Museum of Danish America

Executive Director


The executive director’s role has both strategic and operational components. The executive director has the day-to-day administrative responsibility for achieving the organizational mission of the Museum of Danish America, implementing the strategic plan, and assuring the efficient and effective operation of the organization.  To do this he/she works closely with the museum’s Board of Directors through the Board’s President and Executive Committee to develop policies, procedures, budgets and strategic plans that realize the museum’s mission and vision.  He/she also assures compliance with legal, financial, accounting and ethical requirements, including the standards and practices set forth by the American Alliance of Museums.


Vision, Mission, and Strategies

Working with the board and staff, the executive director must develop a shared vision for the future of the museum, build understanding around the current mission, and develop appropriate goals and strategies to advance that mission.

Accomplishment of Management Objectives

Working with the board, the executive director establishes operational objectives that support the strategic plan. The executive director is responsible for leading the staff in the implementation of the strategic plan and any annual plans.

Program Management

The Museum of Danish America carries out its mission by offering specific exhibits and programs. The executive director leads the staff in managing and administering these exhibits and programs.

Effectiveness in Fund Raising and Resource Development

The executive director, in partnership with the board and appropriate staff, is responsible for developing and implementing appropriate fund-raising and financial development strategies. The executive director and board use their combined strengths, knowledge, and relationships to help the museum achieve its objectives.

Fiscal Management

Ensuring that income is managed wisely is especially important for a museum. It is the role of the executive director to see that solid planning and budgeting systems are in place and that the museum’s goals and strategic plan serve as the basis for sound financial planning. In addition, it is the executive director’s responsibility to ensure that qualified staff are hired to accurately monitor, assess, and manage the financial health of the museum.

Operations Management

The executive director is responsible for day-to-day management. The executive director works with staff to develop, maintain, and use the systems and resources that facilitate the effective operation of the museum.

The Executive Director/Board Partnership

The executive director and the board must work together as partners. Each arm of leadership draws upon its own unique strengths and abilities. The executive director and the board have joint responsibility for developing and maintaining a strong working relationship and a system for sharing information.

External Liaison and Public Image

The executive director, staff and board members are key players in establishing and maintaining positive relationships with the many groups that support the work of the museum.

Other Duties

Performs other duties, included but not limited to duties as assigned, some of which may include the development and creation of a variety of copyrightable works included but not limited to print, photography, film, music, visual arts, etc. for distribution in any and all media and formats on a world-wide basis, all of which shall be for the benefit of the Museum.



Has the cultural knowledge and intellectual vision to lead the Museum of Danish America which

includes having knowledge of or affinity for learning about Danish and Danish American culture.

Danish language skill is highly desired.

Is a good communicator who can articulate the museum’s vision and non-profit niche to attract and retain public constituencies.  Communication competency is required in written and spoken communication and in the ability to make effective, credible presentations.

Works cooperatively and effectively in supervising and directing museum staff to create well-conceived programs that serve the museum’s membership and wider publics and develops supportive constituencies.

Increases the financial base by expanding private contributors, increasing institutional collaboration, and developing new approaches to potential constituencies.

Interacts well with people and is open to suggestions and perspectives of others.

Exhibits deep commitment and integrity

Manages by organizing effectively, putting quality first

Plans realistically

Understands and manages finances soundly

Creates and maintains a donor focus

Builds a competent diverse and empowered workforce

Job Information
  • Elk Horn, Iowa, 51531, United States
  • 28520771
  • May 13, 2016
  • Executive Director
  • Museum of Danish America
  • Directors/Administrators
  • No
  • Full-Time
  • Indefinite
  • Master’s Degree
  • 3-5 Years
  • 50-75%

About Museum of Danish America

Established in 1983, the Museum of Danish America (formerly known as The Danish Immigrant Museum) is located midway between Des Moines, IA and Omaha, NE on 35 acres of recreated prairie in the heart of the largest rural settlement of Danes in the United States. The museum’s mission is to celebrate Danish roots and American dreams and is the only national museum dedicated to collecting and interpreting the Danish-American experience. Guidance is provided by a twenty-five member Board of Directors from across the United States and Denmark. The museum has a collection of over 35,000 artifacts, an active traveling exhibit program, and a membership of over 3,000 from across the United States, Denmark and seven other countries. It has a staff of ten full-time employees, six part-time employees and an active internship program hosting up to four Danish graduate students and an American graduate student annually.

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