Position Announcement: Associate Director for Museum Learning and Programs, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is currently seeking an Associate Director for Museum Learning and Programs to support educational activities for both museum locations: Washington, D.C. and New York City, NY. There is only one opening, but that position location can be at either museum in Washington, D.C. or New York. 

The National Museum of the American Indian is responsible for affirming to Native communities and the non-Native public, the historical and contemporary culture and cultural achievements of the Indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere. This is accomplished by advancing, in consultation with both Native communities and the non-Native public, a sense of collaboration and cooperation, a knowledge and understanding of their cultures, including art, history, and language, and by recognizing the Museum's special responsibility, through innovative public programming, research, and collections, to protect, support, and enhance the development, maintenance, and perpetuation of Indigenous culture and community.

This position is responsible for planning, developing and implementing education programming at NMAI in various forms for onsite audiences at the NMAI’s museums in Washington, D.C. and New York City, as well as with online audiences. Education programming and products are wide-ranging and include: 1) materials developed to support the Museum’s exhibition interpretation program for museum visitors; 2) curriculum-based products targeting visiting school groups, families, and online audiences; 3) educational components to support the Museum’s onsite cultural programming; and 4) seminar and symposium development. This position works across and with all departments at NMAI to ensure the infusion of educational perspectives in all of the Museum’s programs and products.

The incumbent serves as principal advisor to the Director on all matters relating to learning activities and efforts at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Collaborates with the Director on overall education planning, policies, resources and implementation. Takes the lead in developing comprehensive education and outreach vision for the Museum; onsite visitor experiences; and electronic education at NMAI. Creates and implements short- and long-term plans to guide museum education and engagement of visitors (both in person and online). Provides oversight and overall direction for Native Knowledge 360º, the Museum’s national educational initiative designed to promote and inspire improved educational curricula and standards related to American Indians. Maintains close working relationships with other NMAI Associate Directors to ensure full integration of planning and activities throughout NMAI.

Both directly and through subordinate supervisors, leads the staff, interns, volunteers and contractors to ensure creative, quality and audience-sensitive educational activities and programs. Implements the Museum’s strategic plan and priorities, relying on a knowledge of educational practices and procedures in museums and a knowledge of education theories. Assures appropriate collaboration with curatorial and other staff (administrative, programs, special events and development) in all areas relating to museum education initiatives. Assures an effective process of program and exhibition evaluation. Provides a vision for the Museum’s cultural programming, ensuring that developed programs include defined educational components that target a wide array of museum visitors. Provides oversight of the Museum’s seminars and symposia program, ensuring that seminars and symposia support broader museum programs or initiatives. Incumbent’s work is based on a thorough knowledge of the way visitors learn and respond to museum settings and the variety of educational strategies available to accommodate them. Work includes analysis and evaluation of audience needs and trends in the field of museum learning and visitor experience.

Through the Assistant Directors, the incumbent manages approximately 55 staff, 5-10 seasonal interns, 200 volunteers and a variety of contractors. Professional staff levels range from Museum Technicians to Assistant Director positions in the following departments: Cultural Interpreters, Visitor Services, imagiNATIONS Activity Centers at the NMAI-DC and NMAI-NY, Native Knowledge 360º, Education, Community Programs, Seminars and Symposia, Internships, and Program Support.

The incumbent develops and implements operating policies, standards and procedures. Establishes goals, articulates priorities, develops schedules, and assigns work. Develops performance standards for subordinate supervisors and evaluates their performance. Reviews and approves recommendations for personnel actions and acts to resolve major personnel problems. Assures appropriate use of financial and human resources and implements museum policies in safety, diversity and other management requirements. Establishes a leadership style that emphasizes open and clear written and oral communications within the office, between offices, and through appropriate supervisory channels.

Represents the Director as required at a variety of meetings and conferences, with delegated authority to commit the museum to programs and courses of action. Serves as a contributing member of Museum Advisory Council, the Exhibition Assessment Group, and the Publications Assessment Group. Represents the Museum on all educational matters.

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