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ANSM Seeks Executive Director

Published: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - 6 months ago

Association of Nova Scotia Museums
Executive Director Position


The Association of Nova Scotia Museums (ANSM) is seeking a new Executive Director.

ANSM is the organization tasked to engage, educate, champion and support museums and museum excellence in Nova Scotia.


The incumbent Executive Director is leaving the organization later this year and we are now seeking a leader who can guide the organization in the coming years.  This position requires a capable individual who can combine long-term strategic thinking with the day-to-day operation of the association and its varied programs in support of Nova Scotia museums and museum excellence.



The Executive Director reports directly to – and is accountable to - the Board of Directors. They are responsible for the overall administration of the Association of Nova Scotia Museums (ANSM) office, facilitation of meetings and communications, representation of ANSM to all levels of government and other stakeholders, and promotion and marketing of the Association. They will work in close partnership with the Board of Directors to pursue and clarify the vision, mission, organizational goals, policies, and strategic directions as outlined in the Strategic Plan to grow membership and provide programs that address and support Nova Scotian museums. Following the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan, they will ensure these efforts produce the intended result consistent with ANSM’s Members expectations and Board’s policies.


The position of Executive Director requires a diverse skill set.  Strong leadership skills are required to work with the Board and its Directors, with ANSM staff and its associated consultants to promote and develop the Association and represent the interests and values of its members. A strong interest in the value proposition that museums and collections represent. Appropriate academic credentials coupled with several years progressive experience leading and managing in an executive role within, but not limited to the not-for-profit or social enterprise setting. The ability to build and develop constructive relationships with a wide and diverse group of stakeholders. Stakeholders includes all levels of government, similar organizations across Canada, media, elected officials, funding partners, Board members, and Association members. As the main interface with the Board of Directors, you are knowledgeable with a good understanding and application of governance practices.  Working collaboratively with the Board, keeping them abreast of all external and internal issues that could affect the organization. Operationally, you bring well-developed skills and understanding of financial management, human resources, operations, funding, risk management, communications, reporting, and strategic planning.


Reporting to the ANSM Board of Directors, the Executive Director will provide strategic leadership and be the public face to the organization.


The ED will manage and embrace the strategic goals of ANSM, providing a clear and cohesive message to all members, partners, and audiences.


The Executive Director will cultivate resources, develop relationships, and provide programs that are beneficial to museums and heritage organizations, that will promote the organization as an innovative professional association.


Roles and Responsibilities


Public Visibility and Advocacy

▪ Serve as the spokesperson for ANSM and for Nova Scotia museums, delivering the message of their value to the public, including policy makers, partners, and the media.


▪ Cultivate productive working relationships with all levels of government.


▪ Foster planning and policy collaborations between the Department of Canadian Heritage, Provincial Museum Associations, and the Canadian Museums Association.


▪ Exemplify and propagate best practices in cultural advocacy at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels.


▪ Build alliances with and present to other organizations in the museum and heritage policy sectors that strengthen and help Nova Scotian museums.


▪ Embrace other public visibility and advocacy roles and responsibilities, as needed.


Member Relations and Support

▪ Communicate regularly with ANSM members and foster high levels of member involvement, satisfaction, and retention.


▪ Develop industry research and analytical tools that add value and knowledge to and for the museum sector.


▪ Serve as a trusted advisor, resource, mentor, and thought leader for museums, heritage organizations,


▪ Maintain a deep knowledge of significant developments and environmental trends affecting museums.


▪ Facilitate consultative decision making and effective policy-driven governance.

▪ Promote the benefits of ANSM membership to a wide range of urban and rural museums, partners, museum professionals, and others who support the museum field.


Resource Identification and Cultivation

▪ Ensure a collaborative relationship with the Departments of Communities, Culture & Heritage, and Canadian Heritage in enhancing the public and financial support for ANSM and

its members.


▪ Develop and diversify the financial resources necessary to fulfill ANSM’s strategic plan and ensure future stability and sustainability.


