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Executive Director: Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives

  • 05 Jan 2017 12:38 PM
    Message # 4509694
    ALHFAM Webmaster (Administrator)


    Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives (“Hawaiian Mission Houses”, “HMH”)

    Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives enriches our community by fostering thoughtful dialogue and greater understanding of the missionary role and impact on the history of Hawai`i.

    Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives preserves the heritage and interprets the stories of the American Protestant Missionaries, their descendants, and their relationships with the people and cultures of Hawai`i, connecting with contemporary life, and encouraging a deeper understanding and appreciation of the complex history of Hawai‘i.

    Main Theme: Collaboration
    Collaboration between Native Hawaiians and the American Protestant missionaries resulted in, among other things, the introduction of Christianity, the development of a written Hawaiian language and establishment of schools that resulted in widespread literacy, the promulgation of the concept of constitutional government, the combination of Hawaiian with Western medicine, and the evolution of a new and distinctive musical tradition with harmony and choral singing.

    A 501(c)3 non-profit educational institution, Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society was founded in 1852, incorporated in 1907, and has no religious affiliation. It acquired the 1821 Mission House in 1906, restored and opened it in 1908. The organization developed a professional staff in 1970 and named the public program component Mission Houses Museum. An extensive strategic planning process culminated in early 2012 with a new name, Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives (HMH), as well as the above mission, vision, and theme for the historic site.  HMH, which has an annual budget of about $1.2M consisting of donations, earned revenue, grants, and income from a $3M endowment, is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1965.

    Physical Facilities:
    The historic site, one acre in the middle of downtown Honolulu, includes Hawai‘i’s two oldest houses, the 1821 Mission House and the 1831 Chamberlain House, a bedroom annex interpreted as the Print Shop (1841), the Mission Memorial Cemetery, and a building which houses collections and archives, a reading room, a visitors’ store, a café, and staff offices. A coral and grass stage, Kahua Ho`okipa, was added in 2011; addition of a reconstructed grass dwelling is in permitting process. This was the headquarters for the American protestant Sandwich Island Mission established here from 1820 through 1863.

    In addition to the aforementioned buildings which are part of the collection, the object collection contains over 7,500 artifacts, including furniture, quilts, bark cloth, paintings, ceramics, clothing, and jewelry. The archival collections include more than 12,000 books, manuscripts, original letters, diaries, journals, illustrations, and Hawaiian church records. HMH owns the largest collection of Hawaiian language books in the world, and the second largest collection of letters written by the ali‘i. The size and scope of these collections make Hawaiian Mission Houses one of the foremost repositories for nineteenth century Hawaiian history.

    A National Historic Landmark, HMH preserves and interprets the two oldest houses in Hawaiʻi through school programs, historic house tours, and special events. The archives, English and Hawaiian, are available on site and online. Together, these activities enrich our community “by fostering thoughtful dialogue and greater understanding of the missionary role in the history of Hawaiʻi.” (Vision Statement)

    HMH collections are critical to understanding the dramatic changes in the 19th-century Kingdom of Hawaiʻi that helped shape contemporary Hawaiʻi.  With one of the most significant collections of manuscripts and photos of 19th-century Hawaiʻi, and perhaps surprisingly, the largest collection of Hawaiian language books in the world, the collection includes results of the recent Letters from the Aliʻi translation project which can be seen on our website. The geographic reach of HMH has increased dramatically both abroad and within our own state.

    It is critical that the community at large recognize the value of HMH and the stories that our assets embody and can evoke to help us all understand who we are, where we came from, and how this place, this Hawaiʻi we know today came to be.  One cannot understand modern Hawaii without understanding the 19th century changes that occurred through the unlikely collaborative partnership between Native Hawaiians, their ali‘i, and the American Protestant missionaries.

    The Opportunity:
    The bicentennial of the arrival of the ABCFM missionaries to Hawaii is fast approaching. This is an extremely important and rare opportunity. Hawaiian Mission Houses is already pursuing projects, such as the Ali’i Letters, which is the digital publication of more than 225 letters written by more than 35 Hawaiian ali‘i, to help the community reflect on the role of the missionaries in Hawaiian history, and then rejuvenate the kind of collaboration within the community that, after careful examination of documents of the era, clearly existed between the ali‘i and missionaries.   

