Job Opportunities

Position: Executive Director
Organization: Maria Mitchell Association
Location: Nantucket, MA

The Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) seeks a visionary and inspiring Executive Director to lead the organization and serve as a spokesperson and advocate for science based hands-on education programming on the island of Nantucket and beyond. 

The Maria Mitchell Association was founded in 1902, and named after famed astronomer Maria Mitchell who, in 1847, discovered a comet while sweeping the skies with her telescope over Nantucket, MA. Ms. Mitchell went on to become a founding professor at Vassar College where she taught for more than two decades. She was also the first woman elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Today, MMA is considered to be Nantucket’s Science Center and offers hands-on education programs for students and adults with a focus on astronomy, marine science, natural history and historic preservation. In addition to providing science programs for all ages and summer discovery camps for children, MMA is dedicated to scientific research using Nantucket’s land, seas and skies as its laboratory. The astronomy program was awarded Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering in 2009.

The Executive Director will bring exceptional leadership and strategic abilities, strong organizational management and communications skills, and a deep sense of respect for the rich history of the organization. S/he will be an enthusiastic and effective fundraiser for the organization, with the ability to conceive of, build support for, and implement strategies for increasing funding. This position is based on the island of Nantucket, MA.

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors. S/he directly supervises the Director of Education, Director of Astronomy, Director of Natural Science, Finance Director, Director of Development and Communication and the Curator of the Mitchell House, Archives and Special Collections.

The Executive Director’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Strategy and Execution:

  • Serve as a strategic leader and visionary for MMA, ensuring the successful development and execution of MMA’s 2014 strategic plan
  • Lead MMA in effective implementation of the strategic plan, which includes assessing the organization’s current capabilities and aligning resources appropriately
  • Effectively represent MMA and actively further its mission by ensuring its continued influence and relevance as one of the island’s oldest and strongest science education organizations.


  • Lead MMA in effective implementation of the organization’s mission and core values
  • Ensure that MMA’s strategy and vision are consistently aligned across all functional areas
  • Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board of Directors and staff, ensuring open communication about financial and programmatic performance
  • Develop the senior management team to ensure effective and consistent communication between one another and with staff throughout the organization
  • Provide guidance and leadership in development of the organization’s budget and reporting and maintaining best practices in all aspects of financial operations


  • Provide leadership for all the fundraising efforts as MMA’s chief development officer to achieve the needed increases in both annual giving and the capital fund drive laid out in the MMA 2014 Strategic Plan
  • Ensure that the organization is able to meet its budgetary obligations and increase its endowment and capital
  • Support the Development department in efforts to pursue funding sources, with personal involvement with significant partners and donors
  • Work closely with the Director of Development and Communication to ensure that MMA is maximizing all current fundraising opportunities and executing strategic initiatives to broaden funding base and increase funding overall
  • Act as an enthusiastic and inspiring fundraiser for MMA and cultivate a fundraising culture within the organization


  • Communicate effectively with the Board of Directors individually and as a whole both verbally and in writing. Support the Board President and Committee Chairs in order to ensure productive Board and Committee meetings
  • Serve as an effective and dynamic spokesperson for the organization to the public, donors, media, and other audiences
  • Maintain MMA’s high profile in the community and continue to find and maintain partnerships with Nantucket nonprofit organizations to drive the organization’s mission


  • Proven success as a senior level executive with a least 7-10 years of experience
  • Demonstrated exceptional fundraising skills and successful experience in raising funds from foundations, corporations, individual donors, and other grant-making organizations
  • A management style that is participative, yet visionary and decisive
  • The ability to lead a group of highly trained professionals, to foster teamwork and retain and attract high quality professionals
  • The ability to oversee a wide range of programs and exhibits while delegating significant responsibility to the departments for their execution
  • The ability and desire to handle a broad range of functions consistent with leading a small, yet renowned high-quality education and research organization
  • Previous responsibility for budget development and demonstrated success in managing within the budget both for operations and capital projects.
  • Excellent verbal, written and presentation skills and highly effective interpersonal skills to allow successful interaction with the Board of Directors, staff, donors, potential donors, and community organizations
  • Demonstrated passion and understanding of science to be able to communicate the importance of the Maria Mitchell vision and mission

For more information and to apply, please visit Koya Leadership Partners


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