Job Summary:

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Interpretive Director functions as a high level manager, coordinating strategy and implementation of all programming relevant to the Burke Museum visitor experience and audience development.  This position will play a key role in supporting the museum’s commitment to creating visitor-centered experiences that transform the ways our audiences connect with our unique collections, the work of our staff and researchers, and the world around us. The Interpretive Director will work closely with Burke leadership to clarify desired outcomes and successfully pursue those goals by strengthening existing programs and implementing new initiatives.

Strategic oversight includes the Burke Museum’s exhibits program, public programs, and community outreach efforts. Further, this position is responsible for strategic planning related to the museum’s eventual expansion project as it pertains to interpretive exhibit planning. This position functions as a critical manager, providing budgetary/personnel oversight, representing the museum in the community, and participating on senior management committees within the museum and university.


  • Strategic Leadership/Coordination:  Ensure that all public offerings of the Burke Museum are strategically coordinated. Actively promote collaboration, efficiency, and shared strategy between public programming, exhibit design/content, the visitor experience, and community outreach efforts.  Act as a critical member of the Burke leadership team, providing authoritative guidance to both peers and the Executive Director as it pertains to interpretation, programming, and outreach. Work closely with the Director of Communications to determine strategies for targeted audience development.
  • Exhibits division: Manage the exhibits division, including exhibit concept development/strategy for Burke-produced exhibits, oversight and strategy for incoming exhibits, long-term exhibits improvements, and off-site exhibits.  Partner with Burke Curators, outside vendors/contractors, and other exhibit development staff to ensure that all exhibit offerings are relevant, engaging, and promote the vision of the Burke Museum. Foster creativity and innovation in all exhibitions.
  • Visitor Services:  In coordination with the Visitor Services Manager, seek out opportunities to develop exhibit experiences through partnerships and collaborations, both with museum staff and community groups, in ways that support the museum’s mission and visitor experience goals, increase attendance, and generate income, both earned and contributed.
  • Public Programs: Provide oversight and strategic management of the public programming efforts of the Burke Museum. Collaborate with Public Programs Manager to select, develop, and evaluate public program offerings at the Burke. Ensure that public program offerings are relevant, captivating and successful. Oversee the production of programming that reaches a broader community audience, and brings new visitors and members to the Burke.
  • Outreach: Oversee outreach efforts of the Burke Museum, to include, campus outreach, community outreach (street fairs, etc), and the Burke Ambassador program. Ensure that all efforts support agreed-upon strategies for audience development/impact.
  • Contract negotiation: Represent the interests of the museum in contract negotiations with exhibit vendors, videographers, artists, and other exhibit-related collaborators. May manage contract negotiation for individual consultants hired by the Burke Museum.
  • Budget: Develop and monitor budgets and provide support in development and preparation of annual museum budget. Make strategic budgetary decisions around investment opportunities in order to build new programming, impact new audiences, or pursue additional revenues/funding.
  • Committee participation: Participate in management-level committees. Frequently facilitate committees as it pertains to Burke interpretation, outreach, and expansion.

To Apply:  Visit UW Hires and reference requisition #129567



•     Must have at least 5 – 7 years management-level museum experience in exhibits, education, and programming.

•     Must have Master’s level education in arts/non-profit administration, museum administration, or other related field or equivalent work experience.

•     Must be able to build strong teams to achieve strategic outcomes.

•     Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills.

•     Must exhibit strong leadership skills with direct reports, other museum staff, peers, leadership, and contacts in the community/museum field.

•     Must be proficient with all typical business-related software (Microsoft Office) and have familiarity with exhibit design software.

Job Information
  • Seattle, Washington, 98195, United States
  • 26764049
  • February 5, 2016
  • Director of Interpretation
  • Burke Museum
  • Directors/Administrators
  • No
  • Full-Time
  • Indefinite
  • Master’s Degree
  • 5-7 Years
  • None