Vice President, Education and Engagement (full - Time, Regular)

As Vice President for Education and Engagement, you will lead vital public-facing museum activities for one of San Diego’s most popular and beloved museums.  Overseeing student classes and activities, adult-only evenings, exhibitions and on-the-floor engagement, community partnerships and special programs, the VPEE heads up a dynamic and talented team of 20+ staff and 700+ volunteers.  If you love a diverse portfolio this is an ideal position.  Our volunteers work in the Museum, on San Diego County’s unparalleled hiking trails, and on whale watching ships.  Our exhibitions focus on our research region of Southern California and the Baja California peninsula.  Our work studying, preserving, and promoting the understanding of the most biodiverse area in the lower 48 states is more critical than ever.

We seek a candidate with an active and creative mind, a passion for education, biodiversity and conservation, and a talented leader.  You will be joining a convivial and dedicated team, and will help shape strategic direction, growth, and financial stability of the Museum.  We seek a champion for visitor-centered culture at the Museum, who will find new ways to engage our binational public in environmental education and science. As a member of executive management team, you will report directly to the President and CEO, and work directly with the Board of Directors and relevant committees to develop and implement Museum policy.  

Responsibilities Include:

  • Vision and Strategy: Shapes a vision and strategy for impactful education and public programs, exhibitions, volunteers, and citizen science that engage the public on both sides of the US/Mexico border with the Museum’s research and collections. Identifies measureable outcomes, success criteria, and planning and assessment tools. Stays current with educational, exhibition, accessibility practices, and scholarship through a network of colleagues in the field, other disciplines, and literature reviews. Participates in executive management leadership team that establishes priorities for the Museum. Raises funds for educational activities.
  • Education and Public Engagement Program Development and Implementation: Oversees and directs the development and implementation of the Museum’s education program to engage students, adults, and Museum visitors on both sides of the US/Mexico border. Program design emphasizes the unique natural history of the Californias, and aims to instill a conservation ethic. Works closely with schools and out of school learning organizations to design programs that are standards-based and complement school-based learning. Public engagement will support cross-departmental collaboration, outside partnerships, and citizen science to extend and enhance visitor experiences during open hours and after-hours programs.
  • Communication and Collaboration: Works with colleagues across the Museum and Balboa Park to develop and implement key messages, strategies for outreach and promotion, and internal communications. Promotes high standards of customer service, both internally and toward Museum visitors. Works with colleagues to prioritize and develop funding strategies and proposals, in addition to cultivating funders and donors. Works with CFO/COO to ensure that fee-based programs are financially sound, and programs meet safety guidelines and museum policies. Works closely with scientific research staff to share the Museum’s current research and collections with the public in meaningful ways. Communicates engagement strategies to colleagues across the institution. Works with outside partner organizations, including local school districts, universities and community groups to plan and support programming.
  • Leadership and Staff Development: Direct reports include the Director of Experience Design (exhibitions), Director of Volunteers, and Education Department staff. Builds staff and volunteer skills by sharing new research and models, and through continuing education. Builds excitement and shared sense of program ownership with staff and volunteers through communication, and participation in program and exhibition development.
  • Research and Evaluation: Participates on cross-departmental evaluation committee to evaluate and improve processes, content, communication, staffing, and other issues.
  • Accessibility: Provides leadership to create bilingual exhibitions and materials that comply with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Universal Design to ensure that the Museum is accessible to all visitors, and serves as an advocate for accessibility issues. Establishes good working relationships with community organizations representing underserved communities and people with disabilities.
  • Administration, Budgets, and Reporting: Works with direct reports to develop, plan, and track annual budgets and revenue for engagement areas. Oversees and directs the preparation of reports, conveying metrics, narratives, and/or budget. Participates actively in planning and budgeting for the Museum.

Traits and Characteristics Desired:

  • A seasoned and talented individual who has managed a diverse group of  people, programs and budgets
  • Experience working within and understanding informal or formal education, with a strong preference for knowledge and experience in both
  • Proven leadership at a senior level designing, developing and promoting informal and formal public programs and exhibitions to a wide-ranging population of learners
  • Exceptional communication skills, with the ability to connect effectively with diverse groups, write clearly and persuasively, and enhance and build meaningful relationships within and outside the Museum
  • Demonstrated ability to think and plan strategically
  • Exceptional leadership skills, with demonstrated ability to plan and implement long range projects, and motivate and coach a diverse group of personalities with different work styles
  • Minimum BA, and advanced degree in a relevant field preferable.

Personal Qualities:

  • Collegial team player with excellent interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated resourcefulness and good judgment
  • Leads by example
  • Values inclusion, diversity of thought, backgrounds, and perspectives
  • Able to multi-task while maintaining attention to detail
  • Integrity and ethics beyond reproach
  • Constantly looking assess performance and to apply best practices
  • A strong environmental conservation ethic and commitment to community outreach


Salary range 110k – 115k plus a competitive benefits package.

Application Information: 

Please submit resume, writing sample, cover letter including salary expectation to No phone calls or drop–ins, please.

The Hiring Committee will start reviewing applicants on November 18, 2019.



  • This job is expired!