Deputy Director- Harvard Art Museums
Arts Consulting Group
Cambridge, MA 02138
The Harvard Art Museums house one of the largest and most renowned art collections in the United States comprising three museums—the Fogg Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, and Arthur M. Sackler Museum—and four research centers—Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art, Harvard Art Museums Archives, and Archaeological Exploration of Sardis. The Fogg Museum includes Western art from the Middle Ages to the present; the Busch-Reisinger Museum, unique among North American museums, is dedicated to the study of all modes and periods of art from central and northern Europe with an emphasis on German-speaking countries; and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum is focused on art from Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. Together, the collections include over 255,000 objects in all media.
The Harvard Art Museums are distinguished by the range and depth of their collections, groundbreaking exhibitions, and original research. Integral to Harvard University and the wider community, the museums and research centers serve as resources for students, scholars, and the public. For more than a century, the Harvard Art Museums have been a premier training ground for museum professionals and is renowned for its seminal role in developing the discipline of art history and conservation in the United States. The Harvard Art Museums have a rich tradition of considering the history of objects as fundamental to the teaching and study across a wide range of disciplines.
The Harvard Art Museums support a culture of equity and inclusion where everyone can experience its collections, exhibitions, and programs with minimal barriers and maximum access. It embraces openness and seeks to promote the joy of discovery. It values its community of colleagues and peers and strives to inspire each other. The Harvard Art Museums respect expertise, act with honesty, promote collaboration, and work as equal partners to build and strengthen an environment where all can thrive.
The Harvard Art Museums consist of various buildings in Cambridge and Somerville, including 32 Quincy Street, the 204,000 square-foot climate-controlled space for permanent-collection galleries, exhibitions, administration, education and classrooms, art handling, and conservation. Additionally, 200 Innerbelt Road is a 47,000 square-foot location for vault and art storage as well as art handling and conservation, which complements the 7,000 square-foot Franklin dry storage, shipping, and packing materials location. Finally, Adolphus Busch Hall is the 40,605 square-foot space, occupied primarily by the Center for European Studies in a long-term rental. Another building at 1746 Cambridge Street provides office space to four departments and is the current subject of a space/needs/renovation assessment.
Led by the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director Martha Tedeschi, PhD, the Harvard Art Museums currently has 205 full-time equivalent staff, which includes more than 16 Museum Fellows per year. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, its operating budget before depreciation is approximately $40 million with 55% in salaries, wages, and benefits; 25% in exhibitions & programs; and 20% in general operating expenses.
Home to more than 4.8 million people, the City of Boston and the Boston-Cambridge-Newton metropolitan area is New England’s economic and cultural hub. The region is the ancestral home of the Massachusett, Pawtucket, Wampanoag, and Nipmuck, among others who inhabited the area for centuries before European colonists settled in the area in the late sixteenth century. Today, Greater Boston is the 11th largest metropolitan area in the United States. Cambridge and Boston are separated by the Charles River but share a vibrant student population with more than 200,000 students and an exciting blend of cultures. Cambridge has become a hub for technological innovation and is part of Boston’s comprehensive public transportation system (MBTA) with Downtown Boston and Logan Airport only a short ride from campus.
The region is recognized for the strength and international reach of its education, health, and technology sectors. The area attracts dedicated faculty and ambitious students who choose to study in one of its many outstanding higher educational institutions. Quality of life is anchored by a vibrant arts and cultural sector with world-renowned museums, orchestras, historic sites, regional cultural centers, emerging and experimental performing and visual arts entities, and multi-disciplinary cultural heritage organizations. Individual artists and creatives from all disciplines and genres are active contributors to the region’s vibrant arts sector. Cambridge, like other regional communities, is enriched by immigrant communities, including recent arrivals. The local high school, Cambridge Rindge and Latin, is the only public high school in Cambridge and has become a deep partner to the Harvard Art Museums and thus with the extended community, in part because of the school’s physical proximity to the museums.
Sources: censusreporter.org; pluralism.org; visitboston.org; Harvard.edu
A strategic leader who can drive and support a vision, the Deputy Director develops and manages the administrative functions, provides direction, develops and implements new initiatives, and ensures the effectiveness of ongoing operations. In close partnership with the Chief Curator and reporting to the Director, the Deputy Director will act strategically to advance the museums’ objectives as a premier collection, research, and education center, and they will be directly responsible for key operations and facilities projects. The Deputy Director currently oversees, directs, and manages Finance, Communications, Collections Management, Digital Infrastructure & Emerging Technologies, Facilities, Security, Museum Archives, Visitor Services, and Project and Program Management. They collaborate closely with the Director’s directs, including Curatorial, Academic & Public Programs, Institutional Advancement, and the Straus Center for Conservation & Technical Studies. The Deputy Director also serves as a primary liaison to the rest of the University, including Harvard Human Resources, serving as a key information resource and spokesperson, representing and advocating for the museums within the University. Committed to the students and the public, the Deputy Director will work in partnership with the administrators, staff, faculty, students, and other strategic and operational partners to embrace the Harvard Art Museums’ mission. In addition, the Deputy Director will model a commitment to, and interest in, Harvard’s role as an institution of higher education and its unique combination of cultural offerings to the public.
