Phillips Oppenheim Seeks Chief Executive for World Monuments Fund

June 6, 2019 – Executive search firm Phillips Oppenheim was recently selected by the World Monuments Fund in New York City to lead its search for a new president and chief executive officer. Joshua David has stepped down as CEO to pursue other opportunities. Principal Sarah James and partner Becky Klein are heading the assignment for the recruitment firm.

With only four CEOs over 54 years, the non-profit wants an exceptional leader who can build upon and leverage its record to: save and preserve from damage and destruction architectural masterpieces and sites of significant cultural heritage around the world, catalyze communities in capacity building to protect and preserve their heritage, respond quickly and decisively to increasingly frequent natural and man-made disasters, train people in restoration craft skills and continue its role as a leading advocate of the essential importance of heritage preservation.

Phillips Oppenheim said that the CEO must possess exceptional executive leadership abilities with a record of fundraising, hands-on strategic management and effective advocacy experience, preferably in one of the following fields: heritage preservation, architecture, art history, archaeology or a related activity. “This experience may have been gained in diverse contexts including non-profit, corporate, and government entities, the firm said. “Foremost among the CEO’s personal characteristics will be the ability to communicate, motivate, and inspire the confidence of a wide variety of constituencies. She or he need not come from the preservation movement but must evince a serious interest in and concern for conservation of the world’s cultural heritage and a willingness to master the fundamentals of the field.”

The World Monuments Fund also wants an incoming leader who will be a respected and socially astute leader with the proven ability to develop and execute a compelling vision that embraces and expands on what it means to champion and preserve cultural heritage across the globe today, the search firm said.

The World Monuments Fund is the preeminent non-profit organization dedicated to saving the world’s most treasured places of cultural heritage. Since its inception in 1965, the organization’s experts have been racing against time, applying proven techniques to preserve important architectural and cultural heritage sites on more than 600 projects in 90 countries. Today, with affiliate organizations in Britain, India, Peru, Portugal and Spain, the group sponsors the conservation of cultural heritage worldwide.

Finding Mission-Driven Leaders

Phillips Oppenheim, founded in 1991, provides mission-driven organizations with senior leaders from the business, public and non-profit sectors. It sponsors roundtable discussions, participates in workshops and conferences and acts as informal counsel to non-profit organizations and their boards. Among its many clients: New York City Ballet, the Museum of the American Revolution, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Arts Club, Table to Table, the African Wildlife Foundation and the Barack Obama Presidential Museum, and others.


Why Recruiters Center On Fundraising Skills
Organizations nationwide are under pressure to find leaders who can act as de facto chief fundraisers – and recruiters are in lock step to find talent to satisfy the demand. These leaders need to be strategic thinkers who can motivate the stakeholders whose philanthropy pulls everything together.

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Ms. James has been recruiting for local, national and international non-profit institutions and corporations since 1996. A generalist, she has recruited chief executives for leading arts, aid, advocacy, education, environmental, faith-based, healthcare, philanthropic and social service institutions. Since joining Phillips Oppenheim in 2001, she has founded its visual arts practice, recruiting directors for more than one hundred art institutions.

Ms. Klein has combined search experience with the arts during her professional career. She joined Phillips Oppenheim in 1993, became a partner in the firm in 2000 and serves as managing partner. While bringing a special focus on cultural institutions, Ms. Klein has worked with a diverse range of clients including foundations, social justice and advocacy organizations, and academic institutions across the U.S. and internationally.

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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