Our team at Koya Leadership Partners is leading the search for the first Executive Director of Yerkes Future Foundation. At Koya, we partner with clients to identify and recruit mission-driven senior leaders.
About Yerkes Future Foundation & Yerkes Observatory
Yerkes Observatory, the birthplace of modern astrophysics, is a majestic, iconic building with a rich history of science discovery and education on the shores of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Yerkes Observatory was established in 1897 and for its first 120+ years was funded and operated by the University of Chicago. In 2018, the University transferred ownership to the Yerkes Future Foundation.
The mission of the Yerkes Future Foundation (“YFF”) is to preserve and protect Yerkes Observatory, celebrate its history and continue to foster its goals of research, education and astronomical observation. In this next chapter, the goal of YFF is to create breakthrough programs and experiences that advance its mission and vision in powerful new ways resulting in new access to astronomy and science education. Yerkes Observatory also seeks to establish itself as a year-round, world-renowned destination by offering unique ways to engage with the historically significant buildings and grounds, history and STEM learning. It is important to note that first and foremost, YFF seeks to be a place of scientific research that re-captures the underlying academic foundations upon which the Observatory was originally conceived.
The Executive Director provides full oversight of all aspects of the organization, including strategy, fundraising, finance, administration, marketing, community engagement, operations and property management, education programs, tours, rental activities, as well as the organizational structure and personnel to maintain the facility. Additionally, the ED will be responsible for interpreting the 48 acres of Olmsted designed grounds for programming, events and public use.
This is an exciting opportunity for an entrepreneurial and visionary leader to partner with an ambitious Board of Directors and build an organization from the ground-up. This includes the hiring of staff, the development of ambitious research and educational programs, and fundraising to support these initiatives.
Leaders with experience leading a nonprofit organization or related for-profit entity are appealing. Proven fundraising experience is highly desired. A concentration in some area of science, including but not limited to astronomy, is not a requirement but will be beneficial. Experience in facilities management will be helpful but is not required.
Potential candidates are encouraged to express interest here. We welcome recommendations of potential candidates via this email or [email protected]. Feel free to thoughtfully share this opportunity in your networks.
Please note: If you are interested in connecting for a conversation, but now is not a good time, please feel free to respond with “follow up later,” and we will follow up in a few weeks.