Washington, DC

Associate Director of Advancement and Communication, Smithsonian Institution

The Organization

The Smithsonian Institution is a unique complex of 21 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research centers. Under the leadership of Secretary, Lonnie G. Bunch III, previously the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian is on a mission to become a truly 21st century museum complex. Following the success of the Smithsonian’s first comprehensive capital campaign, the largest ever undertaken by a cultural organization, the Smithsonian has built a model fundraising organization. This position offers exciting opportunities for the successful candidate to make a significant impact on the future of the Smithsonian.

The National Museum of African Art has one of the most significant collections of African art in the world. It is renowned for exhibitions and programs that challenge assumptions about the continent and its diaspora- bringing together historical and contemporary art, north and south, east, and west, in an ongoing conversation about who we are and where we’re going.

Position Overview

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art is embarking on an exciting transformation with a new director and a new future-looking vision. We are seeking a highly motivated candidate to fill the Associate Director of Advancement and Communication position.  This is a key role in the Executive Management team, responsible for directing all functions and aspects of fundraising, communications, and external affairs for the National Museum of African Art.

The incumbent provides expert, pragmatic advice to the Museum Director on all aspects of advancement; makes substantial recommendations for policy changes and new program directions; and plans, establishes, and leads major fundraising initiatives, including but not limited to annual, major, planned, corporate, foundation, membership, and endowment giving, as well as capital campaigns, to support the broad and ever-evolving programmatic needs of the Museum.

The Associate Director works closely with the Museum’s Advisory Board in setting and supporting the priorities of the Museum’s Director. The Associate Director manages cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. She/he/they work(s) closely with the Public Affairs Specialist and communications team in communicating the Museum’s mission and needs to a broad constituency. The Associate Director devises advancement and public relations strategies for accomplishing programmatic, exhibition and capital fundraising objectives and marketing campaigns and partnerships. She/he/they supervise(s) the Museum’s advancement, communications, and external affairs staff.

The Smithsonian and the National Museum of African Art is a welcoming organization. We encourage all interested candidates to apply. Successful candidates will ideally have a minimum of five years of relevant experience in major gifts fundraising and management, preferably within a major cultural institution, nonprofit organization, educational institution, or other environment of similar complexity. Demonstrated ability to build long-term donor relationships and securing five seven-figure gifts is required as well as experience in communications, PR and marketing.  Strong organization, relationship, collaboration, and communication skills, as well as the ability to work independently, are essential. Applications should show proven ability to motivate, develop and supervise staff.

Understanding of and dedication to the mission of the National Museum of African Art is essential. Fluency in French or Arabic and existing connections to a network of African Art donors, prospects, media and influencers is desired. A bachelor’s degree is required. National and international travel is required and work during the evenings and weekends may be necessary.

How To Apply

The Smithsonian Institution offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive package of benefits. This is not a federal position but has similar requirements and benefits. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter to oastaffing@si.edu by March 8, 2022. Please include the position title in your e-mail subject line. Resumes should include a description of your paid and non-paid work experience that is related to this job; starting and ending dates of job (Month and year); and average number of hours worked per week.

The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.  Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

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