Chief Development Officer

Company Name: 

San Diego Museum of Man


1350 El Prado, Balboa Park
San Diego, CA 92101

Contact Name: 

Janice Rougas




Job Description: 

The San Diego Museum of Man (SDMoM) is seeking an experienced Chief Development Officer (CDO) to join our highly interconnected and supportive team of creative thinkers, skilled strategists, and talented museum professionals. A passion for our mission—Inspiring human connections by exploring the human experience—and an exceptionally high emotional intelligence quotient are an absolute must.


About SDMoM. Since our founding in 1915, the San Diego Museum of Man (SDMoM) has been the steward of an immense anthropological collection that has helped generations of visitors better understand one another and the world around them. Beginning in 2010, the Museum began building on its rich history by using contemporary social issues and popular culture as a springboard for exploring the past, present, and future of what it means to be human. More recently, we have begun a decolonized approach to collections and programs. As the only anthropology museum in the country that isn’t tied to a university or research institution, we’re uniquely positioned to do that.


We center a commitment to equity and inclusion for our visitors and staff around core anthropological values such as compassion, sitting in generosity rather than in judgment, and love for all humanity. SDMoM is in the process of becoming a “third place” (i.e. not work, not home) where people from all walks of life come together to connect in meaningful ways. We emphasize the “fun in the profundity,” recognizing that while visitors go to museums to laugh and play, they are also looking for something deeper. We believe that if we can successfully create and hold a space for meaningful discourse about topics that really matter, our visitors will walk out our doors changed for the better.


The Museum’s new direction has led to an extraordinary transformation. Most notably, since 2010, admissions revenues have quadrupled, allowing us to increase our staff from 28 to 70 and our budget from $2.1mm to $4.3mm. Our most recent audience research study showed our visitors skewing young and diverse for the museum field. While many other museums’ visitors and donors are in the process of “aging out,” this bodes well for SDMoM’s future. Most importantly, we are impacting our visitors and inspiring dialogue through compelling exhibits such as Race: Are We So Different, Living with Animals, Cannibals: Myth & Reality, and PostSecret (opening 2018), among others.    


About Our Workplace Culture.  We believe that world peace starts at home, and we have an initiative to support that. We realize that we cannot create and hold a space of meaningful discourse about topics that really matter for our visitors, if we don’t already do so for our staff and board. WPS@H is about how we relate to one another as a staff, how we relate to one another as a board, and how our staff and our board relate to one another as part of a larger community. WPS@H is also about our collections and how we relate to their descendant communities. This has led to a major institutional focus on decolonizing the Museum. We seek to create an environment where our employees can grow both professionally and personally, and we find ways of supporting that growth wherever and whenever we can.


About Our Ideal Candidate. The ideal candidate for the CDO position will be a seasoned development professional with at least 10 years of progressive fundraising experience. S/he will have experience working with museums, arts & culture institutions, and/or socially-conscious organizations. S/he will have significant major gift and capital campaign experience. The ideal candidate will be able to (1) evaluate the Museum’s current development program, (2) develop a plan identifying the resources, staffing, and infrastructure necessary to grow it both locally and nationally, and (3) successfully implement that plan. S/he will be an expert in donor stewardship and have a strong track record of donor retention. S/he will be an extraordinary communicator (written & verbal), an excellent presenter, and have an ability to cultivate a culture of philanthropy throughout the organization, including the board. S/he will be a strong but compassionate manager, have excellent chemistry with the CEO, and be eager to help lead the transformative efforts of a leading-edge museum on the rise.


To Apply. For a full description of the CDO position, please visit our website at The San Diego Museum of Man is an equal opportunity employer and a drug free workplace. Please send a cover letter, resume, and list of three professional references to  Please indicate the job title “Chief Development Officer” and your first initial and last name in the subject line.  No phone inquiries, please.  Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.