Phillips Oppenheim

Executive Vice President for Operations, New York, NY



The Tenement Museum tells the story of American immigration, the core of our continually evolving American identity and a central part of today's national conversation. Personal stories of immigrant families allow visitors to encounter immigration as an essential force in shaping this country and to absorb how much our open society, democratic institutions, cultural creativity, and economic vitality owe to our experience as a nation of immigrants.

Established in 1988, the Tenement Museum has become one of New York City's preeminent cultural and educational institutions, welcoming, in 2016, more than 228,000 visitors including 55,000 students. Its two historic tenements on Orchard Street were home to an estimated 15,000 people from more than 20 nations between 1863 and 2000 and represent the heart of the Museum. Visitors are guided by educators through restored apartments in the buildings, explore the surrounding neighborhood's history and culture, and powerfully experience how immigrants weathered hard times and built new lives.

The Tenement Museum's current core programming includes more than 12 different tours of 97 Orchard Street and the Lower East Side that vividly convey immigrant experiences: the grinding toil of the sweatshop, nativist hostility and discrimination, economic hardship in the devastating depressions of 1873 and the 1930s and, throughout, the indomitable will of these newcomers to survive and succeed in a new world. This fall the Tenement Museum will open a powerful new exhibit, Under One Roof, telling the story of three families who lived at 103 Orchard Street in the decades after World War II. This expansion, the cornerstone of just-completed $20 million capital campaign, will enable the Museum to serve 50,000 additional visitors annually and to explore the effects of the 1924 Immigration Act, which limited the number of immigrants through a national origins quota and its subsequent revisions, which saw the nation's return to historic American ideals in admitting immigrants.

In addition to guided tours of its historic immigrant apartments, the Tenement Museum offers a wide range of educational programs and teaching tools, as well as regular public programs that provide opportunities for discussion about the immigrant/migrant experience past and present. A cultural anchor and economic engine for the Lower East Side, the Tenement Museum is an affiliated site of both the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Tenement Museum is governed by a 23-member Board of Trustees, has an annual budget of approximately $10 million, and is managed by a staff of 64 full-time and 75 part-time employees. Its administrative offices are located at 91 Orchard Street - a third building owned by the Museum.


Under the direction of the President and the Board of Directors, the Executive Vice President for Operations (EVP) will serve as a member of the Tenement Museum's senior leadership team comprised of the President, the EVP for Operations, the EVP for Programs and Interpretation, the VP for Development, and the VP for Marketing and Communications.

While fostering a collegial environment, the EVP will manage and direct all of the Museum's business practices and operations day-to-day, including enterprise programs (museum shop, events, and visitor services), technology, and human resources. The EVP will provide strategic leadership to the Museum and be an integral resource in the development of new systems, enterprise programs and initiatives, renovations and/or expansion efforts. Specifically, s/he will oversee a team of six direct reports, 39 indirect reports, and be responsible for the institution's $10 million budget.

It is critically important that the EVP gain the trust and confidence of the President and the Board, communicating regularly with the audit, finance, and investment committees, and serving as their partner for financial operations and profit-and-loss matters. Therefore, having the technical, as well as the human skills necessary to structure the business activities of a highly complex, multidimensional cultural institution is of the highest priority.

Key institutional priorities and responsibilities for the EVP include but are not limited to:

  • Provide operational leadership for the Tenement Museum; review and strengthen the administration, systems, management, and finances of the organization through measured, thoughtful analysis and response;
  • Quickly become familiar with the Tenement's systems requirements and institute-wide standards for operation; develop protocols and codify plans and procedures which improve efficiencies, clarify roles and responsibilities, and maximize staff productivity;
  • Gain a comprehensive grasp of the Tenement's current budget; formulate and oversee a budget which is realistic, and in alignment with the goals and ambitions of the President and the Board; implement sound fiscal policies, procedures, and controls to ensure the museum's assets are protected;
  • Take ownership of the Tenement's finances; with the controller, communicate financial information and recommendations to the President and the Board in a timely manner; and ensure the delivery of enhanced financial reports, forecasts, and analyses to facilitate decision-making, strategic planning, creativity, flexibility, and responsiveness;
  • Coordinate the maintenance and renovations of the Tenement's landmarked buildings and facilities; execute the Museum's current capital projects, deferred maintenance plans, and ongoing infrastructure needs with specific emphasis on the recently launched renovation of 97 Orchard Street;
  • Equitably manage and balance the museum's finite space, capacity, and financial resources; become familiar with current allocations; closely monitor and manage the Tenement's revenues, expenses, and debt structure; provide all museum departments with the guidance, tools, and resources necessary to ensure increased understanding, ownership, and responsibility for their department's finances;
  • Assist enterprise managers in the development and execution of annual business plans; make recommendations on the optimal growth rate for the various enterprise programs, proper revenue targets, managing costs, and assess the financial feasibility of new ventures;

Additionally the EVP will:

  • Supervise, support, mentor, and retain a highly qualified and motivated professional staff; unify and empower the team; delegate and hold individuals accountable for specific and collective performance and recruit as needed; maintain morale and provide direction;
  • Oversee and coordinate the use of outside legal counsel; create and implement an investment policy and cash strategy as appropriate in coordination with the finance committee;
  • Oversee all information technology and telecommunications systems and the purchase, lease, and maintenance of equipment;
  • With the Director of Human Resources, oversee all human resource functions.


The ideal candidate will be a detail-oriented professional with excellent management and analytical skills; a leader who can juggle multiple priorities and have the following experience and qualifications:

  • Operationally skillful and seasoned, with sizeable administrative and financial responsibility and leadership in a significant nonprofit organization and/or from the for-profit sector, preferably with experience in a public-serving institution;
  • Experience aligning strategic plans with organizational capacity and fiscal resources; familiarity with the complexities of a cultural institution, and/or financial experience related to funding from New York City though a bonus, is not a requirement;
  • Proven senior-level, problem-solving, decision-making, and planning capability; successfully demonstrated ability to summarize and present financial statements, projections, and other reports clearly and effectively to key stakeholders, with the ability to develop financial models, apply analytics to institutional decision-making, and course-correct as necessary;
  • Significant management skills and business acumen; the ability to hire, develop, mentor, and retain talented people, define and implement effective management structures and systems, establish and uphold high-performance standards, and delegate; the ability to both lead their own team while also working collaboratively with other members of the senior management team;
  • Results-oriented with strong interpersonal skills; an ability to work well with a wide variety of people and stakeholders at various levels; self-motivated with effective "roll up sleeves" work ethic; decisive, resourceful, and responsive;
  • Someone who can impart credibility, integrity, and enthusiasm, who understands the subtleties of motivating a group of diverse personalities in a team setting; and, ideally, a sense of humor;
  • An advanced degree - such as an MBA, MPA would be valuable.

For additional information, please visit Please send applications or nominations to Becky Klein and Mark Tarnacki at

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