Senior Vice President for Exhibitions & Programs
Job Type

General Summary of Duties: 

In partnership with the President and CEO, establish short and long-range vision, general operating plans, and annual goals, objectives, and priorities for all the Museum’s exhibition, public programs and educational activities. As a member of the Museum’s Executive Management Team, the Senior Vice President of Exhibitions & Programs reports to the President & CEO and will serve as a key ambassador for the Museum as it relates to all its public facing programs and services.

Essential Duties of the Position:

  • Serve as a member of the President’s senior management team.
  • In collaboration with the President & CEO, establish the Museum as a visionary and innovative creator of cultural and historical programs focused on the African American experience.
  • In collaboration with the President & CEO, spearhead the Museum’s efforts to provide its programs and services to a growing online constituency.
  • Think holistically about strategic programming initiatives to make informed choices about program creation and enhancements.
  • Lead and collaborate with Museum colleagues in the Curatorial, Exhibition Design, Education, Public Programs, and other departments to create impactful learning experiences for all visitors and stakeholders.
  • Provide a supportive and outcomes-driven environment for direct reports that include the Directors of Collections & Exhibitions, Design and Fabrication, and Learning & Engagement.
  • In collaboration with the President & CEO, spearhead initiatives to engage diverse communities within the City of Detroit, across the nation, and around the world.
  • Further develop, build upon, and manage partnerships with external entities—including cultural institutions, educational professionals, community groups, thought leaders, and government agencies.
  • Monitor and measure the success and impact of exhibitions and program initiatives.
  • Work collaboratively with the Senior Vice President of for Institutional Advancement to develop and implement marketing strategies for the Museum’s programs to achieve maximum reach and impact.
  • Strategically align programs with the Museum’s Mission, new Strategic Plan, and broader organizational priorities. 
  • Educate, inspire, and engage a broad range of audiences through a variety of programmatic formats and platforms.
  • Establish annual goals, objectives, and priorities with each team of direct reports.
  • Collaborate with the Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement to identify and apply for funding opportunities from individual, government, foundation, and corporate sources. 
  • Work closely with the Vice President of Organizational Development, and direct reports to manage program budgets. 
  • Maximize earned income from programs while preserving their aesthetic and educational integrity.
  •  Other duties as assigned.

Required Education and Experience:

  • A bachelor’s degree in African American Studies, Museum Studies or a related field or the equivalent background derived from work experience. An advanced degree such as an MFA or PHD degree is preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience of at least (10) ten years of educational or programmatic leadership in a senior role. 
  • A strong track record of providing creative leadership to design and deliver impactful public programming and community building experiences to fulfill and amplify the Museum’s mission.
  • Successful background in leading highly successful teams and maximizing the potential of team members to achieve division goals.
  • Knowledge of best practices in program design, evaluation, and curriculum development.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to establish rapport and cultivate relationships across all levels of the organization.
  • Leads and manages teams with empathy, a high standard of excellence, accountability, and inclusivity, allowing for consensus building and recognition of teamwork.
  • The ability to work closely with the President & CEO to offer creative, yet practical ideas to achieve the strategic direction of the Museum with a deep understanding and commitment to the institutional vision the President puts forward.