Position Announcement: Executive Director, Cherokee National Historical Society, Inc.

General Background
The Board of Trustees of the Cherokee National Historical Society, Inc. (CNHS) invites applications for the organization’s next Executive Director.

CNHS is a private, non-profit corporation established in 1963. It operates the Cherokee Heritage Center, located on the grounds of the original Cherokee Female Seminary near Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The Cherokee Heritage Center includes: a museum with an award-winning Trail of Tears exhibit; archives; material culture collections; Diligwa – a 1710 Cherokee Village; Adams Corner – 1890s Indian Territory village; school programs and outreach; annual juried art shows; genealogy services; and a publications program. The organization has 20 regular full time as well as part time and seasonal temporary staff. To learn more about the Cherokee National Historical Society and its mission, please visit http://www.cherokeeheritage.org.

Position Overview
Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director has primary responsibility for leading the organization’s strategic planning and fundraising efforts, managing the day-to-day operations and directing the work of a professional staff, and serving as the primary spokesperson for the organization. Alongside the Board, the Executive Director ensures the organization is fiscally sound and that its funding streams and programs reflect its mission and values.

Ideal candidates for CNHS’s next Executive Director possess:

Strong Fundraising Skills: proven track record of active development experience with an understanding of nonprofit fundraising strategies and donor relations; aptitude for overseeing a capital campaign, cultivation of major gifts donations, and ability to work closely with the Board of Trustees to support their efforts in the fundraising process as well.
Organizational Leadership Skills: strategic and tactical thinking, planning, deploying accountability systems, and monitoring operations and financial performance; and, ability to direct CHNS’s human, financial and physical resources to best address and serve the needs of the Cherokee Heritage Center’s material culture and archival collections and those it serves.

Job Responsibilities
Leadership, Vision, and Development

Serve as an effective and visible spokesperson for the Cherokee National Historical Society, Inc. (CNHS), effectively articulating the organization’s history, programs, and mission to the broader public. Advocate for the programs, services and funding the organization requires to carry out its mission and protect the archival and material collections entrusted to its care.
Translate vision into action and establish a strategic plan in line with the organization’s mission and values to ensure the financial stability as well as growth and expansion of the CNHS for the benefit of the archives and collections it houses in addition to those it serves through its onsite and offsite programs.
Lead the organization’s fundraising efforts, increasing the number and diversity of funding streams to address the variety of needs and services required to fulfill CNHS’s strategic vision and targets.
Uphold high ethical standards, share information easily, listen carefully, provide prudent advice and respect the ability of others.
Initiate and strengthen relationships and collaborations with elected officials at all levels of government, partner organizations, funders and other key community stakeholders.

General Management, Finance, Administration and Program

Ensure day-to-day operations are professionally and efficiently organized and administered.
Oversee the organization’s financial operations and ensure that sound financial controls are in place.
Motivate and maintain a cohesive staff, ensuring that there is strong internal communication and coordination; and oversee annual staff performance evaluation.
Provide direction to guide programs and implement accountability structures that are responsive to those served as well as the organization’s partners and funders.
Use technology to facilitate organizational management, fundraising, public education and advocacy.

Board Relations

Implement policies, programs, goals, and objectives as established by the Board.
Work collaboratively with the Board to fundraise and increase CNHS’s overall budget and ability to address its needs and expands its work.
Engage the Board in meaningful participation and provide them with substantive training to assist CNHS in meeting its strategic goals and targets.


The Executive Director must have the following proven experience and qualifications:
Credibility and experience to connect the CNHS to critical resources and funding opportunities outside the organization; a proven track record in leveraging grants or other donations to obtain additional funding for an organization’s mission and programs. Demonstrated ability to garner support for major gift fundraising including successful solicitation of six- or seven-figure gifts.
Must embrace the mission of Cherokee National Historical Society; can convey this mission to a wide variety of constituencies. A demonstrated passion for and interest in Cherokee culture is a must.
Substantial managerial, strategic planning, problem-solving and financial management experience in the private, not-for-profit, or public sectors.
Demonstrated successful track record in creating and implementing programs as well as strategic goals and targets; experience in creating partnerships and collaborations across a wide variety of private and public organizations and governmental entities, including tribal governments.
A history of communicating effectively in writing and verbally, including excellent public speaking skills for both formal and extemporaneous presentations; ability to represent the CNHS to the public, especially with Cherokee tribal leaders, Cherokee tribal citizens and other visitors and communities interacting with CNHS’ programs and services.
A record of success working in partnership with a board and staff of diverse personalities and talents; ability to analyze and redeploy staff assets to best meet the needs of those served.
Eight years of extensive and progressively responsible professional experience. Graduation from an accredited post-secondary institution with four-year degree with preference for museum or nonprofit management, public or business administration, or related field preferred. Successful completion of a related post-graduate program resulting in a Master’s Degree or higher may substitute for two years of required experience.

Compensation & Benefits

The compensation range for the Executive Director will be competitive and in accordance with the background and experience of the selected candidate. Benefits include: paid leave; medical, vision and dental insurance; retirement plan; life, short-term and long-term disability insurance; and customary paid holidays.

Application Process

To apply for this position, submit cover letter and resume to Traci L. McClellan-Sorell, The Moran Company. APPLY NOW