Director of Institutional History Museum

Washington and Lee University

WittKieffer is partnering with Washington and Lee University (W&L) in its search for the inaugural Director for a new Institutional History Museum (director). Reporting to the Provost, the director will help W&L better articulate its 275-year history, its contributions to the region and the nation, the histories of the individuals for whom it is named and others who shaped its progress, the many connections to American history, and to create a dynamic educational program for the campus community and the public. The director will collaborate with other leaders, faculty, and staff to achieve the broader task of telling W&L’s history. along with contextualizing related historic site, galleries, academic, and creative spaces through dynamic educational curriculum and exhibits. The university seeks a leader with the vision, expertise, and diplomacy needed to contextualize its past, present, and future. 

Founded in 1749, Washington and Lee University is the ninth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is among the most selective and highly regarded universities in the nation, combining a rich history of liberal arts education with a commitment to meeting the educational challenges of the future. The university prides itself on the strength and complementarity of its three divisions: The College of Arts and Sciences, The Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, and The School of Law. The university has an exceptionally qualified and increasingly diverse student body, an outstanding faculty of teacher-scholars, a robust endowment, a loyal and generous alumni base, and a dedicated and talented team of staff and administrators. Together, they create a vibrant community distinguished by an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust, and collaboration.

In addition to bringing together the digital repository, historic sites/structures, and physical collections, the inaugural director will have the opportunity to be involved with designing and building a new museum from its inception, making this an even more exciting time to join one of the best private liberal arts universities in the country. We are seeking an experienced leader to direct the Institutional History Museum, work in partnership with faculty and staff in several academic departments, including the recently created Delaney Center, and oversee the Chapel Galleries and the Washington Hall Gallery. Finalists will understand the role the Museum will play in educating the community and the public on the many chapters of Washington and Lee University’s history, and its connections to the history of the United States.

The director of the Institutional History Museum will help lead the university through the visioning process of the museum’s construction, while promoting and expanding its collections and programming. The director fosters connections among the institution, surrounding historic sites, community partners, alumni, and friends of the university, and steward relationships with some of the institution’s most important philanthropic donors. The director must adeptly oversee the museum’s operations and programming in support of the broader strategic priorities of the university. In addition, the director works with colleagues in University Advancement to advance the mission of the museum through external events and helping secure private philanthropic support. This leader must demonstrate an ability to advocate for, and clearly communicate the importance of, preserving and safeguarding the cultural heritage of W&L and its rich history to move toward the future with wisdom, understanding, and purpose.

All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile, available at

WittKieffer is assisting Washington and Lee University in this search. Application materials should be submitted to WittKieffer’s candidate portal. Candidates will be considered until an appointment is made.

Nominations and inquiries may be directed to Melissa Fincher and Meredith Davis, Ph.D. at

In compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and all other applicable non-discrimination laws, Washington and Lee University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran’s status, or genetic information in its educational programs and activities, admissions, and with regard to employment. Job description requirements are representative, but not all-inclusive of the knowledge, skill, and abilities needed to successfully perform this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

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