Current Opportunities

President & CEO

Koya Leadership Partners is leading the search for The New Bedford Whaling Museum to find the next President & CEO.


The New Bedford Whaling Museum (“Museum”) is the familiar name for the entity that is the Old Dartmouth Historical Society founded in 1903. The Massachusetts colonial region of Old Dartmouth evolved into the City of New Bedford and the towns of Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, and Westport. The Society was established to promote historical research and to collect documents and relics unique to the area's rich history. A significant part of that history included the role New Bedford played in the nineteenth century as the whaling capital of the world. In response to that role, the Society established the Museum in 1907.


Through its exhibitions, publications and programs, today's Whaling Museum brings to life an international and multicultural canvas of stories: amazing voyages of early whalers and explorers and the remote places and peoples they encountered; the habits and habitats of whales and marine mammals through the ages; the industrial revolution and growth of New England's textile mills and other industries; a diversity of peoples seeking religious, racial, and social tolerance whose histories intersect here, pioneers of all colors; and a proud maritime heritage of shipbuilding, yacht design, and life with the sea. The Museum is also making new history with its national-award-winning high school apprenticeship program, and with unique partnerships that advocate for our oceans and for whales today.


The Museum houses a vast and valuable collection of fine and decorative art and artifacts; 25 galleries; a research library whose archives of logbooks, photographs, records, and rare documents have become internationally renowned; the dramatic full skeletons of five whales; and the Lagoda - an 89 foot half scale model of a full-rigged whaling ship. A significant expansion was completed in 2016 with the opening of the Wattles Jacobs Education Center that gave the Museum a new library and 3,000 additional square feet of classroom and programming space to meet its growing educational mission.


For more information on New Bedford Whaling Museum, please visit


The Opportunity

This is the rare opportunity to take the helm of a vibrant and healthy organization and steer it into the future. The Museum has had nine consecutive years of positive financial results, revenues exceeding expenses, during which it built a new building and doubled its endowment. It continues to invest in exhibits and improvements. There is a wealth of staff and volunteer talent, growing community involvement, partnerships with numerous organizations, a fully vested Board of Trustees, and a broad base of donor support. The next President & CEO will have the unique opportunity to build on this success.


The President & CEO of the Museum will assume responsibility for articulating its mission, vision and value to all constituencies. Reporting directly to the Board of Trustees, the President & CEO will direct all operations and activities, and implement policies, programs, and procedures in a manner that is fiscally responsible and consistent with the organization's values and strategic goals.


The President & CEO will:

  1. Be the leading voice and persona of the Museum;
  2. Work to insure the continued position of the Museum as the leading cultural organization in the region and the preeminent whaling era resource in the country;
  3. Work with staff and Board to increase annual, unrestricted, restricted and all categories of support as needed to sustain operations and facilitate new programs and growth, including endowment growth;
  4. Pursue opportunities that contribute to and involve the community. Portuguese and Cape Verdeans and their descendants, who are an important focus for museum activities, are only part of the growing multi-ethnic and multi-generational population the Museum needs to serve;
  5. Work in partnership with senior staff to develop and enhance exhibits, increase education and outreach, engage new constituents, and manage the collections;
  6. Promote and develop collaborations that will support the Museum's activities and objectives; current examples include such diverse partners as NOAA, the U.S. Navy, the National Park Service, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Cabo Verde Ministry of Culture, Husavik Whale Museum in Iceland, the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD), as well as libraries, schools, colleges and universities, etc.;
  7. Lead a workforce of 46 full-time employees and 140 volunteers who support the care of the institution and serve 100,000 annual visitors; and
  8. Manage a complex organization with several internal “businesses” including visitor attraction, education programs, publications, retail, events, rentals, and a wide variety of grant-based programs, publications, retail, events, rentals, and a wide variety of grant-based programs.


Candidate Profile:

  • The ideal candidate will have the following personal and professional qualities, skills and experience:
  • Strategic and Visionary Leader
  • Ambassador and Fundraiser
  • Experienced Manager
  • Passion for the Mission


Anne McCarthy & Erin Reedy of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search firm that works exclusively with mission-driven clients. To express your interest in this role please email Anne and Erin directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


The New Bedford Whaling Museum is committed to diversity among its employees and encourages qualified candidates from all backgrounds to apply.


About This Job

  • New Bedford Whaling Museum
  • New Bedford, MA
  • Category: Professional
  • Posted: October 17, 2017