Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation seeks a dynamic, relationship-driven executive to serve as their next Deputy Director. Under the leadership of Executive Director Christy Coleman, the overarching goal at JYF is to reshape the conversation surrounding the colonial period and revolutionary era in Jamestown and Yorktown, and continue to improve how JYF engages with their community. Our client seeks a senior leader who can effectively partner with the Executive Director and colleagues on the senior team to direct the organization, utilizing three guiding pillars which the team crafted together: people, communication, and program.
Christy Coleman joined the Foundation in January 2020, and with the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, she and the JYF team had to be responsive to shifting conditions and pivot swiftly to address them over the past two years. With the improved environment due to availability of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, JYF has been able to resume more normal operations while ensuring that the atmosphere is one in which all team members feel safe and motivated to do their best work. For more about the ways that JYF staff members were able to adjust operations over the past two years, please see this article.
Top candidates for Deputy Executive Director/Senior Director of Administration must excel at leading and mentoring a motivated team; implementing efficient and effective operational/financial processes and procedures based on industry best practices; and partnering closely with senior leadership to support the CEO’s vision. Strong candidates will demonstrate a passion for American history and the impact that museums can have in their communities, and interest in advancing the mission of JYF. Candidates must be self-aware and emotionally intelligent (high “EQ”), able to build and steward relationships with the staff and board, and collaborate with the CEO and leadership team to enhance the impact and profile that JYF has across the state of Virginia.
About the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation (JYF) administers two fully accredited museums- Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown – that teach the history of early America and Virginia. Through its museums, outreach, and digital programs, JYF fosters an awareness and understanding of the early history, settlement, and development of the United States through the convergence of American Indian, European, and African cultures and the enduring legacies bequeathed to the nation.
Historically, the Foundation served over a half a million visitors annually and was the largest provider of structured museum education programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia. During the 2018-19 academic year the Foundation served 290,136 school students, including 202,621 onsite and 87,515 in outreach programs in 109 of Virginia’s 132 school districts. The Foundation expects to return to those levels when it is safe to do so, and the pandemic is more contained.
The Foundation plays a significant role in the statewide commemoration of historic events. In 1996, the Virginia General Assembly designated the Foundation the lead agency coordinating Virginia’s role in commemorating the Jamestown quadricentennial in 2007. The agency was appointed to a similar role in 2013 to assist the Commonwealth in developing planning systems for commemorating the 400th anniversary of landmark events in Virginia’s history in 2019. The 2019 Commemoration, under the brand American Evolution™, collaborated with organizations to develop programs and events of national and international significance designed to bring awareness to the historical events of 1619 (i.e., arrival of enslaved Central West Africans, 1st General Assembly, and encouraging single English women to migrate) and the Commemoration’s key themes of Democracy, Diversity, and Opportunity. JYF is playing an important role in the state-wide preparations for the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence/America’s 250th commemorations in 2026.
Organizational Structure and Governance
The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation is an educational agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees made up of members of the Senate of Virginia and the Virginia House of Delegates appointed by their respective bodies, Virginia citizens appointed by the Governor, and other state-elected and appointed officials and board-elected members.
The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc. (with its own Board of Directors) is a private affiliate which coordinates private fund development in support of Foundation programs including conservation and acquisition of artifacts, educational programs, and exhibitions. The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., manages endowment assets of approximately $25 million. The Jamestown-Yorktown Educational Trust (with a small Board of Directors) is a private affiliate which manages the gross sales of the gift shops and food service operations of the two museums.
JYF’s operating budget is in excess of $20 million. Of this amount, 51% comprises state funds; admissions revenue and other non-generated fund sources account for the remaining 49%, with admissions revenue and funds raised becoming an increasingly important portion of operating dollars. Capital funding includes approximately $1.6 million annually to support critical maintenance objectives, and additional funds to support key facility expansion efforts. In addition, two private affiliate supporting organizations directly expend several million dollars of annual operating support.
The Foundation employs 161 full-time staff and more than 278 part-time staff across five management divisions. More than 1,500 volunteers deliver a critical source of agency support, providing more than 60,000 hours of service annually to all areas of the organization.
