Wiener Library seeks Director

Post Title: Director

Hours: Full time

Contract: Permanent

Salary: To be agreed

Closing date: 29 March 2019. Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.

Expected Interview date: April/May 2019

Expected start date: To be agreed

Probation period: 6 months

Overview of the role

Following the announcement of the retirement of Ben Barkow, the Board of Trustees is now seeking exceptional candidates for the role of Director for The Wiener Library. This is a fantastic opportunity to lead our well-respected and ambitious organisation through its next chapter.

The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide is the world's oldest institution devoted to the study of the Holocaust, its causes and legacies. Founded in 1933 as an information bureau that informed Jewish communities and governments worldwide about the persecution of the Jews under the Nazis, it was transformed into a research institute and public access library after the end of World War II and is now situated in Russell Square, London. The Wiener Library has been collecting material related to the Holocaust since 1933 and today our holdings contain approximately 70,000 books and pamphlets, 2,000 physical document collections, 45,000 photographs and 3,000 periodical titles, 1 million press cuttings, as well as posters, objects, artworks, digital collections, and audio-visual materials.

Candidates will need to be an inspiring strategic leader able to deliver the long term strategic direction for the Library. This is an externally facing role and communication, partnership building, and stakeholder management skills will be key. The Director will need to be a compelling ambassador for The Wiener Library, as well as engaging with the media and playing a central role in fundraising. The post-holder will help the organisation maintain its focus and energy and ensure the charity is well run. Candidates will ideally bring leadership experience gained in a mission driven organisation and have a track record of planning and delivering creative projects or programmes.

For further enquiries, please contact:

Anthony Landes, Chair, Board of Trustees, Email:

Job Description


Permanent, full-time post based in Central London, WC1

Responsible to: Board of Trustees

The Wiener Library is the world’s oldest Holocaust archive and the home of Britain’s largest collection of published and unpublished works, documents and photographs relating to the Nazi era.


The Director of The Wiener Library leads a team of dedicated professionals and manages the future development of the Library and its services. This is an exciting position with the potential to make significant impact on the future operation of The Wiener Library and its role within the Holocaust research and commemoration environment. We seek a talented and enthusiastic senior professional who will implement an integrated strategy for the Library that combines preserving the continuity of an illustrious heritage with sensitively effecting the changes required to successfully implement that new strategy. The Director will be expected to embrace the Library’s Mission and to live by the Values to which it has committed itself.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead the ongoing evolution of The Wiener Library and its strategy, in conjunction with the Senior Management Team and the Board of Trustees.
  • Lead the Library Senior Management Team to ensure strong performance against operational goals and objectives by offering guidance and direction and applying performance management and development opportunities and policies as necessary.
  • Ensure the sound financial management and the financial stability of The Wiener Library and work with the Head of Development to lead in fundraising initiatives of all kinds, including seeking donations from institutions and individuals and applications for major grants.
  • With the Head of Collections, oversee enhancement and growth of The Wiener Library’s materials on the Nazi era, the Holocaust and other Genocides.
  • With the Head of Research, oversee development of The Wiener Library as a leading institution for research and education on the Nazi era, the Holocaust and refugees.
  • Monitor and continue to improve processes, policies, systems and risk management, in consultation with the Senior Management Team and the Board of Trustees, where appropriate.
  • Take responsibility for the operational management of The Wiener Library and its facilities, including management of the Library’s budget in consultation with the Senior Management Team, Finance & Risk Sub-Committee and the Chair of Trustees.
  • Actively participate in local, national and international networks to ensure that the Library both contributes to and learns from best practice.
  • Lead in the development of national and international partnerships for The Wiener Library.
  • Position and promote the Library as a respected leader in the sector.
  • Hold responsibility for staff recruitment, development, welfare and deployment within the Library.
  • Take account of opportunities for innovation and new developments and integration into service provision wherever appropriate.

The lists above are not exhaustive, and the successful candidate may be asked to undertake other duties as the role of the Library develops further in the future. The Library is a small team and all staff must be willing to work flexibly and recognise the need for occasionally working beyond their job descriptions and to support out-of-hours activities on occasion.

Person Specification



Strategy and management

  • Experience of working in a senior management role, preferably within a research institution, heritage organisation, academic library or archive.
  • Demonstrable strong management and leadership skills.
  • Experience of working successfully with a Board of Trustees.
  • Proven ability to manage projects, work under pressure, prioritise and balance the workloads of yourself and others in the face of conflicting and uneven demands.
  • Ability to work creatively to analyse problems and develop innovative and workable solutions.
  • Ability to think strategically and innovatively, leading and motivating others to meet Library priorities and objectives.
  • Evidence of commitment to academic excellence and promoting research.
  • Proven track record in managing relationships and delivering positive impact with key stakeholders including donors, trustees, UK and international governments, universities.
  • Experience in maintaining and strengthening relations with German government agencies, i.e. German Foreign Office, donors and sister institutions.
  • Practical experience of planning and managing budgets, admin and HR effectively and efficiently.
  • Experience of working creatively with constrained budgets and resources.
  • Experience of supporting fundraising campaigns, with evidence of securing non-restricted gifts as well as grants.
  • Practical understanding of the specific complexities of Charitable Accounting.

Qualifications and Knowledge

  • Postgraduate degree with proven specialism in genocide studies, holocaust studies and/or contemporary history.
  • Expertise and understanding of the history of antisemitism, the Nazi era, the Holocaust and other genocides, including current research.
  • Experience, knowledge, contacts, and sensitivity around Holocaust commemoration and education, and study of genocide, and research.
  • Experience of working with charities, academic and education institutions.
  • A demonstrable commitment to libraries, archives and museums.

Personal attributes

  • Strong team ethos with demonstrable evidence of building successful teams and motivating high performance individually and collectively.
  • Commitment to the continuing professional development of yourself and others.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to express complex ideas clearly and succinctly and to represent the Library within the academia and beyond.
  • A collegiate approach and an ability to liaise and work co-operatively and effectively with all levels of staff.
  • A strategic approach to the development of productive and long-term relationships with partners, internal and external.
  • Ability to show initiative and demonstrate an innovative approach in your work, displaying a versatile, adaptable and enthusiastic attitude.
  • Adaptable and flexible, with awareness of day-to-day details as appropriate for a small team.
  • Passion for the ethos of the Library.
  • Ability to maintain a clear, consistent vision for the future.

Highly desirable

  • Experience of change management.
  • Additional language skills of other European languages (German, in particular).
  • Experience of the not-for-profit sector.
  • Experience of Data Protection issues.


To be agreed


Please send your CV and a cover letter outlining your relevant experience to:

Cyd MacNaboe

The Administrator

The Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DP

You may be asked to carry out other duties as may arise from time to time including evening work. You will be required to act in accordance with the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to take reasonable care for the health and safety of any person who may be affected by your acts or omissions at work.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate their legal right to work on the UK. Please note that The Wiener Library cannot apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship for this post under Tier 2 of the UK Border Agency’s Points Based System.