Executive Director, Westchester Children’s Museum, Rye, NY

  • 16 Jun 2022 1:42 PM
    Message # 12819045

    The Board of Trustees of the Westchester Children’s Museum is seeking a vibrant Executive Director to lead the organization’s staff and volunteers in both supporting its current programs and also driving the momentum for the Museum’s future growth. As an experienced and collaborative leader, the Executive Director will work closely with a growing staff to create, develop, and enhance onsite and outreach educational programming. The new Executive Director will be a visionary with both financial acumen and an entrepreneurial spirit. The Director will be an enthusiastic and effective public face of the Museum, engaging with both Rye and Westchester County officials, the management team of Playland Amusement Park and the broadest range of cultural, educational, nonprofit, business, and corporate community in Westchester.

    The Westchester Children’s Museum has established a strong foundation as a trusted cultural and educational asset in Westchester County. The new Executive Director, with the support of the Board and staff, will have the exciting and unique opportunity to build upon this momentum and move the Museum towards its full potential as a key learning destination for children of all ages and abilities in the region.


    The Westchester Children’s Museum (“WCM”), located in the historic north bathhouse on the boardwalk at Playland Beach, is a vibrant, interactive learning space providing children, families, and school groups the opportunity to nurture curiosity, enhance knowledge and ignite imagination through creative hands-on exploration. The Museum is committed to broadening knowledge of the arts and sciences, the environment, multiculturalism, and the local and global communities in an educational and recreational atmosphere. WCM was founded over 20 years ago by a group of educators and dedicated volunteers that recognized the need for this type of learning environment in the Westchester area. Since then, the Museum has grown into 20,000 square feet of interactive space that entertains and educates well over 25,000 guests each year.

    In addition to the current exhibits and special onsite programming, like drop-in classes, field trips and birthday parties, the Museum recognizes the importance of engaging with the community wherever they are able to learn and discover. With this goal mind, the Museum created the Museum Without Walls program, which makes hands-on programming available to as many children as possible, with Museum staff leaving the walls of the Museum and visiting schools and community centers at their own sites. Through this program, the Museum is often able to engage with children that may not otherwise have the opportunity to be exposed to STEAM activities. Since 2010, the Museum Without Walls program has reached over 20,000 children at more than 50 local community centers and schools.   

    The Executive Director, with an operating budget of $1 million ($1.8 million prior to Covid), will need to have the vision and collaborative spirit to continue to nurture and grow the Museum’s partnerships to enable children throughout the region to grow and develop their love of exploring whether they are within the walls of WCM’s light-filled space or out in the community.


    The Executive Director’s duties and responsibilities will include overall responsibility for the management, supervision, operation, administration, enhancement, and development of WCM. The Board of Trustees has developed a mission and strategic plan for the future of the Museum. The Board is looking for the new Executive Director to work collaboratively with both the Board and staff to not only execute this vision but also enhance it through the Director’s own past experiences and innovation, to bring the Museum to its full potential.

    In order for the Museum to achieve its strategic goals, the candidate must be able to work closely with external partners to find funding for future programs and exhibits through both the cultivation of potential new donors and seeking various grants. The organization’s leader will manage a new capital campaign, memberships, and annual giving. The Executive Director should possess the political savvy and the ability to balance relationships with political officials serving Rye and Westchester County, while building new relationships and partnerships in the community.



    WCM seeks an Executive Director who is an energetic, innovative, and collaborative leader who will inspire, guide, and support the work of the Board and staff to fulfill the promise of the mission and vision of the organization by:

    ·         Providing leadership on program planning, policy development, marketing, and promotional activities to address the goals, mission, and vision of the organization.

    ·         Forming a strong partnership with the Board of Trustees and every board committee to implement the strategic plan for the organization and to provide timely programmatic and administrative reports.

    ·         Guiding and supervising all activities related to design, construction, and use of the Museum site and facilities, providing an environment for exciting learning concepts, welcoming engagement and innovative programs consistent with the strategic direction of the organization.

    ·         Providing consistent and strong coordination with all official authorities and contract organizations including Playland, city and county officials and New York State governmental agencies.

