First Amendment Museum - Chief Executive Officer

ME, Augusta
Education - Chief Executive Officer/President/Chancellor

The First Amendment Museum is launching a national search to find a chief executive officer (CEO) who will be an inspiring and effective leader, committed to the mission, who can skillfully position and lead the organization through this crucial next phase. The CEO will be effective not only in managing people and complex projects in an urgent start-up environment, but will also have a proven record of success in cultivating donors and raising significant funds for not-for-profit cultural organizations.

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.

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.

The chief executive officer will report to the board of directors through the Board Chair and Cofounder, Genie Gannett. The CEO will be a proven, resourceful, participative leader who thrives on the opportunity to build an impactful organization and guides the museum to opening day and beyond. This leader will have demonstrated experience in successfully building an early stage or rapidly scaling organization. Strategic business planning and follow-through are needed, along with the ability to adjust plans quickly to take advantage of opportunities. Attention to culture, community, mission and vision must be a continual focus. This leader will bring experience developing and implementing strategic plans, performance measurements, management controls, while building trust and credibility. Paramount to this CEO’s success will be their proven ability to raise six-, seven- and eight-figure gifts from a variety of constituents.

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% 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.

Please direct all nominations and resumes with cover letters to Mercedes Vance, John Fazekas and Alejandra Gillette-Teran, the WittKieffer 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.