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?
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