Howe-Lewis International Seeks CEO for National Trust for Historic Preservation

September 28, 2018 – New York City-based search firm Howe-Lewis International has been selected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C., to lead its search for a new CEO. Stephanie Meeks, who led the non-profit organization for more than eight years, announced this summer that she would be stepping down from the role at the end of the year.

Howe-Lewis, a boutique recruitment firm, will be working with Jay Clemens, vice chair of National Trust for Historic Preservation’s board of trustees, and a search committee made up of four of the organization’s board members.

“This is an exceptional, high-profile national leadership opportunity,” said Howe-Lewis.

The non-profit’s president and chief executive officer is charged with bringing the strategic vision and collaborative partnership approach needed to enable the organization to continue to lead and drive the evolution of the preservation movement as the national standard bearer, said the search firm. The ideal candidate is expected to have polished communication and presentation skills and serve as an articulate and passionate ambassador and revenue generator for the organization in a broad range of settings to diverse audiences.

Reporting to the CEO is a staff of more than 300 experts in advocacy, funding, interpretation, law, marketing and preservation services.

A National Presence

Candidates should have successful executive leadership experience, preferably in a non-profit organization with a national presence; genuine passion for the cultural heritage of the nation and its diverse stories; and experience working effectively with a diverse board and senior leadership to establish strategies and tactics to achieve complex goals, said the search firm.

The ideal candidate would be a successful front-line fundraiser on a large scale and a charismatic and inspiring communicator and presenter who is able to articulate the National Trust’s mission and values to a broad range of constituents. The individual should possess well-honed relationship-building skills; a history of working effectively with corporate leadership, policymakers, preservationists, other non-profit organizations, donors, and staff; and a history of effectively guiding an organization through a period of executive leadership transition.


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The National Trust also wants the individual to be a strategic thinker capable of forecasting short- and long-term objectives as well as a collegial, collaborative leader and consensus builder, said the search firm. The person should have a deep understanding of non-profit finances; be entrepreneurial and creative; and be willing to experiment, take risks, and challenge existing orthodoxy to build a more dynamic, impactful and sustainable organization.

He or she should also have experience with success building, leading, motivating and mentoring a large, diverse workforce as well as the ability to travel frequently nationwide. A bachelor’s degree is required for the role, and an advanced degree is preferred.

A Cultural Legacy

A privately funded non-profit, the National Trust for Historic Preservation works to protect significant places representing the country’s diverse cultural experience by taking direct action and inspiring broad public support. The group seeks to expand the preservation movement through direct, on-the-ground action and advocacy campaigns. Operating out of its headquarters in Washington, DC, eight field offices, and 28 historic sites nationwide, the trust is the leading advocate to save America’s heritage, and strives to create a cultural legacy that is as diverse as the nation itself.

The trust is supported entirely by private contributions and earned income and has a current consolidated annual operating budget of $68 million. Sources of support include a strong base of 85,000 actively contributing members, major donors, foundations and corporations, who together contribute 50 percent of all annual revenue. The trust’s for-profit subsidiary generates $1 million to $2 million annually, and the organization has an endowment with a current market value of $269 million. A recently completed six-year $200-million campaign raised a total of $305 million.

Founded in 1975, Howe-Lewis International focuses on the not-for-profit and healthcare sectors. Its clients represent a full range of education, cultural arts, healthcare, human services, membership and advocacy organizations. The firm is led by co-managing directors Patricia Anne Greco and Esther Rosenberg.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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