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Museum Director

Position Title: Museum Director

Supervisor:    Executive Director

Department:  Museum

Grade: 59, exempt    

Hours: 35 hours per week, Monday to Friday



The museum director will lead the museum team in planning and delivering innovative exhibits in a highly collaborative environment. The director will oversee long-term exhibition planning, budget, and all aspects of museum operations. The ideal candidate will combine knowledge of one area of the Dumbarton Oaks collections with strong leadership and administrative skills. The incumbent will join our community at an exciting time of expansion of both our academic and public programs and will contribute to the ongoing Dumbarton Oaks Access Initiative by helping us design and deliver free and open access to the collections through digital and educational initiatives.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Oversees all aspects of museum operations including administration, budget, and staff.
  • Oversees exhibition planning and delivery, leading the museum team and collaborating with other departments as well as external partners.
  • Oversees handling, conservation, insurance, and loans of collections.
  • Collaborates closely with other departments on building maintenance and security; outreach; and planning and delivery of public programs.
  • Oversees the transition to an updated collections management system.
  • Oversees the digital and print publication of museum collection and exhibition catalogues.
  • Leads the overhaul of the museum digital and web presence, including the provision of open access catalogues and high-resolution images of the museum collections.
  • Engages actively with new scholarship relating to the Dumbarton Oaks collections, as well as with up-to-date museum practices and initiatives.
  • Mentors fellows and interns from Harvard University as part of Dumbarton Oaks’ skill-building programs for early-career humanists.
  • Maintains coordination with Harvard University policies as appropriate.
  • Performs special projects and duties as required by the Director and Executive Director.

Supervisory responsibilities:

Manage a team of ten full-time museum professionals.

Basic qualifications:

Master’s degree in art history or museum studies required, Minimum six years’ museum management experience, including responsibility for a professional staff and budget.

Additional qualifications:

Advanced degree in any area of the museum’s collections preferred. PhD preferred. Proven administrative and leadership ability, ideally in a museum setting.

Strong data and collection management skills. Excellent communication skills; collegiality, initiative, and versatility in a fast-paced environment that is committed to the highest standards of museum and scholarly practice.

To Apply

The position remains open until filled. Please forward résumé and cover letter detailing relevant qualifications by clicking the link below.

Additional Information

Dumbarton Oaks is a Harvard research institute, museum, library, and garden in Washington, D.C. Since 1940 the institute and library have supported research and learning internationally in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies. The historic garden designed by Beatrix Farrand was voted among the ten best in the world by National Geographic and features occasional art installations by contemporary artists. The museum has world-class collections of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art and select works of European art. It is open to the public free of charge six days/week. Notable architecture on campus includes the Philip Johnson Pavilion that houses the Pre-Columbian Collection.

The museum has close ties to local and Harvard communities and engages scholars and visitors from all over the world through exhibitions, gallery talks, and class visits. Dumbarton Oaks is a vibrant home of the humanities with an overarching mission of communicating the value of culture and advanced research to the broadest possible public.

Dumbarton Oaks is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).