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Providence Preservation Society Seeks Executive Director to Lead this Iconic 67-year-old Organization into its Next Chapter (Providence, RI)
Historic Preservation Blog from -
Contributed By: Providence Preservation Society

Providence Preservation Society Seeks Executive Director to Lead this Iconic 67-year-old Organization into its Next Chapter (Providence, RI)

The Providence Preservation Society (PPS) is seeking an Executive Director to lead this iconic 67-year-old organization into its next chapter. The successful candidate will be a 21st-century preservationist and a thoughtful, creative leader who is a natural communicator with keen listening and relationship-building skills. The new PPS Executive Director will play a vital role in ensuring that this dynamic and vibrant city balances people-centered and inclusive preservation with its remarkable history and built environment. This position is located in Providence, Rhode Island.

Founded in 1956, PPS is a growing and dynamic membership-based advocacy organization for historic preservation and neighborhood reinvestment. PPS has grown to be one of the most respected and influential voices in the City with a national reputation as a thought-leader in the field of preservation. Today’s PPS aims to engage a broad and diverse community and understands that preservation can address a wide range of contemporary urban challenges. These include economic vitality, safe and healthy neighborhoods, social justice, historical integration, and respectful planning and design for all residents of Providence. 

This is an exciting time at PPS for a new Executive Director. The 2021-2026 Strategic Plan outlines a progressive approach that embraces pivotal change towards city-wide impact and expansive opportunities. This document resets and elevates the mission and vision of the organization with a goal of opening more doors to promote greater participation in the organization’s work. While continuing to celebrate historic properties and their preservation, PPS’s renewed commitment is to also engage the people whose lives are most affected by urban evolution. 

PPS’ foundation is one of innovation. The organization’s founders pioneered a model for city revitalization that included historic preservation as a core tenet, a revolutionary concept at the time. Along the way, the organization has maintained its innovative stance, unafraid to make bold changes and strong statements, and today finds itself once again at a moment of foundational growth. 


The Executive Director serves as the chief executive and primary spokesperson for the organization,  doing the day-to-day management of the organization and working to implement strategic plans and innovative programs while overseeing the organization's finances, staff, and assets. The Executive Director is a passionate advocate, inspiring leader, growth-oriented executive, and skilled manager.

The successful candidate will embrace and direct an intentional expansion of the organization, attracting new supporters and building a financial model that allows PPS to develop and sustain new and continuing initiatives. The Executive Director will seek out varying perspectives to identify shared problems and opportunities, then organize the people and resources to seize those opportunities. The Executive Director will lead and inspire staff, board, advisory members, residents, and stakeholders throughout the City of Providence. This leader will strengthen partnerships with like-minded organizations, collaborating toward a shared mission of making preservation a catalyst for positive change that is thoughtful and inclusive.


  • Advocate and be the spokesperson for preservation principles and practices that represent PPS’s mission and goals.
  • Fundraise successfully to strengthen the organization’s work.
  • Build bridges between long-standing supporters and new constituents.
  • Demonstrate preservation’s relevance across communities and to a wide range of urban issues.  
  • Identify and cultivate critical allies in the public, private, non-profit, and media sectors.
  • Support progressive economic development and community growth within a preservation framework. 
  • Be an active, engaged, and highly visible member of the community.

Leadership and Management

  • Model a high level of excellence and professionalism. 
  • Establish an office culture that is forward-thinking, supports the work of the staff and Board, is open, accessible, and unbiased.  
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain PPS’s staff with a commitment to excellence; oversee all HR functions.
  • Work with staff to create and maintain an annual calendar of activities, develop and grow programming, and cultivate membership and partnership engagement to further meet PPS’s mission and strategic goals.
  • Maintain existing partnerships and cultivate new collaborative opportunities with neighborhood organizations, city planning, economic development, regulatory agencies, and institutional partners.
  • Actively engage and energize PPS’ community, including board members, committees, volunteers, members, partnering organizations, and funders.
  • Serve as chief advisor to the PPS Board, assuring its effectiveness in policy-making, fundraising, strategic planning, and evaluation. 

Financial Management

  • Identify, cultivate and pursue a broad range of funding sources including membership, leadership donors, corporate, private and public sector partners, including existing and potential  funding sources.
  • Manage the day-to-day financial affairs of PPS; prepare the annual operating budget and plans for the annual financial audit or review. 
    Ensure that appropriate systems, procedures, and financial controls are in place.  
  • Help to establish and implement a long-term financial sustainability plan that ensures the viability of PPS into the future; seek to diversify the organization’s funding streams to include innovative and entrepreneurial initiatives. 
  • Assure adequate care and upkeep of PPS’s historic property.

Programming and Communications

  • Lead the development of creative and engaging programming for PPS members and the public that serves citywide audiences, attracts funding from an expanded base of supporters and enhances PPS’s organizational standing.
  • Work with staff, outside experts, and the Board to identify topics and speakers capable of bringing regional and national perspectives to Providence.
  • Formulate, implement, and assess an overall marketing, branding, and communications strategy that respects PPS’s established identity, effectively delivers strategic messaging, and assures consistency and excellence.
  • Establish and maintain a prominent position in the national preservation community; earn personal and organizational respect for PPS from peer organizations and colleagues; and actively engage in national, regional, state, and local preservation dialogues and efforts, as appropriate. 


  • A background in historic preservation or a related field (e.g. architecture, urban planning, community development) is preferred for this position.
  • A track record of effectively leading and scaling an outcomes-based organization and staff.
  • Proven ability to translate vision into action: prioritize and communicate key objectives and tactics to achieve organizational goals.
  • A skilled mediator with strong listening skills and the ability to navigate complex relationships.
  • A persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal skills and ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures.
  • Ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams.
  • Commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation.
  • Successful management of budgets; having an innovative approach to business planning and budget development a plus.
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing Board member relationships.
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience.
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, collaborative, positive, and passionate. 


The Providence Preservation Society’s Executive Director occupies a full-time, salaried, professional position with an annual full-time salary range of $90,000 to $110,000, commensurate with experience. We offer a generous and comprehensive employee benefits package which includes: Health and dental options; Simple IRA retirement plan with 3% match; generous paid holidays and vacation; and the opportunity for remote work. The Executive Director is a member of the Providence Preservation Society and should live in Providence. A relocation stipend is available.


Interested candidates should submit their resume along with a cover letter explaining their relevant experience and interest in the position to the Search Committee at Applications will be reviewed starting March 20, 2023. 

Posted: February 27, 2023
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