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99 Power Street

Employment Opportunities

Director of Preservation


Status: Full-time, salaried, exempt

Hours: Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm; evening and weekends, as needed

Benefits: Medical and dental insurance; vacation, sick and personal days; 14 paid holidays per year

Start Date: Immediately

Reports to: Executive Director

Supervises: Interns and Volunteers


Position Overview

The Director of Preservation will advance the organization’s work plan by developing and implementing advocacy efforts and educational programs that further the organization’s mission and strategic goals. The Director of Preservation will identify and cultivate critical allies in the public, private, non-profit and media sectors, communicating PPS’ progressive values emphasizing that economic development and community growth are more successful within a preservation framework. The Director of Preservation is expected to be an active, engaged, and highly visible member of the community, seeking partnering opportunities to help advance PPS’ objectives. They will participate collegially with neighborhood organizations; city planning, economic development, and regulatory agencies; and institutional partners. They will be involved in diversifying the organization’s funding streams using innovative and entrepreneurial initiatives. Given the dominant community-facing nature of the position, it requires a commitment to working frequent evening and weekend hours.


Major Responsibilities- Required activities include, but are not limited to:

Preservation and Public Outreach (50%)

  • Track specific projects over time and bring to attention of PPS staff and board as needed. Represent PPS and provide testimony before various review boards and public bodies.
  • Attend public and community meetings, including the Preservation Roundtable, to represent PPS, gather updates on relevant issues, and provide statements and testimony, when necessary. Track specific projects over time and call attention to PPS staff and board as needed.
  • Generate content on advocacy initiatives for communications.
  • Manage major programs and develop tactics to increase community engagement. These include:
    • Planning and Architectural Review (PAR)
      • Identify projects for review by committee, contact developers and architects, arrange for presentations, conduct research, draft committee meeting minutes and comment letters, and prepare documents and information for public use, website, and newsletter as needed. Follow up with presenters/developers as necessary as project progresses; maintain accurate files of all projects.
    • Most Endangered Properties (MEP)
      • Solicit and research nominations; present recommendations to PAR and Board of Trustees; prepare all supporting documentation; plan annual photography exhibit; and, other duties as necessary.
    • Historic Preservation Awards
      • Oversee all aspects of this program, including but not limited to: design nomination form; solicit nominations; research nominations; present recommendations to committee; coordinate site visits and follow-up contact with nominees; and, other duties as necessary.
    • Public Inquiries/ Technical Assistance
      • Field inquiries from the public on preservation issues and suggest appropriate resources, government offices, neighborhood associations, local non-profits, etc. Provide technical assistance to members and the general public as appropriate. Track inquiries. Support office administrator with contractor referral program.

Educational Programming (40%)

  • Work with Executive Director to develop and implement diverse educational initiatives to help build an informed audience for the organization.
  • Support speaking opportunities for the Executive Director by creating talking points, when needed.
  • Manage and staff the Public Engagement Committee.
  • Generate content on educational programs for communications
  • Cultivate relational strategies to expand the influence, outreach and efficacy of programming within the areas of focus.
    • Place-based programs about History, Architecture and Planning. These may include existing programs or ones. Existing programs include Spring Programs, Most Endangered Properties photo exhibit, Summer Walks & Talks, Symposium, Festival of Historic Houses-related programs, Annual Meeting and Annual Awards.
    • Programs about Environmental Sustainability that build advocacy around historic places by increasing the knowledge and awareness of the environmental sustainability of existing buildings, sustainable planning, steps to energy efficiency in small buildings, and the impact of climate change on cities.
    • Programs about Urban Livability that address those things that make cities livable, including great design, but also good transit, walkability, services, safety, lighting, infrastructure, taxes.
  • Plan and manage educational programs, including lectures, workshops and walking tours.
  • Organize, market, and staff PPS’s Historic House Specialist program for Realtors.
  • Prepare program budgets.

Property Stewardship (5%)

  • Manage and staff the Property Stewardship Committee and House Marker Subcommittee.
  • Coordinate marker applications, complete preliminary research, compile information for review committee, work with research consultant and marker fabricator for delivery of markers and supporting materials to property owners.
  • Assist the public with historic building inquiries.


Other Responsibilities (5%)

  • Identify, develop and manage program grants.
  • Draft internship descriptions for preservation, advocacy and program internships as needed. Supervise interns/work-study students/volunteers on various projects and programs, including soliciting, interviewing and supervising their work.
  • External Relations:  prepare electronic and print newsletter articles and photographs for all preservation-related issues and write updates about programs and preservation projects. Responsible for preservation/advocacy website content and updates.
  • Support special events, as needed.
  • Act as staff lead for public programs and advocacy initiatives.


Education and Experience

A graduate or professional degree in a relevant discipline are required. Three or more years of high-level historic preservation experience are desired.


Knowledge, Skills and Capacities

PPS seeks for its Director of Preservation an entrepreneurial not-for-profit leader with an informed passion for historic preservation advocacy. Candidates must have a thorough knowledge of historic architecture and preservation policies at the local, state, and national levels, as well as the ability to effectively communicate and apply such knowledge. Candidates should have experience working with volunteers, community organizing, creating educational and engaging public programs and managing multiple projects at once.

The ideal candidate will have excellent writing, speaking, organization, negotiation, and technology skills and the ability to meet multiple, overlapping deadlines. The character of applicants must be professional, energetic, organized, patient, self-motivated, and have skills to connect with and manage people of diverse backgrounds. Desired qualifications include fluency in Spanish and high comfort level in public speaking and working with groups of any size.


Application Procedures

Review of candidate materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment. Email a letter of interest, a resume, a writing sample of a minimum of 500 words and contact information for three professional referees to Brent Runyon, Executive Director, at . All communications will be held in confidence and references will not be contacted without the candidate’s prior consent. No phone calls, please. Only finalists will be contacted.


Organization Overview

Founded in 1956, the Society is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to improve Providence by advocating for historic preservation and the enhancement of its unique character through thoughtful design and planning. Among the pioneers of the American historic preservation movement, no city organization has had a greater impact than PPS on the identity, appearance and ethos of its community, beginning with the rescue of College Hill in the 1950s and 60s, not as a museum but as a revitalized neighborhood that today provides a dynamic setting for the world’s pre-eminent art school (Rhode Island School of Design) and one of its leading research universities (Brown).

PPS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind. PPS is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. Employment decisions are based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex, age, physical, mental or sensory disability, HIV Status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, past or present military service, family medical history or genetic information, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate.

There is currently a 19-member Board of Trustees and a full-time staff of five, currently operating out of the Old Brick School  House (1769) in the College Hill National Historic Landmark District. With an operating budget of approximately $600K and an endowment of approximately $1.2 million, PPS maintains a current membership of approximately 500.