Welcome to the Tennessee Association of Museums

President and CEO / East Tennessee Historical Society

05/20/2020 12:51 PM | Tennessee Association Of Museums (Administrator)



Founded in 1834, the East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS), one of the oldest and most distinguished organizations of its kind in the country, seeks qualified candidates to apply for the position of President & CEO. With headquarters in Knoxville, the ETHS serves a 35 county region with its mission “to preserve, interpret, and promote the history of the East Tennessee region, its people, history, culture, and heritage.” It operates the award-winning Museum of East Tennessee History, publishes a scholarly journal and the bi-annual Tennessee Ancestors magazine, sponsors lectures and other public programs such as the First Families of Tennessee and Civil War Families of Tennessee, and offers a variety of educational programs for schools in this unique region. The organization’s annual operating budget is $1.1 million. The President & CEO will report to a forty member Board of Directors and oversee a staff of eight.

The ETHS is located in a thriving downtown Knoxville in the midst of a renaissance and worthy of its steady, multi-year increase in tourism. The organization works closely with the Knox County Government, Visit Knoxville, the University of Tennessee and other institutions of higher learning in the area, East Tennessee school districts, and other affinity groups to provide a variety of programming for varied constituents. The ETHS is well respected within its community and is poised to raise its profile through a combination of creative programming, scholarship, and research.

Principal Duties

The President & CEO is the primary and manager of the ETHS. He/she is charged with the following responsibilities:

  • Work closely with the board to envision the future of the ETHS, then prepare and execute a dynamic strategic plan
  • Strengthen and grow relationships with the ETHS membership, the general public, public officials, and fellow professionals
  • Raise the profile of the ETHS, first in a wide geographic swath, then nationally
  • Develop, implement, and oversee meaningful and innovative programs and services for a broad constituency
  • Work actively to raise funds for the ETHS, consistently meeting or exceeding goals
  • Ensure sound financial management and maintain solid controls and accounting of all funds

Desired Qualifications

The strongest candidates for the position will possess as many of the following qualification as possible:

  • An engaging personality, with the ability to relate comfortably with a wide variety of personalities
  • Ability to inspire and grow a senior leadership team, and the desire to support their professional development
  • History of successful collaboration working with boards and other volunteers
  • A solid grasp of fundraising best practices, and significant expertise in major donor cultivation
  • Experience with the development and implementation of digital engagement strategies including broad programming; relevant, interesting, and consistent social media content; museum store sales, and more
  • A passion for history, and the ability to engage audiences while presenting a broad perspective on the human experience
  • Degree in history or related field desired
  • Minimum of five years of relevant experience required


  • $115,000 to $130,000 plus benefits based on experience and qualifications

The East Tennessee Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

How to Apply

Send your resume, cover letter, references to Meredith Handakas, meredith@bryanandjordan.com, by June 16. If you would like to discuss the position in more detail, please contact Charlie Bryan via email at cbryan1969@aol.com or Meredith Handakas using the email addresses above to schedule a time to speak.

PO Box 330984   Nashville, TN 37203   (615) 495-3354   tnmuseums@gmail.com

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