Roles and Responsibilities
Leadership and Strategic Implementation
Serve as a partner and thought leader to the Museum Director, supporting their vision and ensuring the successful implementation of the strategic plan in collaboration with senior leadership to balance plan objectives and financial outcomes.
Act as the leader of the strategic planning process, and guide the development of sustainable, short- and long-term initiatives and special projects that leverage the strengths of Harvard Art Museums to respond to and create opportunities across the university, the museum field, and the community.
Coordinate and align both internal and external stakeholders around the museums’ plan and core values to ensure the realization of unified priorities and goals.
Conduct an analysis of the current staffing structure, and recommend and execute a staffing model that aligns with industry best practices and supports the needs of the strategic plan.
Establish plans and systems to track progress and measure operational and organizational effectiveness, through continual assessment, communicating key metrics and performance indicators to the Museum Director, staff, and key stakeholders.
Strengthen museum-wide department management through effective and transparent communication that reflects organizational values.
Manage the day-to-day operations and finances of the museum buildings and sites, guiding the activities of reporting departments to ensure operating and financial goals are achieved.
Embrace other leadership and strategic implementation activities as needed.
Financial Administration and Operations
Provide oversight of all financial operations including budgetary processes and financial analysis with the support of Harvard Art Museums financial staff and University personnel.
Align with the External Relations team to expand public outreach and involvement focusing on the development of a healthy patron pipeline for the Harvard Art Museums and encouraging departmental ownership and collaboration in support of this work.
Oversee and support the growth of the earned revenue aspects of the museums’ operations including the museum retail shop, café, event rental, and admissions to meet revenue goals, EDIB commitments, and museum values.
Identify funds needed for effective organizational function and mission delivery and implement needed adjustments due to changing circumstances as necessary.
Advocate for digital innovation and strengthen the museum’s IT infrastructure and capabilities to advance strategic goals.
Lead and support high-performing teams, set clear direction, mentor, evaluate, and guide staff to support a culture of cross departmental communication, diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
Continually assess Harvard Art Museums infrastructure—its resources, operations, facility management, financial systems, information technology systems, communication, processes, and procedures to ensure balance in capacity and organizational activities.
Ensure that the necessary organizational structure, policies, systems controls, and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed for effectiveness.
Embrace other financial administration and operations duties as necessary.
Traits and Characteristics
The Deputy Director will be a forward-thinking leader who is confident, decisive, and able to communicate and connect with staff, stakeholders, and constituents. Committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging and enthusiastic about the mission and work of a university museum, the Deputy Director will have day-to-day oversight of all museum operations as an active and visible presence. This individual will be skilled in change management, working as a positive and galvanizing force in helping the organization embrace change in the interest of a more impactful, creative, and harmonious workplace. The Deputy Director will ensure that field-leading museum best practices are advanced in the care and ethical stewardship of collections and in all matters related to operations and financial management, as appropriate for an accredited museum. They will build a culture of collaboration, open communication, and innovation while working across departments to ensure a unified effort and shared success.
Other key competencies of the role include:
Leadership and Diplomacy – The ability to organize and influence people to believe in a vision, creating a sense of purpose and direction while effectively using tact to handle difficult or sensitive issues when working with people across hierarchical or functional borders.
Problem Solving and Decision Making– The capability to anticipate, identify, analyze, and diagnose key components of a problem to formulate a solution, and make consistently sound and timely decisions.
Accountability, Time, and Priority Management – The capacity to answer for personal actions and decisions while prioritizing and completing tasks in order to deliver desired outcomes.
Conflict Management – The sensitivity to address and resolve conflict constructively and equitably.
Qualifications and Requirements
Bachelor’s degree plus a minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible management experience, including at the senior leadership level. Master of Business Administration or other advanced degree in a relevant management discipline, or equivalent years of management experience. Demonstrated accomplishments in managing large and complex finances, facilities, and operations. Proven leadership and teamwork skills, as well as the management of diverse professionals from varying disciplines and levels. Excellent financial, analytical, written, and oral communications skills. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated creative problem-solving abilities, experience in assessing organizational needs, developing specific plans, building consensus, communicating objectives, promoting innovative uses of technology, and directing operations in the accomplishment of goals. Expertise in higher education or museum administration is preferred.
The University requires all Harvard community members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccine boosters, as detailed in Harvard’s Vaccine & Booster Requirements. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement, exemptions, and verification of vaccination status may be found on the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage: http://www.harvard.edu/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine-information/.
Compensation and Benefits
Harvard Art Museums offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience with a salary expected to be in the range of $200,000 to $240,000. Compensation at Harvard University is determined with careful attention to internal equity and the external market, including higher education and general industry, which provides competitive market-driven salaries that are fairly administered across the University for all of its employees. A robust University benefits package includes, but is not limited to, income protection (i.e. short- and long-term disability, life insurance, and various retirement programs); health plans (i.e. medical, dental, vision care, flexible spending account); wellness programs (i.e. courses and workshops in stress management, nutrition, meditation, and affordable fitness and recreational opportunities); quality of life initiatives (i.e. paid time off, employee assistance program, child care resources, elder/adult care, and discounted transportation); and growth, learning, and development opportunities (i.e. tuition assistance and reimbursement programs, workforce development).