Open Positions

Executive Director

The Connecticut River Museum Seeks Executive Director


 About the Connecticut River Museum                                                                                             

The Connecticut River Museum (CRM) is a cultural gem dedicated to exploring and celebrating the dynamic relationship between one of America’s great rivers and the inhabitants along and around its shores. CRM focuses on the role of the Connecticut River, New England’s largest, in the social, commercial, and environmental evolution of its region, from the time of Indigenous Peoples

through colonization and industrialization, to the present. By deepening the public’s appreciation of the River’s importance to past generations, CRM seeks to inspire future generations to embrace stewardship of this national treasure, one of only 14 rivers in the country designated by the U.S. government as a National Heritage River. Some 25,000 people from all fifty states and numerous foreign countries visit the Museum each year.

This AAM-accredited Museum was founded in 1974 and is now approaching its 50th anniversary. CRM occupies a spectacular waterfront campus and is housed in four historic buildings. CRM’s core offerings include:

  • A robust series of youth and adult educational programs
  • Educational and recreational experiences onboard two vessels that operate from its docks: the Onrust, a re-creation of the ship commanded by the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block on his voyage up the River in 1614, and RiverQuest, an eco-tour cruiser accommodating 60 passengers
  • An extensive collection of marine objects, tools, and artifacts (including the famous and highly popular “Turtle,” an operational model of America’s first submarine)
    Permanent and special rotating exhibits exploring diverse aspects of the River’s past and future
  • A distinguished research archive comprising rare books, journals, and manuscripts; and
    Numerous community outreach events, including a summer concert series and lecture series

The Museum is located six miles upriver from Long Island Sound in the picturesque village of Essex, Connecticut. The village is widely acclaimed for its charming architecture, civic spirit, the natural beauty of its surroundings, cultural amenities, and excellent school system — indeed for its overall quality of life. It is equidistant from New York and Boston and easily accessible to both by rail or car. Major educational institutions, including Yale, Wesleyan, the University of Connecticut, Trinity, and Connecticut College are all within a 45-minute commute or less. The abundance of other nearby educational, cultural, and environmental nonprofit institutions presents rich opportunities for cross collaboration, which the Museum eagerly pursues. Essex lies squarely within the tidelands area of the Connecticut River that the Nature Conservancy has named one of the Western Hemisphere’s “40 Last Great Places”.

 Opportunity Going Forward                                                                                                              

Entering the organization at a crucial moment, the newly chosen Executive Director (ED) will realize the Museum’s next phase of organizational growth and evolution by leading the implementation of its recently adopted 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, “Setting Our Course to Fifty and Beyond.” Key components of this plan include:

  • Fostering a “culture of innovation” that will enable CRM to stay abreast of best practices and important trends in museum management
  • Expanding educational programming and interactive learning experiences
  • Deepening partnerships with like-minded organizations along the River
  • Creating new programs that highlight a broader range of historical perspectives as well as environmental stewardship
  • Creating and implementing a Campus Master Plan that will maximize the utilization and maintenance of the Museum’s many physical assets
  • Expanding and diversifying the Board of Trustees
  • Building and retaining an excellent staff by providing competitive compensation; reliable technology; and clear lines of internal communication
  • Promulgating clear policies and procedures that reflect CRM’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging
    Enhancing philanthropy and fundraising that have long supported CRM
    Fostering responsible innovation, including supporting initiatives aimed at promoting the

River’s sustainable development

  • Creating and enacting a plan to celebrate CRM’s 50th anniversary in 2024
  • Supporting innovative use of technology and multi-media applications to complement

CRM’s extensive collections

  • Ensuring CRM is a good neighbor to local businesses and firms, working with them for the collective benefit of the community.

Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director will directly manage six full-time staff members (Curator, Development Director, Education Director, Finance Director, Boats Captain, Director of Visitor Services) as well as a number of part-time and volunteer personnel. The successful candidate will already live within commuting distance of CRM’s offices in Essex or be willing to relocate to the area.

