Senior Director of Exhibitions and Collections*

Company Name: 

Oakland Museum of California


1000 Oak Street, Oakland CA 94607
Oakland, CA 94607

Job Description: 

The Senior Director of Exhibitions and Collections is responsible for the overarching vision and strategy that bring together exhibitions, collection gallery installations, and collection initiatives that support OMCA's brand as a museum, garden and gathering place and that advance its social impact of building trust, understanding, and connection between people and communities. Working closely with the Executive Director and other team leaders, the position leads the development of a comprehensive content calendar for the Museum's temporary exhibitions and collection installations that showcase the breadth of OMCA's interdisciplinary collections, center equity and community voice, engage multiple constituencies, and tell the unique and compelling stories of Oakland and California. The position also co-leads the Content and Experience “circle” comprising departments that collaborate to create a dynamic and integrated set of programs that align with the Museum's mission and achieve OMCA's audience, social impact, and financial sustainability goals. As a member of the Senior Directors Council, the position shares in overall leadership for the Museum including responsibility for strategic planning and policy-making, and acts as coach, leader and supervisor to the Collections, Curatorial, and Production departments.



The following reflects OMCA's definition of essential functions for this position, but does not restrict the tasks that may be assigned. OMCA may assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this position at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons.




  • Support the Museum's mission, values, vision, and core commitment to the visitor experience, community engagement, anti-racism and institutional relevancy for the future.
  • Contribute to and support the OMCA strategic plan, annual priorities, and institutional initiatives such as diversity and equity advancement.
  • Contribute to a positive organizational culture based on mutual respect, a spirit of collegiality, cooperation, and openness to many perspectives.
  • Participate in a culture of ongoing learning, collaboration, innovation, creativity, and community engagement.
  • All positions have core functional responsibilities, cross functional team activation and learning and development as a core function of each role.



Executive Responsibilities


  • Provide leadership to the overall institution as a member of the Senior Directors Council, contributing to policy-making and ensuring the Museum's vitality and success through active communication, problem-solving, and decision-making.
  • Provide leadership for institutional planning, annual priorities, and institutional initiatives.
  • Contribute to the prudent and ongoing monitoring of OMCA annual budget and financial demands to ensure a sustainable future.
  • Demonstrate exceptional leadership skills in motivating staff, delegating tasks, encouraging independent problem-solving by individuals and teams, and providing an understanding of the institutional vision as a context for individual and team work plans.
  • Keep apprised of trends and developments in the museum and non-profit field and ensure that OMCA maintains leadership as a model for a 21st century museum in service to the public.
  • Work with specific Board committees as staff liaison as assigned.
  • Serve as Acting Director in the absence of the Executive Director, as requested.
  • Act as an ambassador for the institution in its role in service to the public both internally and externally. Represent OMCA to public agencies, local government, peer organization groups, citizen groups, neighbors and private organizations.


Leadership and Strategy

The Senior Director of Exhibitions and Collections will oversee the work of Director of Content Development, Associate Director of Collections, and Associate Director of Production to:

  • Translate OMCA's strategic plan, social impact and business model into multi-year institutional exhibition and core gallery priorities and budgets, monitoring performance and adjusting course to meet targets.
  • Lead priority-setting and budget planning and management for Curatorial, Collections, and Production departments.
  • Provide strategic leadership and coaching of key cross-institutional initiatives and teams.
  • Coach and mentor the circle's senior team members including establishing priorities, individual and team goals, and participating in OMCA's goal-setting and performance management program.
  • Participate in the development of grant and donor strategies and proposals; play an active role in donor cultivation and stewardship.
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the organization in the community, the field and media; participate in and present at professional conferences and conventions, attend community and civic gatherings on behalf of the organization; and play an active role in sharing OMCA's work with the field and keeping abreast of developments in the field.
  • Collaborate with other Senior Directors on:
    • Development of meaningful and relevant visitor-centered public and education programs, including those for schools, families, and adults, tied to the programmatic schedule of exhibitions and core gallery presentations.
    • Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for new audiences to engage with OMCA's collections and exhibitions to foster engagement, affiliation, and long-term support of the Museum.
    • Development and solicitation of grants and sponsorships to support the Museum's collection,exhibition, conservation, and program priorities.
    • Partnering with the Marketing & Communications department to develop communications related to exhibitions, collections, and other content strategies.

Curatorial and Exhibitions Oversight and Execution

  • Define a clear strategic direction for OMCA's exhibition and core gallery initiatives based on community listening and an analysis of the internal and external programmatic landscape as well as distinctive strengths of OMCA's collections, staff, and history.
  • Lead annual and multi-year planning of innovative exhibition and gallery programs that meet OMCA's mission, business and social impact goals; engage the community in conversation and reflection on the relevant and pressing issues of our time; and ensure a clarity of vision and appropriate frameworks, principles, tools and resources are in place for productive cross-discipline and cross-departmental collaboration in creating the visitor experience.
  • Support the direction of priority setting and planning for the collections, curatorial and production teams to ensure exhibition and gallery projects are delivered effectively, efficiently, on time and on budget, and with timely engagement of and collaboration with internal stakeholders.
  • Facilitate cross-department conversations and problem-solving for staff capacity, time and resource management.

Collections Care and Management


  • Lead OMCA's collecting and collections strategy including facilitating multi-year and annual planning for collection documentation and care, acquisitions and deaccessions; support the development of innovative programs and methods for community-centered collection access, interpretation and presentation.
  • Oversee and consult in the care, installation, and interpretation of the collections.
  • Oversee and consult in the shaping of the collections, including acquisitions and deaccessions.
  • Advocate for internal initiatives that modernize, streamline, and integrate collection content, aligned with industry standards and using existing and new processes, to provide enhanced access to collection information for both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Support the institutional position on ethical collections and exhibition practice including NAGPRA and CalNAGPRA compliance, intellectual property and copyright concerns, and integrating community input into collections care and descriptions.



    • Ability to display the competencies of strategic thinking, development of self and others and ability to deploy and align organizational strategies and objectives.
    • 10+ years of experience with progressive growth towards senior leadership.
    • 7+ years supervisory experience.
    • B.A. in relevant field.
    • Demonstrated experience in directing successful exhibition and collection initiative in museums.
    • Familiarity with multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary fields including the arts, history, and/or natural sciences with a focus on community engagement and civic and audience development.
    • Demonstrated knowledge of trends and progressive practices in the museum field.
    • Demonstrated achievements as an adaptive change agent, collaborator, coach, and team and coalition-builder.
    • Superior communication and presentation skills, both written and verbal.
    • Strong interpersonal skills, with a capacity for managing and leading people with diverse backgrounds, views and work styles.
    • Understanding of fundraising techniques, grant application procedures, and funding sources.
    • Demonstrated cultural competence and a history of building equitable and inclusive programming.
    • Works well in a deeply collaborative, highly fluid culture.
    • Experience with utilizing Google platform preferred.



    The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The environment may include:


    • Museum environment involves both indoor and outdoor working conditions.
    • Ability to travel between OMCA locations, and other travel as required by position responsibilities.




    The Oakland Museum of California is dedicated to diversity, inclusion, accessibility and equity. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ability/disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We highly encourage our diverse community to apply for available employment, internship, fellowship and volunteer positions at the Museum, as we aim to ensure our staff reflects the diversity of our visitors and surrounding community. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, OMCA will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities.

    Apply Here