Job Description

The Newburyport Maritime Society Inc. (NMS) / Custom House Maritime Museum (CHMM) is seeking a new Executive Director to continue its development, and lead it into the next stage of growth and excellence, as we fulfill our mission to “protect, preserve, interpret and celebrate our maritime heritage and how it relates to American History.”

Located on the dynamic downtown Newburyport waterfront, the Custom House was designed by renowned Federal architect Robert Mills, erected in 1835, and opened as a museum in 1975. Our recent acquisition of the Custom House and adjacent property in December 2018 presents an unprecedented opportunity for an individual with demonstrated experience in museum leadership to create a visionary programmatic strategy for the museum space, its visitors, and the community.

The Executive Director has overall operational, fundraising, programming, and marketing responsibility for the CHMM operations. Most importantly, the Executive Director acts as the public face of the CHMM, interacting frequently with community members, media, business leaders, elected officials, residents, visitors and other nonprofit leaders.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manage facilities, collections, human resources, development, public programming, marketing, research, education and administration
  • Become a passionate and extremely knowledgeable advocate of the museum’s collection and mission
  • Ensure that the museum adheres to best practices, state and federal guidelines, and industry recommendations regarding the acquisition and care of objects within the museum collection
  • Exercise stewardship of the building and land in accordance with the Custom House status as a National Historic Place and the local and state preservation restrictions
  • Become a prominent member of the community as the public face of the museum
  • Develop and execute individual giving and corporate sponsorship campaigns
  • Collaborate with and form internal committees to support CHMM operational excellence
  • Maintain, support and expand internship and outreach programs
  • Oversee recruitment and management of volunteers
  • Support and maintain a strong Board of Directors, and seek and build board involvement to assure goodness of fit with both ongoing and long-term operational goals.


  • Strong interpersonal skills are essential as interaction with staff, the Board, members, volunteers, regional organization and local civic entities are required
  • Leadership skills including the ability to empower, engage, and motivate staff, volunteers, and the Board
  • Training in, or strong familiarity with, museum procedures and best practices
  • Flexibility and availability to engage with civic organizations, government entities, and donors outside of normal office hours as required
  • Executive management experience. Nonprofit leadership experience and/or experience in a museum setting is preferred
  • Demonstrated success in overseeing an organization, including grant writing, financial management, governance, staff development and supervision.
  • A proven track record of success working with non-profit boards, staff, communities, and major donors to achieve goals.
  • Strategic planning, project management, and operations experience.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, and a demonstrated ability to identify and creatively solve problems.
  • Demonstrated competence with social media/social networking and other marketing tactics necessary for the implementation of the marketing plan.
  • Proficiency in MS Word, MS Excel, MS Outlook required; facility with PowerPoint and a working knowledge of PastPerfect is a plus

Application Requirements

Please submit a letter of interest describing your background, pertinent skills and why you believe you would be a successful candidate for the position. Include a resume of your education and work experience and provide a personal email and phone number where we can contact you. Please send your application to:

Douglas A. Muir, Board President
Newburyport Maritime Society, Inc.
25 Water Street
Newburyport, MA 01950
Email: dmuir@lawglm.com