Phillips Oppenheim

President, New York, NY




  • To make tangible the profound role immigration plays in shaping American identity;
  • To forge powerful emotional connections between visitors and immigrants past and present;
  • To evoke unforgettably the history of immigration on Manhattan's Lower East Side, America's iconic immigrant neighborhood.


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 and retail spaces 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. In July, the Tenement Museum will open a powerful new exhibit, Beyond the Melting Pot: America's Newest Immigrants and America's Oldest Dream, telling the story of three families who lived at 103 Orchard Street in the decades after World War II: the Epsteins - Holocaust survivors permitted to enter the United States under the nation's first refugee program; the Saez/Velez family, whose migration to New York exemplified the development of the major Puerto Rican community on the mainland; and the Wongs, whose immigration from Hong Kong contributed to the growth of the largest Chinatown outside Asia. This expansion, the cornerstone of a $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 $8.6 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.


The President will be a visionary and creative leader who inspires and engages Board and staff as the Tenement Museum celebrates the completion of the 103 Orchard Street project and embarks on its next phase of growth and development. Reporting to and working closely with the Co-Chairs and the Tenement Museum Board, the President will manage the institution's overall programs and operations, ensuring that the Museum is fiscally sound and supported today and into the future by a sustainable mix of both earned and contributed income. The President will also assume a visible external role, serving as an enthusiastic spokesperson and fundraiser, building awareness of the Museum and significantly increasing its funding base and endowment.

Key institutional priorities for the incoming President include but are not limited to:

  • Develop strong and collaborative relationships with Co-Chairs and other members of the Board and inspire them to invest their best ideas, efforts, resources and contacts; identify, recruit and engage new Board members;
  • Lead the development of a vision for the Museum's future; devise and implement the Museum's next five-year strategic plan;
  • Ensure the ongoing financial stability of the Museum; strengthen internal processes and systems and demonstrate the business acumen necessary to ensure its ongoing success;
  • Serve as a proactive and highly visible ambassador and fundraiser for the Museum; assume leadership of a multifaceted fundraising effort that reaches new supporters, solidifies relationships with existing ones, and builds community and trust; develop and implement a corporate fundraising strategy; begin to explore new avenues of foundation support and new events-centered fundraising activities;
  • Supervise, support, recruit as needed, and retain a highly qualified and motivated professional staff; unify and empower the team; delegate and hold individuals accountable for specific and collective performance; maintain morale and provide direction;
  • Continue to sharpen and build the Museum's visibility and reach locally, nationally and internationally; and ensure that programming and marketing efforts are aligned; expand the membership base and increase visitorship;
  • Harness and maximize the appropriate use of technology and digital media in promoting the Museum, reaching new and diverse audiences and creating innovative and engaging exhibitions and programs; encourage the effective use of new technology, improved internal coordination and communication;
  • Build effective relationships with key civic, education and cultural leaders and partners in New York City and beyond, including the National Park Service, National Trust for Historic Preservation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.


The President will be an experienced leader and administrator who believes strongly in the mission of the Museum. He or she will also be:

  • A passionate ambassador, advocate and spokesperson for the Museum and its mission; someone who will be seen as a thought leader who will nurture the intellectual life of the Museum;
  • An energetic team builder and collaborator with a successful record of engaging, partnering and building alliances with a wide range of stakeholders, internally and externally;
  • A good listener and open communicator; adept as both a speaker and writer;
  • A pragmatic risk taker with a track record of coalescing others around objectives and their successful implementation. In addition, he or she will have:
  • Demonstrated understanding of social/cultural history, the history of immigration and the relevance of the immigration story in contemporary American society;
  • Experience aligning strategic plans with organizational capacity and fiscal resources; financial acumen, with the ability to oversee the budget of a nonprofit institution;
  • Demonstrated success as an enthusiastic and accomplished fundraiser with individuals, foundations and corporate sponsors, with the ability to develop and execute a development plan and connect with untapped philanthropic resources;
  • A commitment to delegating, managing, mentoring and empowering a dedicated, collegial and diverse staff;
  • Creative marketing savvy; comfort with technology and digital platforms;
  • Experience energizing, engaging and managing a board;
  • A sense of humor and humility.

For additional information, please visit

Please send applications or nominations to Becky Klein and Mark Tarnacki at

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