Desired Credentials/Profile of the Ideal Candidate

  • Passion for CRM’s mission: To deepen appreciation for the River’s history and to inspire its stewardship by providing unique educational and recreational experiences to diverse audiences
  • Deep alignment with and belief in CRM’s Values of excellence; openness and innovation; environmental sustainability; diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion; respect, integrity, and honesty; and being a good neighbor
  • A minimum of five years of progressive leadership experience in an organization of similar size or complexity
  • Professional and/or volunteer experience in one or more of the following:
    • At the executive level (C-suite or Board) of a non-profit organization
    • In the education and/or environment fields
    • In a museum, cultural, and/or membership-based organization


 Skills and Experience                                                                                                                           

Strategic Leader Able to Balance Vision and Operations

  • Mission-driven leader who is aligned with and committed to implementation of CRM’s strategic plan and goals.
  • Ability to envision and execute initiatives to realize those goals, working closely with staff to measure progress against agreed-upon objectives.
  • Innovative thinker able to identify, assess, and act on new opportunities that expand an organization’s reach, impact, and sustainability.

Inspiring Ambassador and Fundraiser

  • Poised, persuasive leader who delights in serving as the face of an organization and is driven and excited to expand CRM’s network
  • Compelling public speaker capable of connecting with and inspiring a wide range of diverse people to visit, volunteer with, and/or donate to the Museum.
  • Enthusiastic, seasoned fundraiser adept at strategically identifying, stewarding, and sustaining existing and prospective donors.
  • Experience managing and growing revenue-generating programs, services and/or
  • Proven ability to build partnerships and alliances that expand the geographic reach of an organization, a program, or a service.
  • Experience engaging with and/or managing Board relations and

Skilled Manager of People and Organizations

  • Authentic leader who fosters trust, collegiality, communication, and collaboration among
  • Energetic, engaged, accessible manager who embraces hands-on leadership that is focused and disciplined, while also encouraging individual staff initiative and team building.
  • Sound financial manager familiar with budgets and forecasts, especially as it relates to fundraising, earned revenue, expense control, and development.
  • Leader who holds self and others equally to consistent, high levels of accountability and

 Compensation and Benefits                                                                                                                

This is a full-time position with a starting salary range of $100,000-$120,000 commensurate with experience and qualifications. CRM also offers a benefits package that includes a medical savings account, life insurance, a voluntary 401(k) program (no employer match), and paid time off. The Connecticut River Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer seeking a diverse workforce.

 Additional Considerations                                                                                                                  

The work environment and physical demands and characteristics are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
Physical Demands: Requires physical activity including sitting/standing, lifting and carrying (up to 50 lbs.), up/downstairs, and walking on the museum’s floating docks.
Work Environment: Work is performed in indoor and outdoor environments.

 Application Process and Additional Information                                                                          

Candidates must include a resume and a cover letter that describes how their qualifications and experience match the needs and mission of CRM. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Upload required documents to:

This executive search is being conducted by Eos Transition Partners consultant, Erin Cox. All submissions will be acknowledged and are confidential, and any questions can be submitted to Erin at:

Onrust and RiverQuest Crew Member

Sailing vessel Onrust and Tour Boat RiverQuest needs crew for Summer and Fall 2022! Ideal applicants will be able to work at least through the end of October. Onrust is a re-creation of the Dutch Yacht used by Captain Adriaen Block to explore the New Netherlands territory in 1614. RiverQuest is a 65’ twin hulled catamaran style tour boat. Both depart from the CT River Museum dock in scenic Essex CT, we offer regular public cruises to museum patrons. We also offer special themed cruises, private charters, and educational experiences to school groups, with a focus on local history and the environment. Occasional voyages to other ports are a possibility.

Crew must be capable of following the captain’s orders. Some level of physical fitness is needed to haul on lines and move about the boat in a safe manner. Crew must also serve as educators, nature guides, and historic interpreters on board, and will be called on to speak clearly, audibly, and enthusiastically to groups of up to 50 people. When representing the museum and the vessels, crew should maintain a high level of civility. Above all, the crew must be safety conscious and be aware of their surroundings.

Onrust and RiverQuest are US Coast Guard inspected passenger vessels. As such, all crew must pass a pre-employment drug test and be enrolled in a random drug testing program for the term of service.

Onrust and RiverQuest are not live-aboard vessels; crew must commute to work.
This work is seasonal; both vessels operate May through October. We offer regular public sails & cruises Wednesday through Sunday, but charters and special programs may be scheduled on any day, at any time. The more available and flexible you can be, the more work will be available to you. Maintenance work such as painting and varnishing is a possibility, and may continue into November.

Experience working on the water is valuable, but we will train the right people. This is a great job for anyone who loves nature, history, and engaging with the public in a beautiful outdoor setting.

