Executive Director

Biggs Museum of American Art

Dover, DE 19901




Apr 22, 2024

Full time / $150,000-$180,000 annually / Biggs Museum of American Art / Dover, DE

The Executive Director will serve as the chief executive officer of the museum, providing comprehensive strategic leadership working in concert with the board and the staff in support of the museum’s founding principles. They will ensure The Biggs achieves its vision and goals within the standards and best practices as an American Alliance of Museums accredited institution, including championing the next phase of expansion. The Executive Director will embrace DEAI and articulate a comprehensive and community-centered programmatic vision for the museum. They will be responsible for the oversight of all day-to-day operations including administration, resource development, financial management, programming, care of the collections, and ongoing community engagement. They will partner with and support the museum’s talented and ambitious staff, maintain a close working relationship with the Board of Trustees, and build positive community relationships to increase visitation and revenue. They will champion fresh thinking and approaches to art; and seize opportunities to be creative, experimental, and innovative to meet people where they are. Reporting to the board, the Executive Director will be the voice of the museum and actively engaged in the community and across the museum field.

Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic Planning and Vision

• Guide the vision and design of a feasibility study and capital campaign planning to support the recently approved building expansion Master Plan, in partnership with the building and development committees of the Board and the museum’s Deputy Director.
• Lead the development of the strategic interim and future staffing, capital, and facility maintenance plans, to support institutional direction, facility expansion, and programming needs in collaboration with the board and internal and external stakeholders.
• Oversee and guide the vision for the expansion of the museum’s collection in partnership with the Curatorial staff and the Board.
• Engage as an active voice in the arts sector, working in partnership with community organizations, other Delaware art institutions, and national partners in support of the work of the museum.
• Facilitate the vision and implementation of new philosophies, ideas, and approaches to exhibitions, collections, educational programs, and museum events to increase museum visitation and build the museum’s brand.
• Embrace other strategic planning and vision responsibilities as needed.

Revenue Enhancement and Community Engagement
• Serve as an advocate and public spokesperson for the museum, implementing a cohesive, disciplined communications and public relations strategy that includes online marketing, social media, press releases, newsletters, and other communication tools to raise the museum’s activities and brand throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
• Leverage the networks of the board to maximize contributed revenue and partnership opportunities for the museum’s annual operating and capital projects.
• Collaborate with the development committee of the board to establish fundraising expectations and ensure regular reporting in partnership with the board President, and the museum’s Deputy Director.
• Provide strategy and leadership to the museum’s revenue activities, including the implementation of earned revenue and fundraising plans, and activities including active member and donor cultivation.
• Assess and evaluate existing development programs and strategies to identify areas where fundraising can be strengthened.
• Oversee grant application calendar and work with museum staff to prepare and submit grant applications, monitoring compliance and reporting within grant parameters.
• Actively engage in community activities to represent the museum to civic and public leaders, educational and community organizations, and nonprofit partners and develop collaborative partnerships that increase both museum visibility and visitation and participation in its programs and events.
• Embrace other revenue enhancement and community engagement responsibilities as needed.

Financial Management and Operations
• Provide leadership and supervision of the museum leadership team, overseeing the day-to-day management of the museum staff, fostering a culture of open, inclusive communication that promotes a strong sense of community across the museum where colleagues feel empowered to do their best work, and model and support best practices.
• Assume primary responsibility for the preparation of a 3-year financial plan, and the annual financial budget and operating plans with the Deputy Director and chair of the finance committee, for board approval.
• Monitor the budget, presenting monthly to the finance committee in conjunction with the museum’s CPA Accountant, establishing the appropriate internal controls for all financial matters of the institution.
• Assess the museum’s financial performance and health providing the board with financial reports and related analysis quarterly, including compliance with annual audit requirements.
• Ensure proper standards of care for the permanent collections, as well as loaned items, based on professional standards and best practices as set forth by the American Alliance of Museums.
• Embrace other financial management and operations responsibilities as needed.

Governance and Board Relations
• Build and nurture a strong relationship with the board of trustees to facilitate and inspire them as enthusiastic and productive partners.
• Expand board membership, identifying expertise and skills needed to advance the museum’s operations, in partnership with the Board chair and nominating committee.
• Ensure the efficient and timely development and distribution of agendas and reports and provide board members with information to help them reach decisions that advance the mission and goals of the museum.
• Facilitate the flow of all information and connection between the board and the museum staff.
• Support monthly board, executive committee, and other committee meetings, ensuring effective outcomes and contributions.
• Ensure strong governance, informed oversight, and board succession, in partnership with the Board President.
• Embrace other governance and board relations responsibilities as needed.

Traits and Characteristics
The Executive Director will be a visionary, versatile, and engaged leader who values interacting with a diverse array of museum patrons, community members, and elected officials. They will have the capacity to adapt to frequent change while maintaining focus on the organization’s vision, goals, and priorities. Establishing clear performance standards for themself and their team, the Executive Director will identify and secure the resources needed to achieve results and hold themself and the team accountable while providing clear guidance and decision-making. Driven by the pursuit of knowledge and open to innovation and new practices, the Executive Director will be knowledgeable of professional and ethical standards set forth by the American Alliance of Museums. Resourceful, and intellectually curious, the Executive Director will be an active advocate within the community and the entire Mid-Atlantic region; building relationships and partnerships that support the museum.

Other key competencies include:

• Leadership and Teamwork – The capacity to articulate a vision and create a sense of purpose and direction for internal and external stakeholders, build trust by demonstrating respect and integrity, and create an environment where team members are appreciated and supported, enabling their success.
• Resiliency and Goal Orientation – The demonstrated ability to overcome setbacks and develop and implement strategies to meet objectives while balancing timelines and desired outcomes.
• Decision Making, Time and Priority Management – The ability to systematically analyze information before making a timely decision with the aptitude to ascertain competing priorities, resolve difficulties, and maximize the use of time and resources to attain the desired outcomes.
• Personal Accountability – The willingness to self-evaluate and answer for personal actions and decisions, recognize and learn from mistakes, and listen and use feedback for personal improvement.

Compensation and Benefits
The Biggs Museum of American Art offers competitive compensation with an anticipated annual salary range of $150,000 and $180,000 with annual performance bonuses; a generous “cafeteria-style” benefits package including paid vacation, a 403(b) retirement program, and a professional development program.


Senior-level management, demonstrating progressively responsible experience within an art museum or related cultural or educational institution is required. An advanced degree in a field that relates to the interpretation of the museum is preferred. Knowledge of American art or material culture and a commitment to visitor-centered programming is vital. The ideal candidate will bring strong business acumen and be an experienced relationship builder with a record of success in the design and implementation of annual operating and capital fundraising plans. Previous experience working with nonprofit boards, strategic planning, building projects, capital campaigns, and the effective management of human, physical, and financial resources is essential. A demonstrated commitment to and success in advancing diversity equity, inclusion, and accessibility is a must.

Application Instructions

To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please visit For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, including the anticipated salary range, please contact:

Renée Danger-James, Vice President
1040 First Avenue, Suite 352
New York, New York 10022-2991
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 212

The Biggs Museum of American Art is fully committed to diversity and inclusion as an integral part. As a non-profit board and staff who serve all the community, they commit to carrying forth this mission to educate and inspire the many beautiful people in the world. As they stand with you against racism in a spirit of compassion and respect, they strive to be the best museum they can be.

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