About the International African American Museum
The International African American Museum (IAAM), scheduled to open in 2020, is a museum, memorial, and site of conscience that will present unvarnished history and culture, commemorate and celebrate the foundational role that Africans and their descendants played in the making of America, and highlight their diasporic connections around the world.
Nearly half of all enslaved Africans forced to America through the Transatlantic Slave Trade arrived in Charleston, and the vast majority disembarked at Gadsden’s Wharf, the future home of the IAAM and one of the most significant and sacred sites of the African American experience in the Western hemisphere. The IAAM will include immersive, interactive exhibits engaging to all ages and feature the Center for Family History, a leading genealogy archive that will help visitors identify their individual threads in the complex tapestry of history.
The Vice President of Education and Engagement provides leadership and direction for the strategies of IAAM’s education and engagement programs including curricula development and implementation; school-group outreach and tour coordination; exhibition and public program planning, delivery, and evaluation; faith-based community engagement; visitor services coordination; and internship, docent and volunteer programming. The successful candidate is a gifted leader, compelling communicator both in writing and spoken word – an outstanding museum educator, an able administrator, and a strong advocate for the IAAM. He/she will infuse energy into innovative and creative initiatives, and leverage scholarship, programs, collections, resources, and partnerships.
As a member of the senior administrative staff, the Vice President of Education and Engagement reports to the Museum’s CEO and contributes to institution-wide vision, planning and policy, as well as the cultivation and stewardship of donors and fundraising.
In addition to being an innovative thinker and an operative in the museum education field, the ideal candidate will bring a high degree of curiosity to the position, and an eagerness to initiate collaborations and cultivate partnerships with other museums, cultural institutions, and education organizations. With the Museum’s mission foremost in mind – to illuminate the influential histories of Africans and their descendants in South Carolina, highlighting their diasporic connections throughout the nation and the world – the candidate will further the public’s engagement and awareness of the myriad contributions of African Americans to history, culture, and society.
Responsibilities and Duties
Develops, directs, and monitors short and long-range program plans involving all aspects of education and outreach programs. Makes major policy decisions concerning education and outreach programs, including matters of budget, staffing, and organization.
▪ In partnership with the Museum’s CEO and Chief Curator, the Vice President of Education and Engagement guides and completes the conceptual development of the IAAM’s overarching, inaugural education programming.
▪ Creates and implements a long-term vision for the Museum’s education program utilizing a collaborative and integrated approach that significantly enhances the quality of the visitor experience; meets local, state, and/or national education standards; attracts positive press; and earns respect from the public, faith based, and academic communities.
▪ Creates, leads and/or directs the research, development, publication, dissemination, and evaluation of all education resources and programs – both on-site and digital – including K-12 curricula, public programs, faith-based initiatives, and tours.
▪ In concert with key staff, works to identify potential external funding sources and initiates, prepares and submits grant proposals to gain support from private organizations, as well as state and federal agencies. The incumbent ensures that grants and contracts and the supporting personnel are properly managed and that interim and final reports are submitted timely.
Engagement and Outreach:
▪ Establishes, maintains, and evaluates joint programs with local schools, youth organizations, community groups, universities, and cultural institution’s (museums, performing arts organizations, and historical sites). Provides expert advice and consultation to professional and other organizations.
▪ Contributes to reaching attendance and revenue goals through the development of innovative educational programs and initiatives focusing on school-groups, the general public, and the faith-based community.
▪ Assists in planning, presentation, and evaluation of conferences, symposia, and festivals on topics related to the content of the IAAM.
▪ Works collaboratively with curators, educators, and IT specialists to develop a multifaceted digital strategy that provides meaningful opportunities for visitor, student and public engagement. Embraces technology to create digital offerings (curricula, exhibitions, tours, games,) that reach new and diverse audiences, and extend the presence of the IAAM beyond the physical visitor experience. Actively contributes to the Museum’s expanding web and social media initiatives.
Exhibitions and Public Programs
▪ In consultation with the Chief Curator, conducts, directs, and encourages original, independent scholarly research on African American history and culture relating to education, resource materials, and outreach programs. Defines topics of genuine significance and ensures alignment with Museum’s strategic goals and priorities. Determines feasibility of the topic for publication, and/or public programming for both general and specialized audiences. Research results are considered a major contribution to scholarship in the field and museum education.
▪ In collaboration with the Chief Curator and designers, develops educational components within exhibitions. Interprets concepts to enhance public understanding and to assure that educational programs derive from the same conceptual base. Plans and oversees content evaluation and prototyping to support exhibition development.
▪ Initiates, reviews, and/or evaluates proposals for new educational projects or major shifts in existing programmatic initiatives. Approves or disapproves proposals and provides leadership and guidance on improvement and/or implementation.
▪ In collaboration with senior staff creates, implements, and evaluates the Museum’s Visitor Services Program, including policy, protocols and budget involving floor operations, Information Desk coordination, print and electronic wayfinding resources, and customer service.
▪ Develops and manages effective and responsive staffing plans that provide full coverage for Visitor Services operations on a daily, weekly, seasonal, and yearly basis.
▪ Develops, manages, and evaluates training programs for interns, docents, and volunteers.
Complete other duties as assigned.
Requirements and Skills
▪ A graduate degree in African American history, museum studies, museum education, education or related field is required, Ph.D. preferred.
▪ Demonstrated knowledge of African American history.
▪ A minimum of five years’ experience in senior management leadership positions in a museum and/or cultural institution.
▪ A minimum of five years’ experience managing educational programs and staff in a museum or education setting.
▪ Commitment to working with children and families and experience working with a diverse audience.
▪ Evidence of and commitment to original scholarship with a proven record of initiating publications and public programs.
▪ Senior-level management and leadership responsibly with a track record of success in managing people, operations, policy, and budgets.
▪ Highly developed research, writing, and oral communication skills; the presence and credibility to serve as an effective spokesperson for with visitors, outside communities, supporters and donors, the public, and the media.
▪ Enthusiasm and talent for fundraising with successful results in identifying, cultivating and soliciting major donors, foundations, and corporate sponsors.
▪ Willingness to work in the evenings and on weekends during special events and/or heavy visitation periods or to meet deadlines.
▪ A positive, proactive, and collegial work ethic is essential.
Recruitment and Application Process
▪ Start Date: as soon as possible but no later than June 1, 2018
▪ Compensation: Competitive salary and benefits including medical, dental, vision,
paid vacation and sick leave.
▪ Term: Full-time, permanent position
▪ Travel: Required – domestic and international
To Apply: Please submit a cover letter, a list of three professional references, a resume/CV, and salary requirements to Ginny Deerin, Chief Operating Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls please.
The International African American Museum is an equal opportunity employer.
We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.