For more information on the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation please visit the website here.
The Deputy Director will be a thought partner with the Executive Director in executing significant decisions. The right candidate will be detail-oriented with the ability to synthesize information quickly and succinctly. They will serve as an analyst and decision-framer on one hand and project manager, change agent, and leader on the other.
The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:
Passion for the Mission
The Deputy Executive Director and Senior Director of Administration and will have a passion for the mission of JYF and the organization’s history, model, and potential for future impact. The Deputy Executive Director will demonstrate openness, honesty, and accountability to colleagues, volunteers, docents, and all others involved with JYF. They will be an empathic leader, treating others with respect. A proven and committed advocate for collaboration and transparency, the Deputy Executive Director will work in close partnership with the Executive Director and staff on seeing through and advancing this effort.
Strategic Planning and Operational Expertise
The Deputy Executive director will manage the annual strategic planning process, acting as project manager and ensuring alignment between work plans and strategic goals.
They also directly manage the Facilities, Finance, Security and Safety, Retail Operations, Café and capital projects. They will steward the implementation of strategic plans by tracking progress towards milestones, collaborating with senior staff to troubleshoot challenges, and coaching managers in the execution of their plans. They will oversee the creation of new processes and/or tools in collaboration with the Executive Director and senior staff to ensure projects are delivered on time, on budget, and within the scope set forth in their plans.
Direct Support of the Executive Director
The Deputy Executive Director will operate as an advisor to the Executive Director, facilitating effective decision-making. They will support the workload of the Executive Director, prioritizing time by managing information flow, resolving issues, providing analysis and advice on key needs, and delegating internal and external inquiries to the appropriate individual(s). The ideal person will manage other projects as assigned by the Executive Director, driving the end-to-end scoping, planning, and management of projects to produce high-quality, timely deliverables.
Support Leadership Team Structures & Workflows
The Deputy ED will execute efficient regular management team meetings, leading those proceedings, setting agendas, and guaranteeing follow-up actions. They will demonstrate an inclusive culture of giving and receiving feedback to facilitate ongoing learning and organizational development. The Deputy ED will serve as sounding board and collaborator on JYF’s high-performing senior management team. They will also be a key liaison with the Board committees as directed.
Change Agent and Collaborator
The Deputy ED will demonstrate experience in significant change management processes that require building buy-in and leading by influence across a wide range of stakeholders. They will have a keen understanding of how to lead organizational change, empower people, influence colleagues and decision making, and work across departments in a complex organization. This person will have a strong background of managing change throughout a distributed system of entities and teams. The Deputy ED will have the ability to drive change internally as well as externally, with partners and others in the field. The right candidate will have an aptitude to take risks, see opportunities, and pivot when necessary.
- Ten or more years of relevant professional experience.
- Exceptional leadership and communication skills – a good listener who can be both empathetic and pragmatic.
- Desire to help build a better, more equitable JYF experience by implementing socially equitable business practices and reforming organizational culture a plus.
- Demonstrated success leading multi-year strategic planning processes and shepherding stakeholders through that work.
- Experience working closely with C-Suite level staff.
- Strong communication skills and experience writing in a shared, organizational voice.
- Flexibility and the ability to handle the uncertainties associated with a fast-paced environment.
- Strong financial background,
- Strategic management mindset.
- Familiarity with navigating the Virginia state government system is a plus.
- Background in organizational development preferred.
- Understanding of the operations and management of museums, cultural or like organizations.
Compensation & Benefits
The salary range for this position begins at $175,000 and is commensurate with experience. As a state agency, JYF provides an excellent benefits package.
Koya Partners, an executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement, with Naree W.S. Viner and Christy Farrell serving as search leads. To express interest in this role, please submit your materials here or email Christy Farrell directly at email@example.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
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 NonprofitSearchOps@divsearch.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.
Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation 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.
At Koya, we don’t just accept difference—we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve.
For more information about Koya Partners, visit koyapartners.com.