Senior Vice President of Exhibits and Program (SVPEP)

Friday, April 18, 2014 to Monday, June 2, 2014
Position Description: 
This senior-executive position is an outstanding opportunity for a candidate who wants to develop and implement a vision for exhibits, programs, and the visitor experience at one of the most respected museums of its kind in the world. Reporting directly to CEO Carole Charnow, the SVPEP will join BCM at a pivotal time. As the Museum plans for its future, it seeks a dynamic, innovative, visionary, and highly experienced professional for a new position that will unite BCM’s core mission-oriented departments—Exhibits and Program, (Education, Visitor Experience, Child Development, and Community Engagement)—into one high-functioning, innovative team.

The SVPEP will oversee the creation of inventive exhibits, imaginative public programs, and the delivery of a Five-Star visitor experience. The SVPEP will also collaborate on establishing meaningful partnerships with academia, including experts in the sciences and early childhood development, the greater Boston community, and potential funding sources. In addition, s/he will serve as part of the Museum’s Executive Team that will generate BCM’s next strategic plan, which will launch exciting major initiatives in the field and will have significant impact locally and nationally.

Today, more than ever, BCM strives to be a national leader and to present compelling, engaging exhibits as well as substantive, effective formal and informal learning opportunities for children, families, and caregivers. These will be paired with programs that educate, entertain, and offer inspiration for further exploration, in an environment that is joyous, safe, and engaging for visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

Decades of groundbreaking exhibits and state-of-the-art design and production have made BCM a leader in the field. Strategic goals include:
  • Using the latest information on early childhood education and academic subjects such as science, health, the environment, art, and literature to generate innovative and engaging exhibitions for a new generation of young children and their families and caregivers, both inside and outside the museum walls.
  • Creating exhibits that translate big ideas into easy-to-understand 3-D realities and that serve as a bridge between educational theory and visitors of all ages and abilities.
  • Continuing to produce innovative traveling exhibits, and expanding consulting and design/production services to museums and other institutions.

BCM has a long-standing commitment to all children and families, including the most challenged neighborhoods of Boston and surrounding communities. Second-century objectives include:
  • Strengthening this role and providing all children and their families with an engaging and substantively enriching experience that contributes to long-term child development outcomes.
  • Continuing to create innovative formal and informal learning initiatives for children of all socio-economic levels, both in the museum and in the neighborhoods of Boston.
  • Partnering with the leading research centers in the Boston/Cambridge area, such as Harvard and MIT, and utilizing the latest research in early childhood development to create cutting edge programs to help prepare young children for school and for life.

Visitor Experience:
BCM's Five-Star Customer Service model has created a welcoming, clean, safe and secure facility that receives outstanding visitor and staff feedback. Strategic goals include:
  • Engaging in new ways of thinking about using spaces to bring exhibits and programs together for the benefit of visitors.
  • Creating spaces that are educational, enjoyable and safe; finding the balance between experimentation and risk mitigation.
  • Creating experiences that work for adults as well as children; encouraging both to connect by interacting with the exhibits and programs together.
  • Balancing theoretical and academic knowledge with the practical know-how of customer-service experts, educators, exhibit designers, and financial managers.

To qualify, applicants should present most of the following talents and credentials:
  • Ten (10) or more years of management-level experience at a museum or related institution/company that works with children and families in informal learning.
  • Master's degree preferred in a field such as science, early-childhood education, museum education, or nonprofit leadership.
  • Proven track record managing people in a complex work environment
    • Experience combining two or more departments or teams, or demonstrated leadership of a successful integrated, cross-discipline team; experience leading teams of ten or more individual contributors as well as managers to achieve a shared vision.
    • Track record of successfully managing and empowering staff to bring out their best. Ability to leverage the skills of a talented staff with a wide range of generations, experiences, and backgrounds. Success and satisfaction in mentoring and developing future leaders.
  • Proven track record of producing successful, award-winning exhibitions or programs, and/or of implementing important or “big” ideas at an institution serving children and families.
    • Track record of developing and overseeing creative programming for children and families
    • Knowledge of best practices in early childhood education in formal and informal learning environments and situations; experience in translating this knowledge into successful programs and exhibits.
    • Knowledge of best practices in exhibition development. Ability to provide practical leadership in exhibit development, including listening to and assessing feedback.
    • Success at creating exhibits and programs that are funded, fundable, and that build upon mission, organizational priorities, and capacity.
    • An appreciation for the relationship between children and families and the power of play.
  • Proven track record managing complex projects from design to completion
    • Demonstrated abilities in strategic planning, including experience with program evaluation, organizational development, creation of new structures (systems thinking), and goal setting within an organization.
    • Ability to strategically organize, interview, and select outside consultants, experts, contractors, and partners.
    • Practical experience in identifying clear metrics upon which to measure initiatives and evaluate interim as well as project success.
    • Ability to delegate so that projects are executed with attention to detail and with a high degree of accuracy.
    • Ability to multi-task, set priorities, and meet deadlines
  • Experience forming successful collaborations across cultural, racial, and socio-economic lines within the museum and in the community.
    • Experience as part of a leadership team; the ability to work with peers as well as direct reports and the CEO. Serving as champion for the department in the organization’s decision-making process
    • Commitment to working with community groups to create a variety of learning opportunities for young children and their families. Experience with urban communities and English-language learners is a plus.
    • Agility and enthusiasm for leveraging the expertise available among thought-leaders on issues from child development to technology to poverty. Experience working with partners in academia, particularly in the areas of early childhood development and education is a plus.
  • Commitment to and understanding of customer service best practices and standards as they apply to creating joyous and enriching experiences for BCM’s audiences.
    • Knowledgeable about and/or open to learning about and using visitor evaluation tools to improve the visitor experience.
    • Experience with and/or openness to learning about and using technology and social media to enhance the visitor experience, stretch the boundaries of the four walls of a museum, and further serve special audiences.
  • Successful track record of fundraising for exhibits and programs
    • Success with helping to obtain and manage large and complex grants that will advance the museum’s mission and strategic priorities, from vision to implementation
    • Experienced at writing, supervising, or providing consultation on grant applications and reports
    • Ability to monitor grant-funded planning and programming initiatives to ensure that they fulfill grant requirements
    • Experienced at developing and monitoring plans for grant evaluation
    • Experience with government, corporate, and major foundation grants is a plus
    • Ability to support the Museum’s individual and corporate fundraising efforts by meeting with prospective major donors, preparing written information about program initiatives, etc.
  • Success at fostering change and innovation, along with an appreciation and respect for BCM’s traditions, history, and national reputation.
    • BCM will launch an entirely new team, the Second Century Idea Generation and Innovation team, with a cross-functional, cross-department initiative around idea generation and innovation. This new group will help the united department and the whole Museum to innovate.
  • Executive-level budget-management skills in a complex financial environment
    • Ability to manage and adhere to multiple project budgets and success at completing projects within budget and with limited resources

To Apply
Nominations welcome. Apply in confidence: Email résumé (Word document preferred), cover letter, list of three references with contact information, and salary requirement to retained search firm: Museum Search & Reference, Marilyn Hoffman and Gail Nessell Colglazier, Application deadline: June 2, 2014.