Vice President of Historic Sites

Position Details

Type Full Time
Offered By National Trust for Historic Preservation
Washington , District of Columbia
Salary Exempt

Work for an organization you can feel good about while protecting some of the country’s most important historic places! The National Trust for Historic Preservation is in search of a new Vice President for Historic Sites.

Reporting to and partnering with the Chief Preservation Officer, the Vice President for Historic Sites provides leadership to staff and volunteer stewards of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's twenty-seven diverse and nationally important historic sites.

National Trust Sites are places of national significance or impact where a variety of ownership, stewardship, business, use, and engagement practices flourish to advance the National Trust mission and model the many options for preservation. Working within the framework of the National Trust’s vision for historic sites, the VP provides strategic and operational direction and guidance to the site directors, professional staff, and boards. S/he is responsible for developing and maintaining a strong and successful management structure and team who work together with clarity, integration, authority and accountability.

The National Trust is engaged in the national conversation on revisioning historic sites, and the VP is expected to play a leadership role – in collaboration with the President and CEO and the Chief Preservation Officer – in this work. The VP’s involvement will be as both a thought leader and the senior manager responsible for operational implementation. S/he must be comfortable operating in the realms of strategic leadership, business development, real estate, and effective management. The VP will be required to engage and utilize staff and volunteers at all levels in this important work.

The VP serves as a member of the management team of the Preservation Division and is expected to work collaboratively and effectively with his/her colleagues on that team to integrate the work at the sites with the overall vision for the National Trust as articulated in the Preservation10X strategic plan. The VP of Sites has a team of approximately 18 senior professionals and historic site directors as well as additional professional and support staff at the stewardship sites (owned and operated by the National Trust). S/he also works collaboratively with approximately 13 site directors at NTHP co-stewardship sites (owned by NTHP; operated by a separate nonprofit) and affiliate sites (neither owned nor operated by the National Trust). The staff at our sites totals more than 200 individuals (full time and seasonal). In addition, the VP is expected to collaborate with his/her colleagues at other departments and divisions of the National Trust to leverage our human resources across the organization.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places. From our headquarters in Washington, D.C. and 13 field offices, we take direct, on-the-ground action when historic places are threatened. Our work helps build vibrant, sustainable communities. We facilitate public participation in the preservation of sites, buildings, and objects of national significance or interest.  We advocate with governments to save America’s heritage, and we strive to create a cultural legacy that is as diverse as the nation itself so all of us can take pride in our part of the American story. Our $55 million annual operating budget is composed of support from a strong base of individuals, foundations, and corporations.  In addition, the Trust benefits from earned revenue and investment income.  The Trust’s endowment is $265 million, $200 million of which is dedicated to our portfolio of 27 historic sites.

We promote saving places through our growing portfolio of National Treasures—irreplaceable, threatened places of national significance where the National Trust is making a deep organizational investment.  With this portfolio, the National Trust has an opportunity to demonstrate the value of preservation and utilize our more than 60 years of experience, to take direct action to protect these places and promote their history and significance.  Three of our National Trust Historic Sites have active National Treasure campaigns. 

We are currently in the quiet phase of a $200 million comprehensive campaign, led by Honorary Chair Laura Bush. The campaign is designed to implement the four strategic objectives of the National Trust: 1) provide enhanced stewardship, programming, and increased financial vitality for our historic sites portfolio; 2) grow by a factor of ten our on-the-ground advocacy campaigns; 3) enlist 1.2 million additional Preservation Allies to our network; and 4) redesign the Trust’s operational model to one that is more sustainable and adaptable in the years ahead.

We work to engage and galvanize local preservationists—the 15 million Americans who care about historic preservation as part of their commitment to culture, community, and sustainability. These individuals recognize the importance of preservation and are willing to take action to save the historic places they love. Working together, we can raise awareness about how preservation impacts all of us.

We engage in projects related to our Preservation Priorities—building sustainable communities, reimagining historic sites, promoting diversity, and protecting historic places on public lands.  To this end, our Preservation Green Lab researches the connections between sustainability and preservation, our organization works to increase the diversity of sites on the National Register of Historic Places, and we advocate for the creation of National Monuments.