    Hawaiian Mission Houses is looking for a dynamic Executive Director to guide the organization through the bicentennial it into its next century.  HMH’s Board of Trustees has already began taking action and committing resources towards increasing revenue, targeting community needs and desires, and preparing for this rare opportunity.  The new Executive Director will be intimately engaged in driving the bicentennial opportunity and related initiatives.



    Reporting Relationship

    The Board of Trustees is the governing body of and has ultimate responsibility for the management of HMH.  The Board appoints the Executive Director.  The Executive Director reports to the Board and may be removed by a majority vote of the Board.  The Executive Director serves at the pleasure of the Board as an “at will” employee consistent with applicable law. 


    The Executive Director has overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations of HMH, for maintaining its AAM accreditation, and for ensuring HMH and its Board and staff comply with all legal, financial and administrative rules and regulations.  Reporting to the Executive Director is a team that includes 8 full- and 4 part-time paid staff with assistance from trained volunteer docents and school program volunteers. 


    The Executive Director will serve avidly and passionately as a key member of the Hawaiian Mission Houses’ fundraising team.  Along with the Board of Trustees and Development Director, the Executive Director oversees the creation and implementation of fundraising strategies that enable the organization to meet financial and resource development goals necessary to carry out its programs and operations.  The Executive Director will actively engage on a regular basis with private donors and foundations and think beyond traditional sources to identify unique funding opportunities.

    Financial Management 

    The Executive Director ensures that solid budgeting and accounting systems are in operation and that HMH has proper financial and risk management controls in place to protect the institution’s assets. 

    Strategic Planning

    Working in partnership with the Strategic Planning Committee and the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director will lead the effort to develop a strategic plan to fund and advance HMH’s mission and to communicate the vision and build support of the mission among its diverse stakeholders.

    Public Relations

    The Executive Director, as the primary spokesperson and public face of Hawaiian Mission Houses, has the responsibility to effectively promote the organization, advocate for HMH’s mission, and build relationships with key stakeholder groups, including: donors, elected and public officials, area businesses, preK-12 schools, colleges and university leadership, and local community leaders and the local community at large.


    Minimum 10 - 15 years of progressive executive management leadership positions in general management or development in a private, not-for-profit, or public museum, historical society, historic preservation, cultural center or similar enterprise or organization.

    An advanced degree in business management, history and museum studies, or a related field.

    Demonstrated ability to recruit, develop and manage a team that works in an integrated manner to achieve major goals.

    Successful track record of working in close partnership with a committed Board of Trustees or in a collective leadership environment.

    Ability to develop, prioritize and implement effective work and strategic plans.

    Demonstrated success in fundraising, marketing and financial management.

    Ability and desire to engage in broad outreach to HMH stakeholders including donors, elected and public officials, area businesses, preK-12 schools, colleges and university leadership, and local community leaders and the local community at large.

    The ideal candidate will be:

    A Respected Leader

    With strong decision-making skills, who follows-through with commitments, has the ability to strategize, set clear objectives, and motivate our organization and its diverse stakeholders to work intensely toward success in achieving a shared vision.


    Demonstrating a passion for Hawaii, our story and preserving, sharing and instilling in others the value of the history of Hawaiian Mission Houses and Hawaii.

    A Relationship Builder

    Who readily collaborates with numerous constituents to articulate our goals, solicit community and financial support, and gain broad acceptance for our role as a valuable community asset.


    Possessing the ability to inspire others to become excited about, energized and, importantly, invested in our mission and goals.

    To apply, please follow the directions below:

    • Email your resume and a cover letter in .doc or .pdf format to: marc@bcrhawaii.com
    • Your candidacy will be held in the strictest confidence.
    • The starting date for this position is Spring 2017.
    • Applications received by Tuesday, January 31, 2017 will be considered.

    Thank you for applying for this position.

    Last modified: 24 Jan 2017 4:59 PM | ALHFAM Webmaster (Administrator)

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