The Fort Ligonier Association’s Board of Trustees is seeking an experienced and visionary Executive Director/CEO for Fort Ligonier Museum & History Education Center (the Fort) and its sister site, the Braddock Battlefield History Center (BBHC). The Executive Director/CEO will work collaboratively with two dedicated boards and highly motivated staff to steward a bold new future for the organizations. The Fort and BBHC showcase and interpret some of the most comprehensive and well-preserved historic structures, collections, and exhibits on the French and Indian War in the United States for both study and enjoyment.
Fort Ligonier was the last and most formidable “post of passage” built by British military engineers in the epic campaign that brought General John Forbes’ army across the Pennsylvania wilderness to dislodge the French from the headwaters of the Ohio River at Fort Duquesne. Similarly, the Battle of the Monongahela (also known as “Braddock’s Defeat”), July 9, 1755, was one of the most important battles in 18th-century North America and one of the most significant stories of the French and Indian War in western Pennsylvania. Fort Ligonier (Forbes Campaign, 1758) and Braddock’s Defeat (Braddock Campaign, 1755) are intricately linked as both campaigns shared the same goal of taking French Fort Duquesne at the Forks of the Ohio, the key to controlling North America. George Washington was a central figure in both campaigns, playing key roles in the Battle of the Monongahela, at Fort Ligonier and the successful takeover of Fort Duquesne by the British.
Fort Ligonier is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization chartered in 1949 with an institutional mission to enrich the lives of today’s citizens and future generations through education and preservation by sharing the powerful stories of Fort Ligonier that changed world history. Fort Ligonier consists of the historic fort, an educational museum and a history center. It is also responsible for operating and managing the recently acquired Braddock’s Battlefield History Center.
Through a generous donation, Fort Ligonier acquired the Braddock’s Battlefield History Center, a small museum in North Braddock located on the site of the first clash of the 1755 Battle of the Monongahela, approximately 40 miles west of Ligonier. Fort Ligonier’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to move forward with this project and manage the History Center as our sister site. Initial plans include minor capital improvements, evaluating exhibits and collections, developing educational and community programming, and creating an integrated strategic and interpretive plan. After a temporary winter closure, the Center re-opened in May 2019. A newly established BBHC Board of Directors is assisting Fort Ligonier staff in these early stages of planning and operations.
Recently, the Fort Ligonier Association successfully completed a “Fortifying our Future” capital campaign of $8.25 million for major capital improvements including a new education center. We are now poised to expand educational programming, research projects and attendance as we work towards our goal to be a nationally recognized educational institution for the French and Indian War and the global Seven Year’s War.Implementing a long-range strategic plan and a comprehensive interpretive plan as blueprints for action, we have worked to carefully strengthen the organization and extend its impact throughout the region. Once a seasonal operation, we have transformed this reconstructed 18th century British fort, historic site and acclaimed museum into a year-round learning center.
Fort Ligonier is located in the beautiful town of Ligonier in the Laurel highlands of western Pennsylvania. Ligonier has frequently been named on many national lists, such as “Eighteen Most Charming Small Towns Across America” (Country Living Magazine, 2015) and “Great Small Towns Near Washington DC” (Washingtonian Magazine, 2015). Ligonier is close to shopping, world class health care, major cities, and affords abundant opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, canoeing and skiing. Ligonier has rich and numerous state and national park historic sites in close proximity.
The Executive Director/CEO will provide the strategic leadership, creativity, management, and direction necessary to advance the missions of the Fort and the BBHC, and pursue a clear, impactful and sustainable vision for the organization to achieve a greater level of recognition on a national and international level. The Executive Director/CEO has the responsibility for ensuring that both the Fort and the BBHC meet their financial and programmatic goals. In addition,they are the primary spokesperson, fundraiser, and ambassador for the organization, articulating vision, values and contributions to community, partners, educators, the broader museum community, the news media, and national and international partners. The Executive Director/CEO reports to the Board of Trustees of the Fort Ligonier Association.
Particular characteristics for the new Executive Director/CEO include, but are not limited to demonstrated success and experience in the following areas:
Leading and being part of a highly cohesive and functioning team;
Community relations and partnerships;
Substantial experiences in fundraising and donor relations, including familiarity with regional and national organizations, philanthropic foundations and corporations;
Financial management acumen and sophistication;
Being a self-starting, self-motivated and proactive leader;
Showing a knowledge and appreciation for history;
Willingness to “roll up their sleeves” and work alongside all levels of staff.
Successful candidates shall have substantial high-level communication skills, proficient information technology skills, and experience in the non-profit realm and/or history-related field.
Under the direction of the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director/CEO is responsible for:
Overall management and operation of the Fort, including its historic site, museum and Center for History Education, and the BBHC;
Leading operations of the Fort including the major functions of community engagement, education, exhibitions and programming, fundraising, budgeting, and visitor experiences;
Leading the operations of BBHC which is in a start-up phase of a smaller and developing site. The highest priorities will be the development of a sustainable income stream and a strategic plan;
Establishing and maintaining fundraising, partner, donor and sponsor relations and cultivations, and playing a leading role in increasing financial support for both the Fort and BBHC;
Protectingthe organization’sfinancial assets, practice sound financial management and ensure stability;
Ensuring that the public use of the Fort and the BBHCand their resources continue to grow;
Serving as the public face and spokesperson, clearly articulating mission and activities, and fostering and maintaining a close working relationship with regional and national museums and other related institutions;
Working closely and transparently with the boards of the Fort and BBHC and their committees, providing updates, soliciting feedback, and engaging members in constructive dialogue;
Identifying, recruiting, developing, and retaining a talented, accomplished, and diverse staff and volunteers to meet the evolving needs of the organization.
A minimum of five years successful experience leading a similar organization or agency, or senior management level leadership experience including strategic planning, fundraising and sales, personnel supervision and evaluation, project management, budget preparation and management, financial literacy, communications, and program implementation;
An advanced degree in history, public history, business, urban planning or a related field preferred;
Superior management skills, including an eye for talent and an ability to attract and retain a first-rate staff;
Ability to work with an engaged Board of Trustees and staff, donors, members, government officials, the local community and media;
A strong commitment to diversity and gender equity;
Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to lead and work as a member of a team, plus inspire an organizational culture that supports the organizations ’s values and principles;
Ability to collaborate with partners in the local and regional historical community;
Ability to work in an educational organization or public agency, museum or historic site, with progressive responsibility;
Appreciation and basic knowledge of the Fort Ligonier Association is desirable.
This is a full time, salaried position. The annual salary range is $90,000 to $125,000. The final salary will be based on the experience and qualifications of the successful candidate.
Fort Ligonier Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Review of candidate materials will begin immediately with a deadline of November 11, 2019.
The application should include a resume with contact information for at least three professional references and a letter of interest addressed to Dr. Brent D. Glass, Brent D. Glass LLC, 1921 Sunderland Place NW, Washington, DC 20036.
At Brent D. Glass LLC, we believe that history and public memory are resources that shape and define our contemporary world. From our office in Washington, DC, we provide our expertise and experience to sustain and transform museums and cultural disciplines in all disciplines.Dr. Brent D. Glass founded Brent D. Glass LLC in 2012 as a museum and history organization consulting business. For six years, our firm has served as a management consultant to more than sixty cultural and educational institutions around the world, including the Presidio Trust in San Francisco, California; the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation in Springfield, Illinois; the First Bank of the United States at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and the Split City Museum in Split, Croatia. Our services and expertise includes board development, executive recruitment, fundraising, strategic and master planning, and organizational evaluation and development.