    ·         Demonstrating collaborative leadership with the staff and Board in the coordination of administrative activities, operations, and financial affairs of WCM.


    WCM seeks an Executive Director who is committed to community building among all stakeholders to provide a strong foundation for the organization by:

    ·         Engaging and forming partnerships with all community stakeholders to support and facilitate WCM’s ability to raise funds from new and existing individual and corporate donors, private foundations, granting bodies and government agencies.

    ·         Planning, collaborating with and guiding the Director of Development and the Board of Trustees to implement an effective, responsive, and creative resource development program to support the WCM mission and programs.

    ·         Guiding, supporting, and innovating with staff in the development of Museum exhibits and public programs.

    ·         Planning, guiding, and supporting the WCM’s membership programs while developing strategies to expand membership.

    ·         Managing and guiding a strong volunteer program, assisting staff with recruitment of new volunteers and recognition of current volunteers.

    • ·         Serving as a community builder, working closely with area and regional organizations.


    WCM seeks an Executive Director who is a professional manager who uses collaborative systems to train, supervise and evaluate the activities related to administrating day to day activities in support of the organization by:

    ·         Creating an annual budget for Board approval and overseeing its effective implementation.

    ·         Developing and implementing systems for internal program control and fiscal accountability.

    ·         Managing personnel and staffing including hiring and terminations, compensation, performance evaluations, training, as well as establishing the job descriptions, duties, and responsibilities of staff to meet the Museum’s mission.

    ·         Working with city, county and Playland Park officials regarding the facilities and property. Ensuring smooth relations and advantageous contracts with the Park’s owners and operators,

    ·         Liaising with the Treasurer, and as needed with legal counsel, accounting personnel and other WCM consultants.

    ·         Developing WCM’s organizational infrastructure including the annual review and implementation of enhanced, cost-effective employee benefit options for current and future WCM staff.


    The annual salary range is between $110,000 and $120,000, plus benefits. In addition, life insurance, a 403B retirement program and a flexible schedule are available. Paid time off (PTO), employer-paid life insurance and disability plans are included. The Executive Director will have a flexible work schedule, including remote work; however, the Museum is operational every day and the Executive Director is responsible for the successful operations of the Museum in its entirety. A travel and professional development budget are also included.

    Westchester Children’s Museum is an equal opportunity employer and actively encourages candidates with       diverse backgrounds to apply. WCM does not discriminate against any candidate or employee based on race, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, or veteran status.

    COVID NOTE: Being fully vaccinated is required for all employees.


    The Westchester Children’s Museum is committed to creating a welcoming environment. The Museum’s goal is to connect children and families with programs and activities that encourage communication, problem solving and play, to build bridges and forge relationships within and among communities. WCM values experiences that are collaborative and accessible, to the greatest extent possible, by all people regardless of their age, background, or ability.


    Apply in confidence: Email cover letter, resumé or CV, salary requirement and names of at least 3 references and your professional relationship, with contact information, by July 29, 2022, to: Ida Tomlin, Senior Search Consultant, Museum Search & Reference at: SearchandRef@museum-search.com. References will not be contacted without prior permission of the applicant. Nominations are welcome.


    Westchester County is the seventh most populous county in New York state, with a population of about 1 million, consisting of six cities, 19 towns and 23 villages. The county is home to the headquarters of large corporations including IBM, PepsiCo, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. Westchester County high school students often feature prominently as winners of international science and engineering fairs and other STEAM-based academic awards.

    In addition to all the amenities of nearby New York City, Westchester County offers an abundance of cultural attractions, including historic houses, museums, nature centers, breweries, and restaurants, along with excellent education and health care options. Beaches and water sports abound.

    Rye is a coastal suburban city in Westchester County on Long Island Sound. It is 28 miles north of New York City and an approximate 30-minute train ride to Manhattan, about 7 miles from White Plains, NY, 10 miles from Stamford, CT, and 10 miles from Westchester County Airport (with connections to major U.S. airports). Rye Station is a commuter rail stop on the Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven Line.