About the Organization

Mission Statement

The Alice Austen House fosters creative expression, explores personal identity, and educates and inspires the public through the interpretation of the photographs, life and historic home of pioneering American photographer, Alice Austen (1866-1952). 


A vibrant cultural center, the Alice Austen House keeps the daring spirit of the American photographer alive by presenting changing exhibitions of Alice Austen’s pioneering historic photographs and of contemporary photography, providing education programs for students, and offering a range of cultural and educational programs for the public. A charming Victorian Gothic Cottage that was the Austen family home serves as the museum and is located in a stunning waterfront park on the shore of Staten Island near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge with sweeping views of Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. The Alice Austen House is owned by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, operated by the Friends of Alice Austen House Inc 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and is a member of the Historic House Trust. The Alice Austen House is a New York City Landmark and National Historic Landmark, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), and is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s distinctive group of Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios.  The Alice Austen House’s listing on the NRHP was recently amended to include LGBTQ history as an area of significance; it is one of only 14 National Register sites to have this designation. Learn more at www.aliceausten.org

Job Openings

Executive Director


The Alice Austen House seeks a dynamic and visionary Executive Director to lead an innovative historic house museum devoted to the American photographer Alice Austen (1866-1952). The Executive Director (ED) reports directly to the Board President and is responsible for all aspects of operating a public museum in a landmarked building located in a NYC public park. The ED fulfills the organization’s mission by presenting 2-3 changing exhibitions per year, planning and hosting approximaftely 40 public programs annually, overseeing daily museum visitation, and offering onsite and in-school education programs for students. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit museum, the ED works with a dedicated board of directors to set the strategic vision, ensure proper governance, and develop the annual organizational budget. The ED is responsible for meeting annual development goals, fundraising from individual, corporate, foundation and government sources to meet income targets. The ED works with the Board Treasurer to ensure that the organization is operating in a financially responsible manner and is in compliance with all legal, governmental and funder mandates. The ED is the public face of the museum and represents the organization with the press, with stakeholders, and in the community. Over the next two years, the ED will undertake the exciting project of reinterpreting the permanent installation in the museum with a professional exhibition designer through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Primary Responsibilities

This is a full-time position. The Executive Director is the staff leader of the organization and is responsible for all aspects of operations, including the following areas:


Organizational Management

Manage and mentor a team of 1-2 FT and 7 PT staff members, consultants and volunteers

Become thoroughly familiar with the Alice Austen House’s history, collections, culture and stakeholders

Promote a culture of respect, inclusion, and collaboration in the workplace


Develop and execute annual fundraising plan as determined with the board of directors’ Development Committee

Cultivate major individual and corporate members and donors

Secure and implement grants from foundation, government and corporate funders

Oversee main annual fundraiser event and 3-5 friendraiser/cultivation events per year

Expand revenue generating activities such as fundraising campaigns, membership drives, and merchandise sales, to support general operations


Work to engage board members; help identify and cultivate new directors for the board

Work with Board President to conduct board meetings and committee meetings

Conduct strategic planning and board development sessions as needed

Museum Programs

Mount 3 changing exhibitions per year in the museum

Plan and oversee approximately 40 annual public programs

Oversee on-site and remote education programs managed by the Director of Education

Facilities and Collections Management

Preserve and care for the historic landmarked home and grounds with support from the Historic House Trust and the NYC Parks Department

Facilitate capital projects in partnership with the NYC Parks Department

Provide outstanding stewardship of the photographic, archival and object collections

Facilitate outdoor site rentals for private events

Protect the organization’s assets

Communications and Marketing

Serve as primary spokesperson for the organization with the public, stakeholders, the press and the community

Cultivate and maintain meaningful relationships with, and become part of, the local Staten Island community

Forge partnerships to increase the visibility and reach of the Alice Austen House within NYC and beyond as a site of national and international interest and tourism

Develop compelling ways to elevate the museum’s profile and expand its diverse audience

Promote the interpretation of Alice Austen’s historic home, photographic images and lifestyle, so that individuals may find meaning and inspiration in them today     

Financial Management and Compliance

Oversee the organization’s budgeting and financial controls; operate within a balanced budget and ensure that forecasts are based on sound and reasonable assumptions

Ensure proper documentation of income and expenses, maintain proper business files, and work with bookkeeper to produce monthly, quarterly, and annual financial reports

Engage and work with external auditors to conduct annual review (or audit), and assure production of Annual Financial Statement, Form 990 and CHAR500

Ensure compliance with all regulatory bodies



It is expected that the new Executive Director will be an exceptional team leader with strong communication and management skills and a keen interest in taking the Alice Austen House “to the next level.” The ED must be available for evening and weekend meetings/events. Additionally, the ideal candidate will have the following:        


Experience and Skills

Minimum 3-5 years experience as Executive Director or in senior management position of a museum or not-for-profit organization with staff management experience

Proven track record of fundraising and grants management with foundation and government funders


M.A. or PhD in museum studies, arts administration, art history, public history or related field preferred.  B.A. required.


Compensation: Competitive salary commensurate with experience. Benefits include paid vacation, sick leave, workers’ compensation, medical insurance benefits, and retirement plan.


Start date: Interviewing immediately for fall/winter 2017 start.


To Apply: Email specific cover letter stating your interest, qualifications, and salary requirements along with your resume to the attention of Search Committee at applyexecdirector@aliceausten.org with the subject line “Executive Director – [Your Last name, First name].” No phone calls. Receipt of application will be confirmed. Candidates will only be further contacted if selected for an interview. Application deadline: 09/15/17.


Friends of Alice Austen House, Inc is an equal opportunity employer.