Posted August 4, 2014.

The Executive Director of the Phoenix Art Museum reports to the Board of Trustees and must be an entrepreneurial, charismatic, and fiscally responsible leader with a passion for arts and education. The Executive Director oversees the entire institution, including collections, staff, facilities, exhibitions, education and outreach programs, external relations, fundraising and administrative activities.

The new Executive Director will be an arts and cultural leader who is eager to embrace and initiate partnerships and collaborations not only in the Phoenix area but also throughout the state and region. The next leader will build upon the strong, established relationship between Phoenix Art Museum and the city of Phoenix as well as the state of Arizona. He or she will be accessible and able to interact with the wide range of constituencies important to the Museum and will be committed to strengthening its position within the community. The Director will enthusiastically develop and expand programming efforts and work to enhance the Museum as an integral part of the increasingly diverse Phoenix community and the cultural community at large.

The Executive Director will lead the Museum’s dedicated professional staff and will ensure that the strategic objectives are collectively agreed upon and attained in a fiscally responsible manner. The Director will inspire the volunteers and support organizations to work in concert with the strategic goals of the Museum. With the support of the Museum’s Deputy Director of Finance and Administration, he or she will approach the financial administration of the institution with resourcefulness, sound judgment, and a clear understanding of budgets.

Critical to the Executive Director’s success will be the ability to fundraise effectively and approach resource-building with significant creativity and clarity of purpose. Ensuring a wide range of donors feel included and involved, the new Director will work to increase and diversify financial support from individual donors, foundations, corporations and government funders for annual operations and capital projects as well as growth of the Museum’s endowment.

Candidate Profile

The Executive Director of the Phoenix Art Museum will demonstrate a collaborative yet decisive leadership style, along with intellectual curiosity, a dedication to learning, and a passion for the arts. He or she will bring significant and proven innovative and strategic leadership experience in a multi-faceted museum with varied internal and external constituencies.

The successful candidate will be an inspiring, inclusive leader and manager of the highest integrity, with the ability to motivate, empower, and unite staff around a shared vision. He or she will be an excellent communicator and listener with strong interpersonal skills, able to cultivate relationships with, and build bridges across, diverse constituencies. The Director will be a civic-minded leader who is comfortable navigating Phoenix’s social and political environment. This person will have earned a reputation for effectiveness in partnering with a Board and senior management team, and will be able to guide and lead through others.

The next leader of the Museum will have demonstrated a high level of achievement in developing or contributing to a compelling strategy for an organization, building the financial, operational, and ideological support for its implementation, and skillfully balancing and aligning the needs of multiple interests. In particular, he or she should have experience managing institutional transition, and will be energized by advancing the Museum’s stature and recognition. This person will additionally be digitally conversant, with considerable savvy operating in this realm.

Ideally, the Executive Director will exhibit a thorough knowledge of and passion for art and art history, along with a record of well-respected intellectual achievement in his or her field. An advanced degree in art history or an equally relevant field is preferred. Phoenix Art Museum is open to any area of education which, when combined with relevant work experience, has prepared the candidate for this role.

We would highlight the following personal competencies required for this leader:
§ Strategic Vision: The successful candidate will have a track record as an entrepreneurial and creative thinker. He or she will have the vision, creativity, and judgment to identify nuanced objectives and lead an inspiring, credible plan for the organization’s future. This person will demonstrate an expansive knowledge of the key issues affecting the Phoenix Art Museum and global trends facing museums more broadly, particularly the ways in which people experience museums in our diverse and digital world. This leader will also demonstrate an ability to develop a productive and mutually fulfilling relationship with Board leadership and museum staff. He or she will guide and substantially contribute to the continued articulation of the vision, mission, identity, values, and strategy for the Phoenix Art Museum.

§ Communicating, Influencing, and Building Relationships: The successful candidate will exhibit a consensus-seeking but decisive approach that enables him or her to deliver solutions in a dynamic enterprise. He or she will persuasively communicate the Phoenix Art Museum’s direction and strategy both internally and externally, and will assure effective communication among the Museum’s stakeholders. He or she will be able to actively promote the Phoenix Art Museum and its programs to build enthusiastic commitment and develop key partnerships in support of the mission, locally, nationally, and internationally, with a particular focus on partnering effectively with government entities and other academic and cultural institutions in Phoenix and the State of Arizona.

§ Management of Teams and Resources: The successful candidate will be able to translate the Phoenix Art Museum’s over-arching goals into clear objectives for the staff. He or she will foster a culture of collaboration, mutual respect, and teamwork. This person will have the ability to counsel and coach the senior management team for success; he or she will respect, encourage, and celebrate the talents of that team while also holding each accountable to mutually agreed-upon goals. The successful candidate will demonstrate extensive experience attracting, retaining, and motivating top talent. Additionally, he or she will approach the financial oversight of the Museum with dispassion and balance, with an even-handed and reasoned approach to budgetary decision-making based on a clear understanding of the strategic objectives of the organization.

§ Resource Development: The successful candidate will have experience building an institution’s funding base—in partnership with a Board and development team—to increase and diversify financial support from individual donors, foundations, corporations, and government funders for both annual operations and capital needs. Further, he or she will engage his or her professional network to substantively further the Phoenix Art Museum’s mission, particularly through partnering with the Phoenix community.

§ Character and Cultural Consistency: The successful candidate will be a compassionate individual with a generosity of spirit. He or she will be a charismatic ‘people person’ who genuinely enjoys the external aspects of a museum director’s role. The successful candidate will embrace the Phoenix community professionally and personally, enjoying the opportunity to live in the city and region.
Russell Reynolds Associates has been exclusively retained for this search and prospective candidates are invited to contact Russell Reynolds Associates directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Contact Person: Priscilla Sorbello Phone: 415-352-3326
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