The Director of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is responsible for promoting, sustaining and further developing a more informed understanding of Native peoples using a “One NMAI” approach linking all three facilities and following the guiding philosophy of being a place where the voices of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas are primary in the interpretation of Native histories and cultures.Learn more about this agency
The Director of the National Museum of the American Indian is responsible for promoting, sustaining and further developing a more informed understanding of Native peoples using a “One NMAI” approach linking all three facilities and following the guiding philosophy of being a place where the voices of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas are primary in the interpretation of Native histories and cultures. The Director must understand and promote the Museum’s role, through exhibits, education, scholarship, publications, convenings and online platforms, in affirming the centrality of Indigenous Peoples and cultures in shaping our past, present and future.
The Director of the National Museum of the American Indian will lead and inspire the Museum’s dedicated staff, steward and improve the museum’s financial health, oversee day‐to‐day management, maintain the museum’s relationships with the Tribal Nations, provide strategic direction for the organization, and be a leading voice on Native American cultural affairs. The Director will supervise and manage a senior leadership team of Associate Directors responsible for the detailed management of the museum’s Assets and Operations, Scholarship and Research, Learning and Programs, Advancement and Administration. The Director will also be supported be an experienced and dedicated Deputy Director. The Director will play a crucial role in fundraising, and work in close collaboration with the museum’s Board of Trustees and committed donor community. The Director represents the NMAI in Smithsonian leadership forums and engages with the leaders of other Smithsonian museums and research units and administrative offices on matters of common concern.
- Successfully maintaining the values and focus of NMAI while supporting audience growth and enhanced philanthropy
- Addressing the evolving needs of the complex, nuanced set of communities making up the Indigenous peoples of the Americas so that the museum remains relevant and audience-focused
- Continued significant growth in impact, including a focus on the educational reach of the museum
- Continued significant growth in access to, and engagement with, the collections of the museum by communities, including object loans and consultations
- Ensuring the museum plays a prominent role in pan‐Smithsonian priority setting, initiatives, and programs, including participation in Our Shared Future: Reckoning With Our Racial Past, American Women’s History Initiative and Open Access, among others
- Building on NMAI’s role as a leading voice of Native peoples in national conversations on major issues such as biodiversity, race, identity, access to health care, environmental quality, education, governance, etc.
Subject Matter Expertise
With a national reputation for thought leadership, the Director must also possess deep, textured knowledge of Native Peoples’ histories and cultures, combined with the ability to frame those histories and experiences as a broader story that impacts America and the world in profound ways. Demonstrated ability to manage and cultivate national and international community relationships with finesse and strategic thinking will be key to successful institutional leadership.
Relevant Leadership Experience
The Director must have relevant experience and the capacity to lead and manage a purpose‐driven and complex organization. Experience in a museum, a cultural organization or higher education is helpful, but not required. Recommended skills include the ability to demonstrate responsiveness to evaluation and audience engagement as well as digital comprehension and ability to plan for evaluation and digital needs.
Profile and Fundraising Record
The Director serves as the lead fundraiser for the museum and must have presence in working with volunteer leadership and funders (individual and institutional). A track record of success in raising philanthropic dollars, ideally from both public and private sources, is essential.
The Director will have strong interpersonal, media and presentation skills, and will be able to inspire and elicit support from a wide spectrum of people from different social and cultural backgrounds.
Job family (Series)
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/603249100. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.