Museum Director

Company Name: 

Riverside Metropolitan Museum


Job Description: 



Riverside, California 


Summary of Position

The City of Riverside, known as the “City of Arts and Innovation,” is seeking an experienced, visionary, and visitor-centered museum professional to transform the Riverside Metropolitan Museum (RMM) with the goal of becoming exciting, relevant, and integral to its community. This transformation will include renovating and expanding the galleries of the Main Museum, located in the heart of Riverside’s growing arts and culture district, which will require the closure of the facility for approximately three years. During that time, community public programs will continue.


This moment of renewal and change is the next step in an overall analysis and rethinking of the RMM. As part of that process, the Museum has undergone an in-depth organizational assessment that identified RMM’s strengths and central challenges. Based on the resulting recommendations, RMM is positioned to revise the visitor experience, collections, historic structures, business model, and organizational structure. 


The Museum Director will be responsible for initiating an inclusive strategic plan update process that results in a refined vision for RMM. Working with City leadership and community stakeholders, the Director will implement the resulting Strategic Plan to achieve an updated, modern, and relevant visitor experience; a correspondingly rebranded RMM with high visibility in the community; increased non-City revenue; and continued accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).


About the Museum  

The RMM opened at City Hall in 1924, when Cornelius Earle Rumsey donated his collection of Native American artifacts to the City of Riverside. The Riverside Municipal Museum was established in the City Charter in 1925 and moved to its current location (referred to as the Main Museum), a former U.S. Post Office, in 1948. The collections have grown over time to include local history, natural history, and anthropology; today, the Museum collections include over 200,000 objects. A name change in 2005 established the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, and today, RMM’s mission is:

“As a center for learning, Riverside Metropolitan Museum interacts with the community to collect, preserve, explore, and interpret the cultural and natural history of Riverside and its region.”


The Riverside Museum Associates (RMA), a private, 501(c)(3) organization, provides volunteer services and financial support for the RMM. The RMA purchased Heritage House, an 1891 Queen Anne-style home, restored the home for use as a house museum, and eventually transferred ownership of the property to the City. Both Heritage House and the Main Museum are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Museum has also accepted the National Historic Landmark Harada House, and acquired the adjacent Robinson House.


In addition, the Museum provides programming for the Ameal Moore Nature Center at Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park, a partnership with the City’s Parks & Recreation Department.


RMM operates as a Department of the City, and as such, is governed by the Riverside City Council and Mayor. The City Council is advised on Museum matters by its nine-member appointed, volunteer Museum Board. In FY16, the Museum had an operating budget of almost $2 million and 14.25 FTE. Total attendance to the Main Museum, Heritage House, and Nature Center in FY16 was 51,631.



The Museum Director reports to an Assistant City Manager and will have full authority and responsibility to manage and implement change at RMM.  Responsibilities include:


  • Providing visionary leadership and strong administrative oversight of all aspects of operations for the RMM Main Museum and historic structures
  • Leading the staff, the RMA, the Museum Board, and stakeholders in the development and implementation of a long-range Strategic Plan to establish a transformative future vision
  • Managing RMM in a fiscally responsible manner within the approved budget and partnering with the RMA to enhance its fundraising program to benefit the Museum
  • Implementing a best-practices collections stewardship protocol
  • Working with exhibit designers, curators, and educators to develop a Visitor Experience Plan (programs, exhibitions, etc.) for the Main Museum and historic structures
  • Providing management direction to the staff; ensuring compliance with appropriate personnel policies and human resource procedures; recruiting, hiring, training, and evaluating staff
  • Providing a high degree of visibility in the community, strengthening community relationships, and serving as chief spokesperson for RMM
  • Enhancing the RMM marketing program to raise awareness and grow audiences


Ideal Candidate Characteristics      

The ideal candidate will possess a combination of the following:

  • Proven track record of leadership abilities, a high level of initiative, strong interpersonal skills, and creative and flexible problem solving skills
  • Strong financial management and fundraising skills
  • Entrepreneurial spirit, including the capacity to develop innovative strategies for programming, audience-building, and income generation
  • Persuasive and engaging communication skills
  • Ability to motivate, direct, and mentor staff
  • Capability to develop and maintain positive relationships with collaborating partners and other community constituents
  • Strong work ethic, good sense of humor, sincerity, a high energy level, and a strong commitment to teamwork
  • Deep knowledge of museum best-practices for collection stewardship
  • Experience with exhibit and program evaluation to measure success



A minimum of five years of supervisory and senior management experience in a museum is preferred. Possession of a bachelor’s degree is required, and an advanced degree is preferred.



Compensation will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.  An attractive benefits package will also be provided.


Procedure for Application   

Individuals interested in applying for this position should send a resume and letter of interest to:


Museum Management Consultants, Inc.


Position open until filled


About Riverside        

Located 60 miles East of Los Angeles in Southern California’s Inland Empire, Riverside is a dynamic and diverse urban center with a population of over 300,000. Riverside was the birthplace of the California citrus industry, and has grown to be the 12th largest city in California. Its strong economic climate has seen the Riverside-San Bernardino area ranked #1 in a 2015 Best Cities for Small Business in America survey.  Riverside is home to UC Riverside, the Inland Empire’s only public research university, and one of 10 universities within the prestigious University of California system. Major institutions including the Riverside Art Museum, the Fox Performing Arts Center, UCR ARTSblock, and the future Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture, and Industry create a lively arts scene downtown, anchored by the world famous Mission Inn Hotel. The City’s dedication to arts and culture is demonstrated in its branding of itself as “The City of Arts and Innovation.”