Job Announcements

Search for the President

The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS), the oldest institution of its kind in the United States, seeks a dynamic and accomplished leader to serve as its next President. The President will work with the Board and with the staff of the MHS to promote its mission, elevate its profile, and advance historical knowledge. This effort will include the further development and implementation of the Society’s strategic plan, and the strengthening of its financial base.

Founded in 1791, the Society is a private non-profit organization. Its extraordinary collections—over 13 million manuscripts, photographs, printed materials, and artifacts—include the personal papers of John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Thomas Jefferson; maps, prints, drawings, and portraits; and historical objects, including the epaulets worn by George Washington at Yorktown and the pen used by Abraham Lincoln to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. These materials have served as the inspiration for the work and learning of countless scholars, authors, and students of all ages.

In recent years the Society has broadened its programming, reaching new audiences and raising its profile regionally and nationally. Its online catalog, ABIGAIL, and new collection guides have opened the collections to all, and digitization efforts have made more and more material available to researchers. The number of visitors to the library is growing, and the number of programs, conferences, and research fellowships has increased. The MHS has also convened academicians and public intellectuals in discussions about the current state and future of the historical profession.

 The next President will expand on these efforts and be a vigorous and compelling champion for the Society, setting direction and advocating for the work of the MHS, and continuing to raise its profile. The Society seeks a superb strategist with the ability to build, direct, and inspire. The successful candidate will have a strong appreciation for public history and the proven ability to identify and develop sources of support for the Society’s strategic requirements and aspirations.

 The Massachusetts Historical Society has retained the services of Isaacson, Miller to assist with this search. A full description of the role of President is available on the Isaacson, Miller website listed below.” Confidential inquiries, nominations, referrals, and resumes with cover letters should be sent electronically and in confidence to:

Anita Tien, Vice President
Micah Pierce, Associate
Isaacson Miller, Inc.
263 Summer Street, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02210

 The Massachusetts Historical Society is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members.

Executive Assistant

Purpose: The Executive Assistant provides clerical and administrative support to the President, ensuring the office of the President runs efficiently and with a high level of professionalism. This position also provides clerical and administrative support to the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Trustees, and other departments on as needed basis.

Reporting Relationships: This position reports to the President.

Supervisory Responsibility: none

Major Responsibilities:

Provides hands-on coordination of all aspects of the President’s office to maximize efficiency and free up the President to focus on the Society’s priorities.* Specific activities include but are not limited to:


  • Maintaining the President’s calendar including scheduling meetings.
  • Typing correspondence and reports.
  • Screening telephone calls and handling as appropriate.
  • Making travel arrangements.
  • Maintaining accurate records, electronic and hard copy as appropriate.


 Provides clerical and administrative support to the Chair of the Board of Trustees and the Trustees.* Specific activities include but are not limited to:


  • Schedule Trustee, Overseer and Committee Meetings as needed.
  • Arranged all aspects of Trustee and Overseers Meetings including preparing agenda, collecting, compiling, and mailing meeting packets along with coordinating catering arrangements.
  • Taking and editing meeting minutes at Trustee, Overseer and Governance Committee Meetings.
  • Responsible for updating both the Trustee and Overseer Handbook and maintaining the Trustees’ web page.
  • Plan bi-monthly All-Staff Meetings.


Provides clerical and administrative support to other departments on an as needed basis including but not limited to:*

  • Assisting with special events sponsored by the Development department
  • Preparing correspondence to MHS Fellows for the Director of Research

* Essential functions

 Key Contacts

 External – Chair of the Board, Trustees, and Overseers, callers to the office of the President

 Internal – Managers and all employees



Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience



  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience as an assistant to the top executive, preferably in a nonprofit organization
  • Demonstrated success working in a fast paced office with a heavy workload and frequently changing priorities
  • Experience working with a board of trustees or directors




  • Excellent oral and written communications skills
  • Strong planning and organization skills with ability to prioritize and multi-task
  • High level of initiative
  • Good judgment
  • Effective problem solver
  • Good analytical skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and professionalism with ability to represent the office of the President well with diverse constituents, internally and externally
  • High level of discretion
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite



Tammy Hamond, 

Note: Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.