President & CEO



As the Creative Discovery Museum finalizes its major interior renovation and introduces exciting new exhibit galleries, it approaches another important step in its evolution. After 26 years of incredibly successful service, the beloved President & CEO of the Museum, Henry Schulson, will be retiring by early fall. With decades of success and a freshened design, what an exciting opportunity for a successor to pick up the mantle as CDM begins writing its next chapter.

The new President & CEO must be passionate about the mission, inspirational as a leader, innovative in approach and collaborative in spirit. They will be a champion for children and families, increasing access and ensuring that CDM’s audience reflects the Chattanooga community in all its diversity. They will be a forceful advocate in the community for making Chattanooga the best place for a child to grow up and serve as ambassadors locally, regionally, and nationally to the magic that is the Creative Discovery Museum.

The President & CEO will join and be surrounded by a talented, creative staff and a supportive, approachable and dedicated board of trustees. Creative Discovery Museum is part of the heart of the downtown cultural community and a vital educational and inspirational resource for the greater Chattanooga area and all visitors. 


* Knowledge and experience managing professional and operational staff

* Strong written, presentation, and oral communication skills and comfortable with public speaking

* Skills and capabilities in multiple facets of fundraising

* Strong professional reputation and record of integrity, sound judgment and respect for established ethical standards

* Must possess vision and creativity

* Ability to engage and foster relationships with the community, funders, public agencies and the Board of Trustees

* Knowledge of early childhood/elementary education, children’s museums, science centers preferred but not required


* Bachelor’s Degree required (Master’s preferred)

* Five or more years of experience in a senior level position and leadership experience working with, on or for a board of directors (Nonprofit leadership experience preferred but not required)

* A demonstrated commitment to fundraising (at least 5 years experience preferred)

* A positive track record in developing and maintaining strong, successful and transparent relationships as it applies to a board of directors, staff, partners (nonprofit and public), and donors

* A charismatic and inspiring leadership style that engages and supports the work of the board and staff

* Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with government/elected officials, business executives and community leaders who

are central to the success of the museum

* Experience and strong skills in fiscal management, budgeting and forecasting

* Experience working with media preferred

Job Responsibilities:    

As the executive leader of the museum, the President & CEO is charged with the strategic direction, growth and operation of the organization. They are responsible for working with the museum executive team and museum staff to ensure all departments work cohesively so that the organization achieves established goals in a cooperative, balanced, and fun team environment. The President & CEO will also work and coordinate with the senior staff of the Tennessee

Aquarium (including the Aquarium’s CFO who also serves as CDM’s CFO) to ensure that the Aquarium provides the museum with appropriate support for contracted services related to business, finance, accounting, human resources and IT.

Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the museum’s President & CEO integrates the strategic direction created in partnership with the board and the day to day operational plans of the organization. The President & CEO serves as the interface between the internal and external stakeholders and the external environment. It is the ultimate goal of the President & CEO to clearly communicate the institution’s Purpose, Vision, Mission, Core Values and Strategic Plan to these groups, to run a fiscally sound and balanced operation and to inspire the organization to meet or exceed all of its objectives.


More details

Deadline: 06/30/2023
Date Listed: 05/21/2023
Web Address:
Job Status: Full Time
Exemption Status: Exempt
Salary: A range of $150,000 to $200,000. The Creative Discovery Museum offers a competitive salary and benefits program commensurate with experience.
Application Instructions: The Creative Discovery Museum has retained the services of ThinkingAhead Executive Search. Please submit your resume and expression of interest to: Kay Linder Partner, Nonprofit Division

Ad details

Organization: Creative Discovery Museum
City : Chattanooga
State/Prov : Tennessee
Country : United States