Executive Director Search
Utah Humanities (UH) seeks an Executive Director who will advance our mission of
empowering individuals and groups to improve their communities through active
engagement in the humanities. UH’s current ED is retiring after twenty years in the
position, leaving UH well positioned for continued success under new leadership.
Since its establishment in 1975 as an independent nonprofit agency, Utah Humanities
and its programs have reached every corner of the state, involving thousands of people
as planners, participants, and audiences. We partner and collaborate with many types
of organizations: libraries, historical societies, museums, schools and colleges, civic and
service organizations, public radio and television stations, local and state government
agencies, arts and humanities councils, ad hoc groups, and others.
UH programs are organized into four Centers: Center for the Book; Center for
Community Heritage, Center for Educational Access, and Center for Local Initiatives.
Among our current programs are an annual statewide book festival, museum workshops
and other capacity-building programs, community conversations about current issues,
humanities courses for underserved teens and adults, and grants to communities for
locally-initiated projects. Current audiences targeted for outreach efforts are rural areas,
ethnic minorities, youth, and people living on low incomes.
A volunteer board of directors, representing a wide variety of communities, makes
policy, directs planning, and evaluates programs. UH is supported by an annual grant
from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an ongoing state appropriation, and
Tier I funding from the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts, and Parks program. In addition, UH
receives generous and growing private support from individuals, foundations, and
businesses. The organization’s financial position is stable, and its reputation is stellar.
For more information, see: www.utahhumanities.org
As the chief executive officer, the Executive Director is the public face of the
organization. The Executive Director reports to a 16-member governing board of
directors, and leads a staff of eight highly-skilled individuals. This position requires
leadership and management both within the organization and in the larger community.
As the principal spokesperson and advocate for UH and the humanities, the Executive
Director is expected to engage with Utah’s educational, cultural, and nonprofit
communities. Partnerships and collaborative programming are central to UH’s mission
and success. Cultivation of government, foundation, business, and philanthropic
communities will be required to build long-term financial support from diverse sources.
The Executive Director will develop and implement an overall strategic direction
established in partnership with the board and staff and will be accountable to the board
for delivering tangible results in line with the organization’s mission and strategy.
The Executive Director is expected to function effectively in the following areas:
Partner with the board to establish strategy and lead staff to develop, implement,
and assess operational plans and to achieve results.
Ensure effective board engagement and support; communicate regularly with the
Chair, Executive Committee, and board.
Foster a collegial work environment that supports staff while providing rewarding
Cultivate and develop staff to instill a sense of entrepreneurship and
empowerment and to maximize their individual/team impact.
Advocacy and Outreach
Act as principal spokesperson and advocate for humanities statewide, regionally,
and nationally to generate enthusiasm and expand support.
Serve as primary liaison with private and public funding sources, including the
National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Utah, the Salt Lake County
Zoo, Arts, and Parks Program (ZAP), and major donors.
Strengthen and expand humanities and community coalitions across the state.
Advocate with elected officials at federal, state, and county levels.
Develop and maintain effective relationships with diverse program partners and
Marketing and Development
Develop and oversee an overall plan to unify marketing, communications, and
Direct the development and implementation of a robust fundraising initiative in
partnership with the board and play a principal role in cultivation and stewardship
of public and private donors.
Operations and Fiscal Management
Align the eight-person staff and $1+million budget with strategy to ensure good
stewardship of resources and achieve demonstrable results.
Develop and implement an annual budget plan, work with board and staff to
ensure adequate resources, and ensure high levels of fiscal responsibility and
The Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate must be a passionate advocate for the humanities and their
relevance, be a highly persuasive public communicator, and be a proven leader and
Desired professional background, skills, knowledge, and leadership attributes of
Demonstrated passion for the humanities.
Great enthusiasm for UH’s mission.
Demonstrated leadership in nonprofit organizations, with at least five years of
senior management experience.
Past success working with a governing board of directors.
Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
Dynamic engagement as a public spokesperson for an organization and/or the
A proven track record of cultivating partnerships and collaborating with
Experience with nonprofit budgeting and financial principles and procedures.
Experience with diversifying nonprofit funding and a proven track record
executing a fundraising plan.
Experience creating, financing, managing, and evaluating core programs to
reach broad audiences.
An inspiring leader to empower staff, recognize their distinct talents and manage
them for UH’s benefit.
An entrepreneurial instinct, with the ability to think strategically and analytically.
Awareness of public funding dynamics, including Congress, the NEH, the
Federation of State Humanities Councils, and the Utah Legislature, and ability to
work across party lines and other divisions.
Awareness and insight into the current direction of humanities scholarship
(including but not limited to public-academic partnerships and digital humanities),
preferably exhibited by an advanced degree in a humanities field.
Utah Humanities is an Equal Opportunity Employer and actively seeks a pool of
Salary range of $75,000-90,000, depending on experience. An attractive package
of employee benefits is offered, including health, dental, life insurance, disability,
retirement plan, and paid time off. Relocation expenses will not be offered.
A UH Board Committee is conducting this search. To apply, please email 1) a cover
letter describing how the candidate’s qualifications and experiences match Utah
Humanities’ needs and 2) a current resume or CV to: [email protected]
Applications will be reviewed beginning November 13; we encourage candidates to
complete applications by this date to be part of the search committee’s early
deliberations. No calls, please.