Museum Director

Japanese American Museum of San Jose

535 North 5th Street
San Jose, CA 95133




Dec 19, 2022

About the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj)
Founded in 1987, JAMsj is one of the few museums in the United States dedicated to the collection, preservation, and sharing of Japanese American history, culture and arts with an emphasis on the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. Beginning as an entirely volunteer-led passion project, the museum first started in a modest upstairs room of the Issei Memorial Building, and in 2010 moved to a remodeled building in the heart of historic San Jose Japantown. With its expansion, JAMsj now showcases a robust and unique collection of permanent and rotation exhibits chronicling more than a century of Japanese American history. Of particular importance to JAMsj is the capturing and telling of the story of the WWII Internment of Japanese Americans.

Museum Director Position Description
JAMsj is looking for a Museum Director to lead the charge in finding new avenues of fund development, creating engaging educational exhibits, and fulfilling JAMsj’s mission through our core values of inspiration, innovation and inclusion. The Director will work with a vibrant ecosystem of staff, volunteer committees and the Board of Directors to create and implement a strategic vision to establish JAMsj as a financially sustainable, professional museum, develop JAMsj’s capacity as a community center, and expand the museum’s reach to an emerging multicultural society.

The primary responsibilities of the Museum Director are:

1) Fund Development
2) Museum Curatorial oversight and execution
3) Supervision of staff and Museum Operations
4) Collaborating with the Board of Directors and community partners

Roles and Responsibilities:

Fund Development

  • Identify and secure funds, donations and grants with the Fund Development Team to help ensure continued operation of the museum.
  • Coordinates all accounting and financial operations with the Financial Team and Treasurer, including budget development and monitoring donations, grants, and other funds.

Curatorial Duties

  • Leads the Exhibit Team to curate, develop and implement exhibits.
  • Preserves and develops artifact collection in conjunction with the Collections Team.

Operations Strategy

  • Develop programs and community outreach activities with the Public Programs Team which further the mission of JAMsj and benefit the community.
  • Collaborates with the Board of Directors to develop and achieve JAMsj strategic goals and improve day to day operations.
  • Collaborates with the Museum Operations Manager to coordinate volunteers, retail, facilities management and social media.

Administrative Services

  • Oversees all staff and volunteers in management of day to day operations of JAMsj.
  • Works to increase membership numbers and coordinate annual renewal activities as well as supervises data integrity of membership databases.
  • Manages all risk management components of museum operation: exhibition contracts, gift deeds, museum security, museum facility, museum staff, and insurance agreements and requirements.

Community Outreach

  • Serves as museum spokesperson and represents the museum’s interests in conjunction with the Board of Directors.
  • Works with community and city partners to achieve mutually beneficial objectives, in particular the preservation and promotion of San Jose Japantown.

Other Duties
The above listed roles and responsibilities are not meant to be comprehensive and other roles, responsibilities and duties may be required.


Required Skills and Expertise:

  • Experience with the operations of a museum and/or a nonprofit organization.
  • Supervisory skills for the administration, financial management and operations of a mainly volunteer organization with an annual budget of $250,000 and above.
  • Proficiency with the use of the following software: Quickbooks, Google Suite, and CRM Software (Donorview preferred).
  • Effective oral and written communication skills (authored sample documents will be required).
  • Ability to serve as an articulate spokesperson and representative for the museum.
  • Experience with diversity and inclusion programs, with proven success in communicating with diverse groups about challenging issues.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal direction and guidance.
  • Participates in educational activities and museum associations to keep abreast of the latest developments in small museum and historical society management.

Desired Skills and Expertise:

  • Demonstrated experience or understanding of AAPI or other immigrant culture, history and communities, with experience advancing cultural initiatives and agendas.
  • Demonstrated success with community outreach and fundraising, including interactions with donors and grant-making organizations and development of relationships with potential grant organizations and donors.
  • Knowledge of current professional museum policies, operations and success strategies.
  • Knowledge relevant to transforming the museum to a hybrid (both physical and virtual) experience to increase the number of museum visitors.

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