Field Director

Position Details

Type Full Time
Offered By National Trust for Historic Preservation
Chicago Field Office
Chicago , Illinois

The Field Director works to save historic places by providing management of field staff and on-the-ground support for the direct-action work of the National Trust. The Field Director is primarily responsible for helping identify potential National Treasure campaigns and ensuring the success of selected campaigns located in their geographical region.

The Field Director will also be responsible for applying the National Trust’s intervention criteria to non-National Treasure projects to determine if it is appropriate for the organization to take action. This position will provide additional content or management expertise to the Regional Vice Presidents of Field Services as required.

Manage Field Staff - Under the direction of the Regional Vice President, provide direct management and supervision of field staff, including collaborating with project managers and Regional Business Managers in development of individual National Treasure budgets, providing oversight of National Treasure projects and project managers, approving and monitoring time reporting by field staff and providing performance reviews of staff. The Chicago Field Office Director will have a primary reporting relationship with the Eastern Regional Vice President and a secondary reporting relationship to the Western Regional Vice President.

Integration of programs in the work of the National Trust — The Field Director will lead and work collaboratively with cross-Trust project teams to ensure successful outcomes for National Treasure campaigns, and will contribute to work undertaken on Preservation Priorities when appropriate. This integration will be reflected in strategic plans, the annual work plan, and performance metrics, and will be part of evaluation cycles.

Fundraise for National Treasure projects – The Field Director will work collaboratively with the Regional Vice President, the Chief Preservation Officer, and the Development Division to meet set fundraising goals for assigned campaigns and projects.

Office Management — The Field Director will have some administrative duties related to the operations of the office and act a mentor and a role model to the staff in the office. The Field Director will also help to convene staff and solicit input nominations for National Treasures, 11 Most listings, Honor Awards and other key programs.

Supervisory Responsibilities — Supervises all aspects of the assigned field office, including contributing to decisions regarding: Staffing, seating, budgeting, professional development, performance management and team management.

Other — Field Directors will continuously enhance skills related to use of rapidly changing technology and communications best practices and are responsible for achieving high quality results with general supervision. Additional duties as assigned.

Develop and Implement project plans for National Treasures— The Field Director will be responsible for creating and implementing project plans with stated goals and objectives to ensure successful outcomes for National Treasure projects. This person will lead and participate on multiple project teams and will work collaboratively with National Trust staff, outside partners, National Trust Advisors and other interested parties to undertake these projects. When functioning as a project manager the duties of the Field Director include those of a Field Officer, working with their Regional Vice President. When supervising field staff the Field Director’s Project-management responsibilities include:


  • proactively & regularly communicates status of multiple projects to VP & teams
  • ensures projects of assigned Field Officers are executed according to work plans
  • ensure assigned projects stay on time
  • ensure project planning/scoping/budgeting follow established processes
  • regularly meet with and check work of assigned Field Officers
  • ensure hours are logged accurately & on time for assigned project teams
  • ensure direct reports meet with their assigned project teams regularly & effectively
  • provide guidance & coaching on effective project management
  • suggest appropriate solutions to direct reports, provide guidance to resolve project issues
  • esponsible for obtaining VP approval for project plans/scope/budget
  • ensure project teams respond quickly & effectively to project-plan changes
  • ensure short- and long-term goals for project teams are clearly communicated
  • assure high quality work performed on assigned projects
  • identify and resolve root causes of problems
  • draw in resources to resolve project-related problems as appropriate
  • inform VPs as appropriate to resolve issues
  • ensure project processes are developed, followed & enhanced as appropriate
  • monitor labor utilization of assigned projects and direct reports

Leadership and Management Skills

  • At least 10 years of professional level experience, including experience with budgeting, staffing, supervising professionals and leading teams to generate high quality results.
  • At least 3 years of experience managing large, cross-functional projects and teams, preferably within a national level non-profit setting.
  • Experience building, managing and tracking complex project budgets.
  • Demonstrated success in leading and managing a diverse team with varied skills; effective team player and leadership skills, and a strong commitment to diversity.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement strategies with paid and volunteer staff, as well as outside vendors.
  • Proven ability to collaborate across divisions to implement processes and achieve results.
  • Track record of building and maintaining productive relationships with multiple stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated capability to work effectively within a geographically distributed organization and across internal departments.
  • Effective presentation skills. Excellent verbal and written communication skills.


Hands-On Experience

  • Previous work in historic preservation, planning, or allied fields; expertise in real estate financing and redevelopment of historic properties, including use of tax credits for adaptive use of commercial properties, and/or architectural and urban planning design, are strongly desired.
  • Knowledge of key-players in the preservation field required
  • Demonstrated success in building, managing, and leading complex programs and projects to meet quantifiable outcomes.
  • Advanced analytical skills, problem solving (issue identification and prioritization) skills, communication and presentation skills are essential for this role.
  • Advanced project-management, team-management and client-management skills.
  • Ability to achieve results with general supervision.
  • Experience successfully managing internal stakeholders and relationships.
  • Experience supervising professional staff, as well as successfully managing key internal and external stakeholders and relationships.
  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task efficiently and respond to a high volume of ongoing requests in a timely fashion.
  • Significant fundraising and relationship building skills required
  • Proven ability to continually develop skills related to use of rapidly changing technology and communications best practices.
  • Demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit and skill set.
  • Ability to adapt and be flexible in a dynamic work environment
  • Ability to achieve results with general supervision.
  • Experience in business development, marketing and fundraising a plus

Non-Profit Experience

  • Experience in the nonprofit and advocacy sectors a plus.
  • Experience in working collaboratively with both nonprofit and for-profit partners a strong plus.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising and building relationships with potential partner organizations
  • Demonstrated success in engaging culturally diverse external audiences preferred. Bi-lingual (English/Spanish) a plus.
  • Strong and extensive contacts in the preservation field and beyond a plus.

Academic and Related Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent years of experience) required. Master’s degree or equivalent experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated interest in, and commitment to, the values and goals of the National Trust is required.

How to Apply

To apply, please include a cover letter in the body of a message and email your resume as a Word, PDF or Text document to

The National Trust for Historic Preservation an equal opportunity organization and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation  actively seeks opportunities to include members of these groups in its programs and activities.