community outreach. This outreach will include emphasis on programs and exhibits that will attract visitors from diverse and underrepresented communities within our region.  Since the Museum resides within the confines of the SUNY Maritime College, the Executive Director must work closely with the College administration, faculty, staff, and students to ensure continued mutually beneficial operations, supportive of College and Museum priorities. MIM’s successful applicant will help propel forward the unique legacy this special museum holds in the maritime industry and in the hearts of both young and old who visit.

Summary of Responsibilities

  • Works in conjunction with the Board to develop a sustainable strategic direction and establish initiatives to fulfill the mission of the Museum and increase local, statewide, national, and international awareness and prominence.
  • Directs the Museum’s operations, to include the alignment of revenue opportunities, development, education and public programming, finance, external communications, and staffing.
  • Manages and leads the staff (part-time), volunteers, and consultants.
  • Creates a strong financial backbone – balanced budgets, sufficient cash reserves, growing endowments, financial systems that allow for monitoring of financial status.
  • Responsible for robust fundraising activities that deliver results. Leads and participates in all fundraising and development activities, oversees grant writing and developing relationships with foundations, corporations, and individual donors.
  • Serves as spokesperson and chief advocate for the Museum. Establishes strong partnerships in the community. Enhances the Museum’s public image to expand interest and support.
  • Implements an effective communications plan to raise the profile of the Museum. Oversees and directs development of marketing initiatives.
  • Works with College staff to mitigate risk for the Museum collection.  Ensures that the artifacts on display and those in storage are secure and maintained to the highest possible standards. 
  • Advocates on important issues in historic preservation and maritime history on the local, regional, national, and international level.
  • Duty to attend at least four (4) Board meetings per year; as well as special meetings to discuss momentous decisions, where they are reasonably able to do so.

Desired Leadership Attributes

  • Leadership – nurtures a team of staff and volunteers that focuses on the best interests of the organization. Understands the role of the team – and the individuals on the team – and follows the imperatives of the strategic plan.
  • Passion for Mission – demonstrates and communicates passion for the organization’s core purpose – “to explore and interpret the crucial role of the maritime industry and the United States Merchant Marine in the world economy … collaborating with and educating campus members ant the surrounding community through preservation, interpretation, and programming, encompassing diverse perspectives”.
  • Judgment – recognizes the consequences of actions, accurately assesses the environment, applies appropriate discretion, draws upon relevant experience, and assesses and determines risk.
  • Interpersonal Skills – builds appropriate rapport and effective relations both internally and externally. Relates well to people of diverse backgrounds and exhibits genuine warmth and approachable behavior. Listens carefully to understand the needs, intentions, and values of others.
  • Strategic Thinking – cultivates a culture of strategic action, including recommendations on timelines and allocation of resources to move forward in annual planning and budgets.
  • Results-Driven Mindset – improves and sustains organization’s performance, develops and follows through on priorities, delegates appropriately, holds staff accountable, and makes sound decisions.
  • Demonstrated Success in Community Networking – develops strong community relationships to leverage good will, financial support, and program and service development.
  • Financial Management Expertise – ensures that the organization maintains adequate reserves and accumulates sources of capital to invest in the changes needed in the future. Understands and diligently attends to all budget and financial matters and can manage operations within budget constraints, including making hard financial decisions, when required.
  • Human Resources Management Experience – can attract, develop, and retain a diverse staff talent pool needed to meet and exceed organizational goals.
  • Steward of Positive Organizational Culture – maintains and nurtures a culture that recognizes the strengths and talents of each team member, is open to change, encourages new ideas which challenge the status quo by asking “why not?”, and allows others to create organizational agility.
  • Visibility – acts as “face of the museum,” to the College, key external stakeholders, staff, and the local community, assuring that a recognizable, consistent person is leading the organization.
  • Fundraising ability – leads the development of strategic and innovative fundraising approaches to broaden the source and scope of revenues for the organization.

Desired Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in History, Museum Studies, Non-Profit Administration, or similar degree.
  • 2-3 years of related experience, preferably in museums or nonprofits or 3-5 years of combined education and related experience.
  • Ability to provide strong leadership, vision and strategic direction. Experience developing, with boards of directors, and implementing strategic plans.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of standards and best practices for museums, nonprofits, or similar organizations, as well as a history of involvement in relevant professional organizations.
  • Strong record of success in fundraising and audience development.
  • Demonstrated excellence in writing and public speaking.
  • Competence in managing museum operations. Demonstrated ability to supervise, as well as to work successfully with, museum staff, volunteers, and diverse public constituencies.
  • Evidence of success in developing, managing, and growing an annual operating budget. Strong business management skills.
  • Excellent planning, time management, and decision-making skills.
  • Willingness to work a variable schedule, including weekends and evenings, when needed.

This is a part-time position.  Salary: Up to $25K per year, commensurate with experience. The Maritime Industry Museum is an equal opportunity employer.

For more information on the Maritime Industry Museum, please visit:


Interested candidates may respond by email to museum@sunymaritime.edu

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