Executive Director

Company Name: 

Santa Monica History Museum


1350 7th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Contact Name: 

Sue Gabriel Potter


310 993-0305



Job Description: 

Santa Monica History Museum Executive Director 


• This position provides a unique opportunity to help form and guide the course of a growing institution. 

• This position will require initiative and vision as well as a broad skill set to help move the museum to future levels. The executive director will be both chief administrator and director of the museum, responsible for the museum's daily operations and outreach. 

• This position offers great opportunities for an individual with acute sensitivities to the representation of cultural and historical events and the ability to transform them into a meaningful context of learning. 

Essential Duties & Responsibilities: 

(This list of duties and responsibilities is illustrative only of the tasks performed by this position and is not all-inclusive) 

● Work directly with the Museum President and in conjunction with the Board of Directors to develop the strategic direction and establish initiatives to fulfill the mission of the Museum and increase local, statewide, national and international awareness and prominence. 

• Coordinate and oversee program research and planning, as well as museum development and staff/volunteer management. 

• Assure that the current collection of artifacts and exhibits is up to a professional standard of display, both in person and virtually. 

• Provide leadership through effective goal setting by creating accountability and ensuring communication of pertinent information is shared across the organization. 

• Work with Museum President in conjunction with staff and board to develop, propose, and execute an annual budget focused on financial stewardship, fiscal responsibility, and organizational sustainability.

● Direct the Museum’s operations, to include development, education and public programming, finance, external communications and staffing. 

● Lead and participates in all fundraising and development activities, in concert with Museum President, including grant writing and developing relationships with foundations, corporations, and individual donors. 

● Serve as spokesperson and chief advocate for the Museum. Establish strong partnerships in the community. Enhance the Museum’s public image to expand interest and support. 

● Ensure successful implementation and evaluation of ongoing programs and events. 

● Support museum team to ensure valued assets are preserved, protected, and represented in a respected manner. 

● Foster an effective collaboration among board, staff, volunteers, and support departments. 

● Direct and oversee grants including project development, budget preparation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation, financial, and narrative reporting. 

● Represent the museum at meetings, conferences, and other public events. 

● Other responsibilities as assigned. 

Minimum Job Requirements: 

● Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree preferred. 

● At least 5 years of experience in a museum, nonprofit organization, or business. At least 2 years at senior managerial level preferred. 


● Ability to provide strong leadership, vision and strategic direction. Experience developing and implementing strategic plans. 

● Demonstrated knowledge of standards and best practices for museums, non-profits, or similar organizations, as well as a history of involvement in relevant professional organizations 

● Strong record of success in fundraising and audience development 

● Demonstrated excellence in writing and public speaking. 

● Competence in managing operations, including personnel matters. Demonstrated ability to supervise, as well as to work successfully with staff, volunteers and diverse public constituencies. 

● Evidence of success in developing, managing and growing an annual operating budget. Strong business management skills. 

● Excellent planning, time management, and decision-making skills. Working knowledge of spreadsheet, database, email, calendar/scheduling, and word processing software. 

● Willingness to work a variable schedule, including weekends and evenings when needed. 

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities Required/Preferred: 

● Working knowledge and understanding of museum/non-profit operational standards and best practices. ● Fiscal planning and management 

● Knowledge, skills, and ability to work with a Board of Directors as it transitions from a working board to a governance and fiduciary board. 

● Experience working within a museum setting including exhibition design, experiential learning opportunities, and collections care and management preferred. 

● Ability to train, supervise and develop employees, establish performance metrics and foster a cooperative work environment 

● Commitment to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion 

● Strategic planning and leadership skills. 

● Knowledge of public relations principles and practices. 

● Outstanding interpersonal and community relations skills and the ability to communicate and work effectively within a diverse community. 

● Demonstrated success in fundraising, donor cultivation, stewardship, and development of alternate revenue resources. 

● Knowledge of information and bibliographic research principles, methods, and techniques. 

Conditions of Employment: 

● Employee in this position is subject to terms and conditions of an employment contract, which typically is subject to review and renewal on an annual basis. 

● Salary is commensurate with experience. Competitive benefits package. The Santa Monica History Museum is an equal opportunity employer. 

Send cover letter and résumé to: Sue Gabriel Potter: Susanpotter600@gmail.com