The Museum Trustee Association seeks a dynamic and experienced President to direct the organization’s efforts developing best practices for museum trustees. The President must advance the Association’s position as the leading resource for museum board members. Core responsibilities include building the Association’s vision and strategy, developing high-impact initiatives that provide expertise in museum governance, and promoting the value of membership. To achieve these goals, the President will cultivate participation among individuals and institutions to broaden the Association’s professional network and collaborative partnerships.


The Museum Trustee Association (MTA) is the only organization dedicated to providing ongoing board education programs, services and resources for the special needs of museum trustees. Museum trustees are elected to govern institutions voluntarily. There are nearly 75,000 museum trustees in the United States; they set policy, ensure funding and oversee the management of their institutions, and in many cases are almost entirely untrained. The moral and legal obligations of museum trustees are complex, and in many respects, unique to the museum world.

The Association was formed in 1971 as a committee of the American Association of Museums (now known as the American Alliance of Museums). Over time it was determined that the interests of the volunteer boards would be better served by a separate nonprofit organization. The Museum Trustee Association was formed in 1986 and received its federal IRS 501(c)(3) status in 1991.

MTA is governed by an elected Board of Directors chosen to represent diverse regions of the United States, Canada and Mexico, a variety of museum disciplines and sizes, and wide-ranging areas of expertise in trusteeship. All are current or former museum trustees and serve on the MTA board without pay. MTA board leaders offer the Association’s members a broad-based perspective on new initiatives, current issues and best governance practices in the museum field.

MTA Supports and Advises its Members as They:

  • Set policy
  • Allocate resources
  • Raise funds
  • Reward and motivate management
  • Make themselves available to assist in their areas of individual expertise
  • Make strategic plans and decisions
  • Set goals
  • Evaluate performance
  • Carry out top personnel decisions
  • Represent museums as community spokespersons


The MTA’s mission is to enhance the effectiveness of museum trustees. The Association provides services to support museum trustees in their roles and offers forums for the exchange of ideas of common concern throughout the United States and the Americas.

The Association’s core functions are:

  1. To promote and facilitate dialogue between museum trustees and museum directors.
  2. To collect and disseminate information on museum governance that will assist trustees in discharging their responsibilities more effectively.
  3. To provide education and training opportunities for museum trustees.
  4. To provide conferences and other forums for museum trustees to share information and ideas and to experience other institutions for inspiration and a better understanding of the museum field.
  5. To organize and mobilize museum trustees as advocates of all museums.
  6. To initiate and conduct research on issues of concern to museum trustees.

To learn more about the Museum Trustees Association, visit


The President reports to the Board of Directors and administers all activities of the organization. The President supervises all operations at the national office, implements activities as directed by the Board of Directors including two membership forums per year and represents MTA on various committees, regional museum associations and museum field national meetings, as appropriate. The President works closely with the Board of Directors and is evaluated by the Chairman and Past Chairman with input from the Board.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

I. Fiscal and Business Management

  • Participates with the Board in the development of MTA’s business plan and has primary responsibility for executing the plan.
  • Works with the Finance Committee and the Board to oversee and manage MTA’s financial status, including preparing the annual operating budget in coordination with MTA’s Treasurer.
  • Works with MTA’s Controller, oversees the preparation of the annual Form 990 and semi-annual reports to the Board; recommends and oversees appropriate policies for fiscal internal controls.
  • Formulates and executes effective marketing, branding, social media and development strategies that cultivate and enhance revenues from patrons, institutional members and individual members.
  • Makes effective use of technology to conduct MTA’s business.
  • Develops and implements an integrated, strategic communications plan to advance awareness of and attendance at MTA’s semi-annual professional forums while increasing the delivery of programs, resources and services across the museum field.
  • Effectively promotes MTA’s image as the primary source, disseminator and innovative conduit of information and services to museum trustees.
  • Expands revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing programs and the growth of MTA through memberships, strategic partnerships and grants.

II. Membership: Recruitment, Services and Program Development

  • Implements the recruitment and retention of institutional, individual and patron memberships, and in particular individuals who are current or former museum trustees in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
  • Maintains membership database, issues membership renewals on a timely basis, and follows up on non-renewing members to determine their reason and satisfaction level.
  • Has primary responsibility for the planning, development and execution of semi-annual membership forums, including identifying, organizing and implementing speakers, moderators, locations, meeting event logistics, and funding as well as organizing collection tours for Patrons during the time period surrounding the forums.
  • Develops funding to support special projects and services.
  • Provides excellent customer service to members.

III. Board Administration and Support

  • Works with the Board to create a strategic vision for MTA.
  • Cultivates a strong and cooperative working relationship with the Board.
  • Positively and effectively represents the Board in public appearances.
  • Regularly reports to the Board and the Chairman on the status of MTA’s finances, programs and initiatives, including their performance in relation to stated goals established by the Board.
  • Maintains records and generates all Board reports and materials.
  • Solicits, tracks and reports on all annual revenue raised from the Board, Patrons and Members.


  • A visionary leader with success in aligning operations to mission and deepening engagement across the organization and its constituents.
  • Knowledge in visual art, with a deep appreciation for museum governance as well as for the relationship between trustees and nonprofit organizations.
  • Experience in effectively leading an organization of similar size and complexity, ideally a museum or educational association.
  • Past success in growing membership and support, particularly with major individual and institutional donors.
  • Experience in museum management or nonprofit association management, including building commitment internally and externally for key initiatives.
  • Experience fostering strong board relationships and supporting board development. 

  • Demonstrated leadership and management skills; experience in team building and professional development with the ability and appetite to mentor staff and the discipline to delegate and honor team contributions.
  • A record of strong collaboration; actively seeking strategic partnerships and developing effective relationships.
  • Experience as the face of an organization; well-developed interpersonal skills; superb oral and written communication skills; ability to present ideas clearly and persuasively.
  • Strong financial, organizational and project management skills; a track record of managing complex projects; engaging in shared decision-making based on data and realistic expectations.
  • A team builder with strong management skills; one who can motivate and inspire diverse partners.
  • Advanced degree in art history, nonprofit management, museum studies, or a related field preferred.


Compensation is commensurate with the importance of the role and the candidate’s experience. MTA offers a competitive benefits package.


Spring 2019


Bill Appleton is the MCA consultant leading this search. To be considered for this position, you must submit pertinent information and attach a current résumé, a one-page narrative describing interest and experience, and three professional references utilizing our online application system. Once all your materials have been submitted online, you will receive a confirmation of your submission via the email address you have provided in the application.

The Museum Trustee Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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