The International African American Museum (IAAM) seeks a visionary, entrepreneurial, globally-minded Executive Director/CEO to lead the institution. To be located in Charleston, South Carolina, the IAAM will be built on the former site of Gadsden's Wharf, an 18th-century complex of docks where scores of thousands of Africans arrived in the United States to be sold at auction in the slave market nearby. The Museum will serve to embody the experiences of Africans in the Americas, with a specific focus on Charleston and South Carolina, where the history, culture and landscape of the city and region have been strongly shaped by the first African Americans and their descendants.

The IAAM is governed by a Board of Directors composed of both local and nationally recognized leaders from the business, civic, cultural, educational, philanthropic and political sectors. In addition, it boasts a thirty member National Advisory Board composed of individuals well-known for their work in promoting civil rights, arts and culture, and equal opportunities in education, business and other related fields. Collectively they constitute a powerful voice in support of the vision of a museum that will serve as a “site of memory and a site of conscience” for African Americans, the nation, and the world.

The Executive Director will join the Museum at an exciting time. A total capital budget of approximately $75 million has been approved for the construction of IAAM and two-thirds of this has been raised, or is committed, from the City and County of Charleston and the State of South Carolina. An award-winning design team, which includes architect Harry Cobb of Pei, Cobb, Reef & Partners and one of the most prominent museum designers in the world, Ralph Applebaum of Ralph Applebaum Associates, is in the final stage of the design phase of the project, and completion of the building is slated for 2017.

This is an exceptional opportunity for an entrepreneurially-minded individual to take the helm of a well-conceived “start-up” enterprise and lead it to success. The Executive Director will partner with the Board of Directors of the IAAM to develop an intellectually compelling vision for the Museum; set an ambitious yet sustainable course for future resource generation; and develop an aspirational capital campaign. Working directly with former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley who will continue to champion the Museum and be an engaged fundraiser, the Executive Director will provide innovative leadership and strategic oversight in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of transformational gifts to complete construction of the Museum and establish an endowment to support its future growth. Over time, the Executive Director will also recruit and retain additional talented staff for the Museum. 

The ideal candidate will have at least 10 years of progressive leadership experience, ideally in the cultural and/or non-profit sector. The Executive Director will have key strategic and planning skills; the proven ability to cultivate, solicit and steward large gifts; excellent managerial and team building experience; and superlative interpersonal skills with a demonstrated ability to work well with people at all levels of an organization. Bachelor's degree required; an advanced degree in a relevant field is preferred.

The IAAM has retained Isaacson, Miller to assist in this search. All inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed in strict confidence to:



Job Information
  • Charleston, South Carolina, 23185, United States
  • 26459481
  • January 7, 2016
  • Executive Director/CEO
  • International African American Museum
  • Directors/Administrators
  • No