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Executive Director

The Opportunity

Despite all that our world is reckoning with—a centuries-long legacy of systemic racism, a resurgence of identity-based hatred, divisive political rhetoric, and a pandemic—the National Council for History Education is well-positioned to advocate for the field of history education as vital to American society, politics, and life. The next Executive Director will create outreach opportunities to extend support and advocacy on behalf of history education and educators and build a strategy for history advocacy in partnership with other history and education associations.

The Executive Director will take a leadership role in critical national conversations about history education and with K-16 educators in the K-16 by engaging with the press, lawmakers, philanthropists, foundations, and more to build public support for history teachers and authentic, rigorous history education. NCHE remains committed to supporting teachers, public history educators and teacher educators to use the historian’s tools to strengthen teaching and learning and prepare young people to be positively engaged and effective citizens. As such, the Executive Director will understand and critically support NCHE’s teacher professional learning programs and activities as well as will represent their value to the broader public.

NCHE is focused on reaching many more teachers, schools, and districts with real impact and providing strands of content through our new digital strategies that fit into a teacher’s existing curricular plans and accommodate the broad range of different teachers’ needs. While building for the future, NCHE supports professional learning through partnerships with the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and its state history council affiliates.

NCHE has an annual budget of approximately $1.2 million and, with the right leadership, is poised to grow significantly in the years to come. The history education field—and classroom history teachers in particular—need support and advocates more than ever. The incoming Executive Director has the unique opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of thousands of teachers and millions of students across the country. NCHE seeks an Executive Director to help lead the organization, with the support of the Board of Directors, volunteers, and staff, into its next phase of evolution and accomplishment.

The Role

Setting Strategic Direction – provide visionary leadership in history education with attention to fostering an engaged community committed to teaching diverse histories; empowering membership to face the future; and further developing History's Habits of Mind programming. Assess and understand the state of the field and leverage NCHE’s unique position, initiatives, and assets to maximize positive impact for history educators and learners.

Organizational Leadership – provide innovative leadership and vision for the organization; set priorities and demonstrate sound judgment and decision-making skills with respect to those priorities; oversee and manage multiple projects simultaneously; lead the process of ongoing strategic planning; effectively manage, engage and develop a small and dedicated staff; establish and maintain relationships with a large and diverse working Board of Directors.

Advocacy and Brand Awareness – work with strategic partners to establish a clear and focused vision for the future of history education; build presence of NCHE as a leading organization for history education; navigate public opinion on relevant and crucial matters and promote NCHE as a leading contributor on matters relevant to the teaching and learning of history.

Community and Partnerships – design outreach, represent, and promote NCHE as an organization that advocates for history educators, broadly conceived; use social media and traditional forms of communication effectively to foster collaboration with other organizations and to capture the attention of potential sponsors.

Development – expand the organization’s fundraising operations to increase, strengthen, and diversify funding sources; create and cultivate relationships with key stakeholders, donors, foundations, and corporations; seek and secure donations and grants to fund the organization’s operations as well as programs.

Financial Management – oversee all aspects of NCHE’s financial management; taking ownership of all monthly, quarterly, and an annual operating budget of approximately $1.2 million; working with the finance committee of the Board of Directors to manage and utilize NCHE’s financial assets to achieve the organization’s mission; and leading development of, proposing, and justifying an annual budget to be approved by the Board.

Candidate Profile

A successful candidate will present the following qualifications:

1. Visionary leadership

  • Inspire and identify needs and opportunities to pursue innovation and growth, and build consensus while implementing their vision;
  • Demonstrated success in articulating a clear strategic vision to a diverse group of stakeholders.

2. A skilled advocate

  • Experience interfacing with diverse stakeholders, including members, scholars, and the press, to advance an organization’s reputation and to support issues vital to its mission.
  • Willingness and ability to travel (approximately 10% of work time devoted to travel).

3. Passion for history education and a subject matter expert

  • Demonstrated understanding of the national history education landscape at the K-12 level, including connections with relevant networks, organizations, and leaders;
  • Demonstrated understanding of and experience with professional development for educators;
  • Possess a deep knowledge of and an academic background in history.

4. Exceptional communication and management

  • Ability to work effectively from your home with exceptional oral, written, and digital communication skills;
  • Minimum 5 years of management experience leading small teams, in-person or remotely;
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, creative environment;
  • Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously.

5. Non-profit organizational management

  • Demonstrated success and experience with budget management, program development, and fundraising;
  • Ability to collaborate and innovate to maximize limited resources;
  • Minimum 5 years of non-profit management or leadership experience preferred, particularly in leading a changing organization.

DEIB

NCHE provides professional and intellectual leadership to foster an engaged community committed to the teaching, learning and appreciation of diverse histories (NCHE Mission Statement segment). NCHE aims to create learning opportunities reflective of the broadening concept of “community” and recognizes the value in providing students a full understanding of history reflective of many perspectives. Indeed, a component of History’s Habits of Mind emphasizes the need to “appreciate the diversity of cultures and variety of historical contexts, as well as to distinguish elements of our shared humanity.” By learning and teaching the contributing pieces of historical communities, NCHE places emphasis upon a more complete understanding of the whole. As such, NCHE prioritizes the engagement of multiple communities in deliberative discussions about opportunities for and challenges to equity in our nation’s past, present and future.

Compensation

This position offers a competitive salary for an organization of this size, in the range of $90,000 to $100,000, with the potential for growth alongside the organization. The position also offers a generous benefits package that includes medical and dental insurance, 401(k) plan, paid vacation time, sick leave, and annual holidays. The position operates on a remote, flexible work schedule, allowing the incumbent to achieve work-life balance while meeting the demands of the leadership position.

Salary Escalation 

The board of directors or a designated compensation committee shall conduct an annual review to determine whether an increase in salary is appropriate based on NCHE's results of operational and financial management; increased activities or responsibilities of the Executive Director; or such other factors as the board or the designated committee may deem appropriate.

To Apply

Submit an application packet that includes a resume or CV, cover letter indicating specific examples relevant to the qualifications for this position as described above and the names of three references (to be contacted following interviews) to: Jenny Nicholas, Chair, NCHE Board of Directors, at boardchair@nche.net. All documents should be consolidated into one PDF file and submitted electronically to the email address listed above. Applicants will receive confirmation of submission via email. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, for best consideration apply by September 15, 2022. NCHE expects to fill the position by December 1, 2022.