We work on Capitol Hill, in state legislatures, and with city halls to encourage laws and policies that support preservation. Our top policy priority is the Creating American Prosperity through Preservation (CAPP) Act which will enhance the current federal historic tax credit. This tax credit has helped create 2.3 million jobs, save 38,000 historic structures, and attract $106 billion in private investment.


Strategic Leadership and National Impact

  • Execute the vision for the future of the National Trust Historic Sites;
  • Focus and support sites work that is of national significance and impact;
  • Work with the directors of the National Trust Historic Sites to ensure they have the skills, capacity, authority, support, and resources to implement the vision for a 21st century National Trust Historic Site and manage the historic places, businesses, and real estate assets that make up NTHP sites; and
  • Effectively manage a diverse set of professionals who support the historic sites with archaeological, architectural, financial, educational, curatorial, administrative and related skills; directing and supporting this core team in providing assistance to the field staff at the historic sites.

Effective Governance

  • Lead the sites to effective local governance, as outlined in the sites vision, by developing and supporting co-stewardship and affiliate arrangements with NTHP sites; and
  • Effectively manage the relationships with volunteer stewards of NTHP Historic Sites, a component critical to the sites’ growth and sustainability.

Financial Sustainability

  • Lead in the development of sustainable management models for the individual historic sites that meet NTHP stewardship, preservation, engagement, and business goals;
  • Utilize business development tools to reach goals in sustainability for NTHP sites;
  • Implement the critical priorities plan to eliminate the backlog of deferred maintenance on buildings and landscapes and set the sites on a sustainable growth path for the future;
  • Provide leadership in raising the funds required to support the sites and the department, with annual and long-term growth targets, assisting the sites in building fundraising capacity;

Mission Alignment

  • Align the sites work with the mission of the National Trust;
  • Lead the sites into closer integration with the communications, marketing, field work, partnership, fundraising, and operational functions of the National Trust;

Modeling Good Preservation

  • Serve as a spokesperson for the multi-faceted role of historic sites.



The VP of Historic Sites will be a seasoned and mature leader with at least 20 years of overall experience, including strategic leadership, management, business development, and real estate management skills.  The ideal candidate will have proven experience gathering and evaluating information and making actionable recommendations to senior leadership. 

The ideal candidate will have the following experience and attributes:

  • Minimum of 20 years of combined experience with historic site management, facilities management, real estate development, and/or business development.
  • Success in leading and managing a diverse staff with varied skills.
  • Capability to work effectively within a geographically distributed organization and across internal departments.
  • Capability to develop and implement strategy with paid and volunteer staff.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising and building relationships with potential donors and/or demonstrated success in raising capital funds for new business development.
  • Demonstrated experience in working outside the traditional historic site model to build sustainable business models is a plus.
  • Experience in business development and marketing a plus.
  • Demonstrated success in outreach to and engagement of culturally diverse audiences and partners.
  • A bachelors degree in a related academic field.  Masters degree or equivalent experience.

Personal Attributes

  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission of the National Trust.
  • Strong partnership skills, including with volunteer site boards, senior management, colleagues, and partner organizations.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and skill set.
  • Takes appropriate business risks. Makes sensible recommendations outside of his/her area of expertise. Makes decisions that balance a variety of factors (e.g., cost, risk, short-term vs. long-term impact) to achieve optimal outcome.
  • Hands-on manager with desire to work in a dynamic team environment.
  • Flexibility to accommodate extensive travel.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively in teams.
  • An effective communicator at all levels in the organization, with strong verbal and written skills and a willingness to share information.  Ability to communicate with staff at remote locations essential.
  • Strong analytical problem solving and creative skills and the ability to exercise sound judgment and make decisions based on accurate and timely analyses.
  • Dependability, with a strong sense of urgency and results-orientation.
  • Mature and proactive, with evidence of having worked as a true programmatic and management partner to the senior leadership of a multi-divisional organization. 
  • Ability to, and commitment to, working within a multi-cultural environment.

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.