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First Amendment Museum - Chief Executive Officer

Augusta, ME

Job Description

The First Amendment Museum is launching a national search to find a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who can skillfully position and lead the organization through this crucial next phase. The CEO will need to identify promising funding sources with the capacity, passion and vision to support The First Amendment Museum's strategic plan and fundraising goal of $13M over the next two years.

The First Amendment Museum is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c) 3 public charity that has been established in Augusta, Maine, with the purpose of examining the history and promoting the practice and understanding of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by developing a landmark museum with innovative exhibits and engaging programming. The organization seeks to engage the citizens of our state and nation through programs and a national partnership network that will engage new generations of Americans and others with the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.

As the First Amendment Museum continues to grow, it is searching for a successful, innovative, hands-on fundraiser with the proven ability to cultivate major donors and lead the organization to its fundraising goals. The candidate must have demonstrated expertise in raising and closing six, seven and eight-figure transformative gifts from individuals and a broad range of public/private entities. Interactive programs, an additional travelling exhibit program, accessible and relevant online materials and other creative ways to compliment school curriculums, youth group activities and adult programming are just a few of the ways the museum seeks to inspire all Americans to experience the five freedoms in their own lives every day.

The CEO will have the opportunity to build the organization and shape the initiatives necessary to deliver on the museum’s vision and goals. He/she will lead efforts to complete construction of the Museum in Augusta, hire key staff for critical roles as the organization looks to strategically engage educators and funders locally and nationally, raise the necessary capital to support efforts, build an endowment to sustain programs and enable new offerings.

At the heart of this effort is the need to examine the First Amendment in a historical and contemporary, nonpartisan perspective. As the First Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise hereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amazingly, studies have found that increasingly, fewer and fewer Americans can name the five rights protected by the First Amendment and a recent 2018 poll found that 40 percent of Americans could not name even one of the five rights. The inspiration for this organization is the need to change this trend, with the mission of inspiring all Americans to live and love their First Amendment freedoms.

The preferred candidate will be an experienced advocacy leader who possesses the requisite leadership and collaborative skills to develop and manage impactful networks resulting in the attainment of The First Amendment Museum's vision and goals. Thus, the demonstrated ability to convene, equip, deploy and communicate effectively with people and resources toward the objective of influencing positions and advocating for new ideas/approaches will be necessary.

A full leadership profile is available at below. Please direct all nominations and resumes with cover letters to Mercedes Vance and John Fazekas, the Witt/Kieffer consultants leading this search, preferably via e-mail, to

The First Amendment Museum values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other status protected by law.


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