Arts and Culture, CEO/President/Executive Director/Head of School, Nonprofit and Social Impact

Executive Director

  • Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
  • Charleston, SC

This position has been filled.

About Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry

The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry (CML) offers unlimited learning adventures for children, ages Birth to 10 years, and their families.  CML was founded by a group of dedicated parents intent on improving the lives of children in the tri-county area (Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Counties). Based in the heart of downtown Charleston, CML offers exhibits, programs and experiences designed to supplement a child’s formal education in the arts, sciences, and humanities.

Established in 2003, the CML is on a mission to engage young children’s potential by inviting families of all backgrounds to explore environments and experiences that spark imagination and stimulate curiosity through the power of play. At CML, play inspires creativity and encourages lifelong exploration of the world around us. Kids explore building projects with real tools and climb aboard a Lowcountry pirate ship.  Families can create inspired masterpieces every day in the dedicated art center. 

Programs further CML’s inter-disciplinary and exciting approach to learning. Children enter the doors of CLM with anticipation, take part in programs with wonder and laughter, and leave with fond memories and a better understanding of basic science, environmental, and artistic concepts.

Over the past 18 years, CML has proven to be a critical partner in addressing our community’s needs in early childhood education, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) learning, creativity, and the arts. Recently, CML has positioned itself as the only supplemental STEM education provider for early childhood audiences in the Lowcountry, serving Head Start and SC First Steps learners, ages birth to five years. This exposure is critical for the future success of young people in SC, particularly from low-income, disinvested, and marginalized communities, and these programs have measured impact on economic growth and workforce readiness that is critical to the success of young people in SC.  CML delivers a multi-pronged approach to bringing museum-quality STEM educational programming directly into schools, specifically targeting Title 1 Schools throughout the Lowcountry, through mobile museum visits and educator facilitated STEM lessons.  

A world of discovery awaits at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry.  

For more information on CML, please visit here.

The Opportunity

CML is seeking a strategic, empathetic, and visionary leader to oversee all facets of the organization’s work and to guide it to its next stage of development. Reporting into an engaged Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) is responsible for overseeing the administration, program development, strategic planning, and fundraising of the organization.  The ED will work collaboratively with a highly capable staff and Board to ensure continued high-quality service, expand access to programming to Charleston’s underserved communities, and will be a leading figure in the nonprofit community in the tri-county and greater Charleston area.

Serving as CML’s chief strategist and ambassador, the ED will be responsible for both strategic leadership and day-to-day operations of the organization.  As CML looks to the future and to have a larger impact within the community, the ED will identify the resources necessary to sustain and expand CML’s work and will be a champion and advocate for the organization throughout the greater Charleston community. 

The ED will be a decisive and transparent leader with the ability to execute on goals, lead collaboratively and by example, and support the mission of CML. In addition, the ED will lead strategic partnerships and fundraising efforts with local government, foundations, corporate partners, community leaders, and individual donors, to increase funding in CML’s ongoing capital campaign.  With a commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and access, the ED will embrace the importance of these initiatives externally in the community and throughout the organization.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will demonstrate an ability to motivate and inspire staff to achieve ambitious goals and to blend effective business practices and an entrepreneurial spirit in support of CML’s mission. 

While no one candidate will possess every quality outlined for this position, a successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Passion for Mission
  • Strong commitment to CML’s mission, vision, values, and strategic plan
  • Excitement to build upon a strong foundation of work with the ability to take a long-term, thoughtful approach to achieving organizational goals
  • Ensure that programs are aligned to mission, vision, and community priorities with a lens of equity
  • Nonprofit experience preferred
 Strong Fundraiser and Partnership Orientation
  • Ability to think creatively and innovatively to expand relationships and build a reliable revenue stream from individual donors, foundations, corporations, government entities, and other funding sources
  • Develop and implement a plan focused on raising funds by strengthening existing relationships, and cultivating new donors
  • Maintain relationships with appropriate community constiuents to build a strong awareness of the needs of the youth CML’s serves 
  • Serve as a credible and inspirational presence for CML in the community
Strategic Organizational Leadership and Management
  • Provide leadership and management of staff to build and nurture an organizational culture that amplifies a transparent vision, vibrant teamwork, and accountability
  • Conceive and direct the organization’s program agenda according to strategic goals with the staff and Board of Directors
  • Lead the process for planning, implementing, and evaluating short- and long-range strategy and goals
  • Work collaboratively with an engaged Board of Directors
Management and Business Acumen
  • Experience with efficient operational and financial administration
  • Able to set strategy, prioritize, inspire, and empower a talented staff to meet programmatic goals 
  • Skilled at presenting financial and operational information in a clear, concise fashion to a range of constituents, including Board of Directors, staff, and community partners      
In addition, strong candidates will offer:
  • Demonstrated leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience
  • Solutions-focused and results-oriented with an ability to solve problems independently and with others
  • Experience representing the organization externally with funders, other nonprofit organizations, and community leaders
  • Dedicated experience building comprehensive fundraising strategy to build on existing networks and pursue new funding avenues
  • Experience in a senior management or executive role in a nonprofit organization
  • Experience raising revenue to support an organization’s activities and an ability to effectively represent CML and its programs with diverse constituents in the community
  • Ability to build relationships and work effectively both internally and externally

Compensation & Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Alicia Salerno here.

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

CML is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit

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