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Historical Society, Wisconsin

Chief Program Officer 

Job Announcement Code(s): 19-00684

Classification Title: / JAC:
  Job Working Title:
INDEF GOV APPT-20.923(4) ESG 6 19-00684
    Chief Program Officer -Unclassified

Type of Employment:
Full Time (40 hrs/week)
The salary for this unclassified position will not be less than $110,000 per year depending on qualifications and includes a robust benefit package.
Special Qualifications:
A criminal background check will be conducted prior to an offer of employment to determine if the circumstances of any conviction may be related to the job.
John Obligato, HR Specialist Senior, 608-264-6409,
Bargaining Unit:
Area of Competition:
Deadline to Apply:
Assessment Information:
See "How to Apply" below.

The Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) is the state's memory and foremost storyteller.  Largely considered to be one of the nation's finest historical institutions, WHS connects people to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories while enriching and transforming lives though unparalleled access to history.  We believe that increasing the public's knowledge of history has a profound societal, cultural and economic benefit.  WHS currently is seeking an innovative leader and dynamic executive to oversee Programming for the institution.

Founded in 1846, the Wisconsin Historical Society is a self-governing Agency of the State of Wisconsin. The Society is headquartered on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Society administers twelve historic sites and museums throughout the state including the Wisconsin Historical Museum on the Capitol Square in Madison. For additional information about the Wisconsin Historical Society, please see:

Go to this FAQ for General Information about Positions in Wisconsin State Government.

Position Summary:   

As a member of senior leadership, the Chief Program Officer (CPO) is responsible for leading all of WHS’s museums and programmatic channels in delivering relevant, engaging, authentic, dynamic, diverse as well as inclusive mission-based experiences, publications, exhibits, digital resources, and educational services. 

Additionally, the CPO is also responsible for staff excellence, and financial performance of the Museums, Programs & Outreach Team and works institutionally to lead and guide the experience design process.  Leads the creation, implementation, and coordination of a strategic direction for Museums, Programs and Outreach, all while insuring sustainability and ongoing performance improvement. Works with the Director’s Office, Senior Leadership Team, and the Deputy Director/COO and other business units to ensure that all venues, projects, exhibitions, and programs align and meet Society standards, brand, as well as business goals.

Qualifications:   A minimally qualified candidate will possess the following-
o Five+ years of senior leadership experience in a complex organization with a proven track record of success
o Experience designing mission-driven programs, products or events that drove and achieved core strategic business functions, including demonstrated success in supervising senior staff to achieve organizational programmatic and fundraising goals.  (Example: public program development, implementation, integration, and sustainability of programs)
o General experience in programming operations (Examples includes familiarity and experience with designing best practices/efficiencies, performance management, multiple platform program integration, executing organizational/ culture change).

How To Apply:   

Please submit electronically a cover letter addressing qualifications for this position, a resume, and five professional references (references will not be contacted without prior permission). Submit to:

Questions may be directed to:
John Obligato, Senior Human Resources Business Partner
Wisconsin Historical Society
816 State Street
Madison, WI 53706-1482
Telephone 608/264-6409

Materials will be evaluated and the most qualified applicants will be invited to participate in the next step of the selection process. The Wisconsin Historical Society is an equal opportunity employer.


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