Executive Director

Job title: Executive Director
Organization: Cincinnati Observatory
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Industry: Non-Profit

Job Description

To learn more about this opportunity, download the full Position Overview here: https://info.aliniti.com/hubfs/Cincinnati%20Observatory/Cincinnati%20Observatory%20Executive%20Director%20Position%20Profile.pdf

The Cincinnati Observatory, a National Historic Landmark, with a mission to maintain the integrity and heritage of a historic 19th century observatory while promoting the study and practice of 21st century astronomy and science, is seeking an Executive Director.

The Executive Director is responsible for the stewardship of the Observatory’s resources and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the organization to achieve its mission of educating, engaging, and inspiring the community about astronomy and science.


  • Strategy and Planning: Leads the development and execution of a cohesive strategy for future growth and sustainability.
  • Relationship Management: Manages relationships and programs that strengthen partnerships, create well-balanced revenue streams, and build engagement with key constituents.
  • Fundraising and Development: Cultivates and diplomatically wins the support of donors to ensure appropriate revenue streams.
  • Operational Leadership: Effectively manages, motivates, and engages with staff to ensure professionally managed finances, public relations, and operations within budget.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The responsibilities listed are fundamental to the position and must be performed successfully to achieve the key performance objectives of the role. Other responsibilities may be assigned.

  • Leads the annual strategic planning process and champions the development and communication of the organization’s vision, strategies, and long-range operating plans and objectives.
  • Serves as a change agent who identifies the future needs of the organization and provides the framework, resources, and direction to enable the Observatory to achieve its strategic objectives.
  • Establishes clearly defined key performance indicators and holds the organization accountable for executing annual strategic and operational plans that align with annual operating budgets and goals.
  • Works with the Board and senior staff on the development of financial plans, budgets, and forecasts.
  • Monitors financial performance and seeks outside counsel from trusted advisors to challenge internal assumptions on the organization’s operating model.
  • Champions the Observatory in the community. Objectives include educating the public on the value of astronomy and science, furthering the organization’s reach, and generating interest in the organization’s mission and programs.
  • Deepens the connections with current partner organizations and identifies new partners and corporate sponsors through networking and research.
  • Develops partner-specific business models that create long-term value and advances the Observatory’s mission.
  • Participates in the recruitment and onboarding of Board members and ensures Board members’ expectations are clear and the members are appropriately engaged.
  • Partners with the Development Director on developing donor strategies and communication plans, including cultivating relationships with major donors and prospects.
  • Ensures establishment of a cohesive plan to diversify the organization’s revenue streams and, with the Development Director, identifies and develops alternative sources of funding.
  • Ensures building the Observatory’s brand equity with donors, members, partners and the community at-large by consistent messaging through traditional and non-traditional marketing, social media and communication channels.
  • Works closely with staff and Board in establishing and maintaining a robust marketing plan to promote the Observatory’s programs to members, schools, and the general public.
  • Builds a team committed to operational excellence and fulfillment of the Observatory’s mission. Remains in tune with the team’s needs and empowers members with the training, tools, and resources necessary for success.
  • Works with Observatory staff, committees, volunteers, and community partners to plan, develop, and implement new programs, projects, and initiatives consistent with the Observatory’s mission and to assess the feasibility of such new programs, projects, and initiatives.
  • Monitors the overall effectiveness of the Observatory’s processes, systems, and operations.
  • Interacts with Board members and staff to develop and implement best practices, coordinate activities, and solve organizational or departmental challenges.
  • Works with Facilities and Collections Manager to ensure the historic buildings and collections are properly maintained consistent with their National Historic Landmark status, including preventative maintenance, capital requirements for renovations and upgrades, and management of the Observatory’s historical artifacts and assets.


  • Preferred 7-10 years of executive or senior management experience successfully leading teams and organizations is required.
  • Previous leadership experience in the nonprofit sector is strongly preferred.
  • Bachelor’s Degree (required) or Master’s Degree (preferred).
  • Proven ability to establish a strategic vision, setting a comprehensive strategy for the COC and to lead the organizational, management and cultural changes to realize that vision.
  • Proven financial acumen and experience with diversified revenue sources, and success in maintaining fiscal stability.
  • Experience in building successful funding and financial relationships with partners.
  • Has demonstrated experience in building consensus among diverse stakeholders and facilitating action towards a common goal.
  • Ability to manage staff including the ability to improve team and individual performance.
  • Ability to perform and provide clear decision-making leadership while juggling multiple responsibilities.
  • Must have a collaborative, team-oriented management style that engages leadership.
  • Must possess an entrepreneurial and visionary mindset with the ability to implement solutions that realistically embrace aspirational goals.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills, confidence and experience in public speaking.
  • Background in science, astronomy, museums, or educational institutions is strongly preferred.


  • Positive, upbeat personality
  • Leadership and inspirational qualities
  • Exhibits openness, transparency, and honesty
  • Experience managing through conflict and crisis
  • Able to provide candid feedback with good intentions
  • Builds relationships that are strategic and not transactional
  • Views management and leadership as a form of mentorship

Jessica Multhauf from ALINITI is leading the search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (including a resume and letter of interest) should be directed electronically to this email jmulthauf@aliniti.com

Cincinnati Observatory provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.