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Director of Preservation

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Posted: 10/17/2018

Historic Charleston Foundation

Located in Charleston, SC, consistently ranked as a highly desirable place to live and work, Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF) is an independent nonprofit that champions the historic authenticity, cultural character and livability of the Charleston region through advocacy, stewardship and community engagement. The Foundation recently celebrated its 70th Anniversary with the successful completion of a multi-million-dollar capital campaign, and the organization’s newly appointed President & CEO is a well-known preservationist with vision and experience. With new executive leadership in place and a motivated Board of Trustees, the organization is poised to rise to the next level. A preservation organization with national renown, HCF has been a leader in the preservation movement through creative programming and advocacy. HCF was the first organization in the country to create a revolving fund to actively purchase and protect endangered historic structures, has successfully executed neighborhood revitalization programs and proactively engages in community issues such as growth management, balancing tourism with livability, housing affordability and the increasing threat of coastal flooding.

Director of Preservation
Professional Opportunity
Charleston, SC
Open Until
Until Filled


Position Summary

The Director of Preservation leads the strategic development and oversight of the Preservation Department. The position is accountable for the development and management of numerous projects that require focused attention, while concurrently addressing ongoing responsibilities as a fully contributing member of the preservation team and as an organizational department head. The role is integral in delivering HCFs mission by working in tandem with the President & CEO and Board of Trustees in the identification and execution of initiatives to champion the historic authenticity, cultural character and livability of the Charleston region through advocacy, stewardship and community engagement.

The Director of Preservation is a critical position for the Foundation as a standard bearer for the organizations mission. The ideal candidate will possess extensive knowledge of preservation and planning efforts that are relevant to this organization. S/He must be a skilled project manager with a proven ability to foster effective working relationships with members of the community, governmental personnel, and related organizations. S/He will also possess a proven ability to assist in identifying and seeking sources of revenue such as grant funding.

Excellent customer service and written/verbal communication skills including the ability to frame and convey technical concepts in an approachable way are baseline requirements.

Position Duties

1. Develop and execute initiatives related to the preservation and responsible growth of the City and the Lowcountry. 

2. Serve as the key strategist for advocacy initiatives on behalf of the Foundation, both publicly and internally, including the development of official position statements and the identification and cultivation of key stakeholders surrounding community issues in which the organization is engaged.

3. Lead and oversee a balance of proactive and reactive advocacy-related activities that reflect the organizations mission, and are in alignment with the organizations strategic plans and any relevant city/regional plans.

4. Build and maintain productive relationships with stakeholders, including City staff, elected officials, Boards of Architectural Review (BAR), Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) and Planning Commission members, HCF Board of Trustees, HCF committee members and personnel, as well as local and national professionals in the preservation and urban planning communities.

5. Serve as a spokesperson for the organization to include media appearances, community speaking engagements, and public meetings.

6. Effectively communicate departmental priorities, positions, and opportunities throughout the organization to assist in fundraising and marketing efforts.

7. Strategize and help lead communications on advocacy issues and other initiatives through social media, the monthly newsletter, blog posts, and website.

8. Identify and provide oversight of public educational programming related to current community issues threatening preservation, livability and Lowcountry culture. 

9. Direct the easement and covenant program, the Revolving Fund and the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative through preservation staff.

10. Direct archives staff to ensure ongoing interpretation, care, storage and acquisition/deaccession of archival materials.

11. Direct education and research staff to deliver mission-relevant programming.

12. Direct the ongoing maintenance and preservation of HCF properties through the Properties Manager.

13. Recruit, hire and manage departmental staff.

14. Develop and oversee departmental budget.

Essential Qualifications

Exceptional interpersonal, organizational and time management skills

Demonstrated ability to:

  • Lead a team and develop/maintain a clear vision 
  • Analyze and interpret architectural plans
  • Solve problems/make decisions as a team leader 
  • Think conceptually, visually, critically and analytically
  • Read, write and speak effectively and with attention to detail
  • Understand appropriate and effective use of multiple communication platforms, including but not limited to social media
  • Work under pressure while maintaining a positive attitude
  • Work with and manage different personality types with diplomacy, discretion and empathy
  • Work effectively across organizational and departmental boundaries
  • Use discretion when receiving/releasing confidential/sensitive information
  • Travel to attend meetings and events as a representative of the organization 

Education & Experience Requirements

  • Bachelors degree in historic preservation, urban planning, architecture or related discipline.  Masters degree preferred.
  • Broad experience with and understanding of all facets of historic preservation.
  • 7 10 years of experience in historic preservation, urban planning, land use or related fields.
  • 3 4 years of management experience and demonstrated business acumen.

Time Requirements

Flexibility to work altered and non-traditional work schedule as necessary to meet deadlines and demands of the position. Minimum shift requirement:  Monday Friday from 8:30 a.m. 5:00 p.m. All members of the staff of Historic Charleston Foundation are called on, from time to time, to support cooperative Foundation programs that are held after normal working hours and on weekends and to assist with projects that may lie outside their primary areas of responsibility.

Work Environment 

The Director of Preservation works in an office environment and frequently travels to attend meetings and events.

The employment relationship with Historic Charleston Foundation is at-will and can be terminated by either you or the foundation at any time, for any reason. Neither this form, or any oral or written policy or procedure, nor any representation by any HCF employee, supervisor or officer can or will change the at-will nature of your employment.

Historic Charleston Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to champion the historic authenticity, cultural character, and livability of the Charleston region through advocacy, stewardship, and community engagement.

How to apply
Send cover letter and resume to BPhillips@HistoricCharleston.org by October 31, 2018. No phone calls, please.
Blair Phillips
40 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401

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