Chief Executive Officer

  • Hispanic Society Museum and Library
  • New York, NY
  • Aug 18, 2020

Job Description

The Hispanic Society Museum and Library (HSML or the Hispanic Society) seeks its next executive director, offering an entrepreneurial, engaging, knowledgeable, and passionate leader the opportunity to take a museum with an unrivaled collection from its current status as an “overlooked treasure” to a level of prominence and impact befitting of the caliber of HSML’s collection. The Hispanic Society engages people with the creativity, knowledge, and ideas of the art, literature, and cultures of the Hispanic world, with a vast collection including numerous works by master artists and one of the most important Spanish language libraries in the world. In close partnership with the Board of Trustees, the next executive director will define the parameters under which the museum will enter the 21st century as it undergoes a physical transformation through major renovation and expansion.

Located on Audubon Terrace in Upper Manhattan, the Hispanic Society Museum and Library is a free public museum and library dedicated to promoting the study of the rich artistic and cultural traditions of Spain and its area of influence in the Americas and throughout the world. Its collections are unrivaled in their scope and quality outside the Iberian Peninsula, addressing nearly every aspect of culture in Spain, as well as much of Portugal, Latin America, and the Philippines into the 20th century. No other institution in the world, even in Spain, can offer such a global vision of pan-Hispanic history, art, and culture spanning more than 4,000 years.

The museum collection comprises 18,000 works of art from the Paleolithic Age to the 20th century, with numerous iconic paintings and sculptures by Spanish and Latin American masters, as well as superb examples from all of the decorative arts. With over 250,000 manuscripts, 35,000 rare books, and 200,000 modern books, its renowned library serves as an essential resource for research into the art, literature, history, and culture of Spain, Portugal, Latin America, and the Philippines. The collection of prints and photographs preserves an invaluable visual record of Hispanic cultural history with 17,000 prints from the 16th to the 20th century, and over 100,000 historical photographs ranging from Philippine daguerreotypes of the 1840s up to the Hispanic Society’s photographic expeditions to Spain in the 1920s.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, HSML’s next executive director will lead the country’s foremost pan-Hispanic museum and library at a pivotal moment in its history. Though the Hispanic Society has a remarkable collection, it is little-known to the general public. The opportunity of this moment is for the next executive director to draw on the enormous depth and quality of the museum and library collections, as well as the talented staff, energized board, and momentum of the ongoing renovation, to develop the Hispanic Society Museum and Library into a thriving international cultural destination.


Qualifications and Experience

The Hispanic Society Museum and Library seeks a strategic leader who possesses the passion, energy, knowledge, relationship-building skills, and managerial ability to guide HSML into its next era. The successful candidate will bring many of the following qualifications, skills, and experiences to the role:

• A deep and enthusiastic understanding of, and commitment to, the Hispanic Society’s mission; fluency in Spanish and knowledgeable about the art, literature, and culture of Spain and Latin America. •

A record of providing inspirational and accessible leadership, internally and externally; a genuine enthusiasm and ability to serve as a visible and compelling advocate for and embodiment of HSML to a variety of audiences, and to engage all members of the community.

• Excellent communication skills with the ability to energize and inspire staff, trustees, and external stakeholders, and the media and creative class generally, and to persuade audiences locally, nationally, and internationally to believe in HSML’s future.

• A proven track record of fundraising success.

• The financial acumen necessary to guide an institution, in a fiscally responsible way, through periods of both uncertainty and stability.

• A proven record of strategic and effective leadership and administrative management in a

The next executive director will enter an exceptional opportunity to amplify the Hispanic Society’s mission by elevating awareness of and engagement with the organization; building relationships with supporters to strengthen the financial foothold; and guiding the renovation project, shaping the future capabilities of the museum. The executive director will have the opportunity to develop a continuing program of exhibitions and international loans, as well as a series of rotating exhibitions in a dedicated gallery space for temporary exhibitions that will be created in the renovation of the museum’s East building. It will be critical to grow audiences and deepen engagement, creating a close and meaningful relationship with the people the museum serves – in the local community, across New York, and internationally. Fluency in Spanish will be key to the executive director’s ability to make this connections.complex environment. 

• Experience leading and working collaboratively with cross-disciplinary teams, including curators, educators, conservators, exhibition designers, executive leaders, and other staff, helping all to achieve their potential. Committed to the highest standards and integrity.

• Commitment to the integral connection between library/manuscript materials and the museum.

• A genuine interest in, knowledge of, and passion for Hispanic and Latino cultures, the local community, and the role of art in broadening our perspectives, attitudes, and knowledge of ourselves and the wider world; experience working with and engaging diverse communities; and the ability to foster an environment that welcomes and respects people of all backgrounds.

• Ability to work effectively with City capital budget and New York City political process; experience with community-building and civic engagement in support of proactive and constructive interaction with diverse local, national, and global communities


To Apply

This search is being led by

Jack Gorman of Isaacson, Miller

with Kennedy Kearney-Fischer and

Molly Gallagher.

For more information, to make a nomination, or to apply for this role, please visit: The Hispanic Society Museum and Library is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes a diverse workforce