▪ Oversee ANSM’s strategic plan and fulfillment, including programs and services, communication, evaluation, and operations.


▪ Mentor the staff, maintaining a positive, productive, and collaborative working environment.


▪ Oversee and ensure adherence to ANSM’s personnel policies, procedures, and performance standards.


▪ Embrace other planning and management roles and responsibilities, as needed.



The Executive Director will:

  • Be a passionate and knowledgeable advocate for the museum and heritage sector with an understanding of heritage and museum policy,
  • Be a persuasive leader with the ability to set and attain goals, with a clear focus on ANSM’s role in serving its members and ensuring the relevance of the heritage sector.
  • Have the leadership capacity to move initiatives forward through the mobilization of numerous stakeholders.
  • Be a conceptual thinker, with the ability to proactively analyze abstract concepts and scenarios and thereafter establish specific, measurable, attainable, reviewable, and time sensitive goals and objectives that achieve results.
  • Have strong leadership skills with knowledge and experience in public policy.

▪ Leadership and Teamwork – The capacity to organize and motivate others to accomplish goals while creating a sense of order, direction, and active participation among a variety of stakeholders.


▪ Member Focus and Diplomacy – The tenacity to commit to member satisfaction, with a high value on multiple stakeholders needs and the ability to anticipate challenges and develop appropriate solutions,  building rapport and relate well to all kinds of people regardless of cultural background.


Interpersonal Skills – The flexibility to communicate persuasively and effectively to individuals and  groups of all sizes through presentations, discussions, remarks, and written and verbal communications.

Planning and Priority Management – The dexterity to work within established timeframes and ascertain top priorities for optimum productivity with policies, procedures, systems, and structures that result in mobilizing resources to achieve significant outcomes.


▪ Personal Accountability – The ability to accept responsibility for actions and decisions, inspire others,  build trust and acknowledge responsibility to be accountable for personal actions and professional decisions.



You are an exceptional leader who can combine long-term, strategic thinking with day-to-day management of the organization. You work independently and are self-motivated. You possess strong experience in applying for grants and have exceptional interpersonal and communications skills that enable you to foster strong relationships with a wide and diverse group of stakeholders. That group includes various government representatives, museums, similar agencies throughout Nova Scotia, media, elected officials, donors and sponsors, Board members, and volunteers. You must have some social media and IT savvy.


As the key liaison with the Board of Directors, you are knowledgeable about good governance practices. Moderate travel is required. Operationally, you bring well-developed skills in financial management, budgets, and running a small office.


You are known for creating an environment where people work collaboratively in service to the community.


Qualifications, Knowledge, and Skills:

•        Minimum Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree preferred in non-profit management, business administration or development as well as evidence of significant and increasing responsibility in a senior management role within a historic, education, museum, or member-based organization. Experience equivalency will be considered.


•        Demonstrate successful experience with grant writing and fundraising.


•        Familiarity with the non-profit sector management and/or museum principles.


•        Personal alignment with and passion for the organization’s mission and values.


•        Willingness and ability to effectively engage within the community and attend events.


•        Strong communication and interpersonal skills.


•        Excellent written and oral communication skills able to translate ideas into actions.


•        Positive and creative approach to leadership.


ANSM is an equal opportunity employer. We support workplace diversity that is representative of the people we serve. We welcome applications from all candidates including (but not limited to) Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC), Persons with Disabilities and LGBTQ2+ individuals. If you identify as a member these equity groups, you are encouraged to apply and may self-identify on your application if desired.


If you meet and exceed these requirements, please feel free to apply for the position of Executive Director, Association of Nova Scotia Museums via e-mail. Outline your experience and suitability for this role. Please attach a resume in appropriate format. (Word or PDF preferred)


Starting salary is in the $65,000.00 range, commensurate with experience.


Please send to Lisa Wolfe, ANSM President at


Deadline for submissions is Monday, May 17, 2021 at 5pm AST

We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.