top of page

Historic District Council - Executive Director

SEARCH OVERVIEW

The Historic Districts Council (HDC) seeks an Executive Director to lead New York City’s 51-year

old, citywide grassroots preservation advocacy organization. HDC’s mission is to ensure the

preservation of significant historic neighborhoods, buildings, and public spaces in New York

City, uphold the integrity of New York’s City’s Landmarks Law and further the preservation ethic

in New York City. The ideal candidate for this position will be a collaborative and visionary

strategic-minded leader with a strong preservation ethic, proven management skills,

demonstrated fundraising abilities, and a passion for New York City. Experience in historic

preservation and/or planning, politics, community development, neighborhood revitalization,

and advocacy is a must. The Executive Director serves as the principal leader, advocate, and

fundraiser for HDC with overall responsibilities for all its activities including advocacy,

education, development, communications, finance, and general operations. This is a full-time

position reporting to HDC’s Board of Directors.


ABOUT THE HISTORIC DISTRICTS COUNCIL

Originally created as a committee of the Municipal Art Society, becoming its own 501(c) (3)

over 50 years ago, HDC has grown to become the citywide grassroots advocate for preservation

in New York City. HDC actively provides outreach, advice, and education to communities

throughout the five boroughs about historic preservation of landmarks and historic and cultural

sites or their thoughtful restoration. With a staff of five, a Board of Directors of 22, and an

Advisory Board of 34, HDC operates citywide from its headquarters at 232 East 11th Street, NYC.


CONTEXT FOR THE SEARCH

This is a time of great challenge and opportunity for preservation in New York City. Buildings

and neighborhoods worthy of protection still lack it, development pressure and misguided

public policies are threatening both protected and unprotected resources, unsympathetic

changes to protected resources continue to be advanced and the challenges of climate change,

affordable housing, and equity must be met. With greater public awareness of and support for

preservation than ever before, there are exciting opportunities to advance preservation

through innovation, collaboration, and pro-preservation initiatives.

As HDC enters its second-half century, it seeks a dynamic, innovative, and optimistic leader to

creatively address these challenges and take advantage of these opportunities. With a solid

record of accomplishment, HDC now seeks an Executive Director who can build on its past

successes and bring the organization to an even greater level of effectiveness and impact.

Vision, passion, and experience will enable the new Executive Director to help HDC

successfully tackle the preservation challenges facing New York City today. If not HDC, who? If

not now, when?


PRINCIPAL RESPONSIBILITIES

Organizational Management: Oversee the smooth operations of a small, nimble non-profit,

including financial oversight and reporting, budgeting, and H.R.


Development: Lead all fundraising efforts for HDC, including donor outreach and stewardship,

prospect cultivation, major gift initiatives, and annual appeal. Work closely with the Board to

fully engage them in development activities.


Advocacy and Preservation: In consultation with the Board and in concert with staff, lead HDC’s

advocacy efforts at both the strategic and operational level.


Communications: Serve as the primary spokesperson for HDC, including in print, at major

hearings conducted by city agencies, at rallies and at meetings.


Desired Skills and Experience:

Demonstrated management experience. Knowledge and understanding of not-for-profit</