Non-vaccinated individuals are expected to have a mask on them, and wear it if going below. Hand sanitizer is available on board. All current museum staff and boat crew are fully vaccinated.
Interested applicants should email their resume to Dan Thompson:


Gunner’s Mate – Volunteer Opportunity

Gunner’s Mate


  • Experience with the use and care of black powder weapons
  • Some knowledge of history regarding black powder weapons
  • Good public speaking/presentation abilities
  • Safety conscious


  • Clean and maintain Onrust‘s guns; this may include repairing and staining the carriages as well as cleaning and oiling the barrels
  • Demonstrate cannon firing to the public for occasional events
  • A Gunner’s Mate may be asked to act as a Boatswain’s Mate at times

Time Commitment

  • At least twice a year there will be a day devoted to cannon care
  • Be willing to sign up for specific events, either underway or dockside, that involve the firing of Onrust’s

Non-vaccinated individuals are expected to have a mask on them, and wear it if going below. Hand sanitizer is available on board. All current museum staff and boat crew are fully vaccinated.

Interested applicants should email their resume to Dan Thompson:

Carpenter’s Mate – Volunteer Opportunity

Carpenter’s Mate


  • Have significant skill and experience with carpentry; wooden boat experience a big plus
  • Own your own tools; access to a woodshop very desirable
  • Metal working/blacksmithing ability very desirable
  • Ability to work independently


  • Take on specific repairs or improvements on board Onrust, as outlined by the Captain. Examples of jobs: build new gangway steps, rebuild/repair engine cover, replace wooden cleats, replace deck planking, rebuild some interior cabinets

Time Commitment

  • Meet with captain and/or volunteer coordinator at least twice a year to discuss and plan projects.
  • Project time depends on the project


Non-vaccinated individuals are expected to have a mask on them, and wear it if going below. Hand sanitizer is available on board. All current museum staff and boat crew are fully vaccinated.

Interested applicants should email their resume to Dan Thompson:

Boatswain’s Mate – Volunteer Opportunity

Boatswain’s Mates


  • Ability to follow orders and work with others as a team
  • Familiarity with hand tools, paint brushes, electric sanders
  • Other desirable skills/ knowledge: splicing, knot tying, sewing, marine diesel maintenance, marine electrical
  • Safety conscious
  • Able to swim


  • Participate in general vessel maintenance, including, but not limited to, tasks such as sanding, painting, varnishing, caulking

Time Commitment

  • Between April and October, there will be at least 4 “all hands” Onrust maintenance days of about 6 hours in length
  • During haul out times (typically spring or fall), there may be several days in a row where Boatswain’s mates will be asked to serve as much as they are willing
  • Depending on skill set and needs of the vessel, other responsibilities may be assigned to particular mates

Non-vaccinated individuals are expected to have a mask on them, and wear it if going below. Hand sanitizer is available on board. All current museum staff and boat crew are fully vaccinated.

Interested applicants should email their resume to Dan Thompson:


The Connecticut River Museum, located on the waterfront in Essex, CT is seeking interns to assist in many areas of important Museum work. Internship opportunities are available for College Students in the education, collections, marketing, and fundraising departments. The Connecticut River Museum uses its exhibitions, museum programs and on-water activities to explore the rich cultural and environmental heritage of the River. Interns will have the opportunity to receive broad-based experience through a wide range of projects. Some evening and weekend time may be required.

Per-diem Museum Teacher

The Connecticut River Museum, a regional interdisciplinary museum that explores and documents the history, culture, and environment of New England’s largest river, seeks a per-diem, enthusiastic Museum Teacher. Teachers must support the objectives and goals of CRM by implementing educational activities in support of the educational mission of the museum.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Act as a Museum Teacher and deliver:
School Programs, in house and outreach
Summer Camp programs
Adult Education Programs
Group Tours
Public Programs
Assist with interdisciplinary youth group and overnight programs.
Assist with events and fundraisers as assigned.


Minimum 2 years’ experience teaching in nontraditional learning environments.
BA in museum studies, education, history, environmental science or related field.
Understanding of educational theory and techniques, knowledge of state educational standards.
Able to lift at least 30 pounds and be on your feet for long periods of time.
Positive, energetic, interactive approach with participants of all ages and learning styles.
Excellent oral, written, and computer communication and organizational skills.
Flexibility solving problems in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment.
Must have consistent, reliable transportation.

Hourly, part-time position; hours vary seasonally. May work up to 15 hours during peak season, average 4-8 hours.

To apply, please email cover letter, resume, and three references to Director of Education, Tami Christopher, at  No phone calls please.

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