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Executive Director Search

Overview

Exterior of the Natural History Museum of Utah.
As the designated state museum of natural history, the Natural History Museum of Utah serves rural and urban communities across the state through its exhibits, educational programs, citizen science, and broad outreach activities. By providing access to these collections and through its insights into Utah’s rich natural history, the Museum serves as a threshold to all that Utah’s natural places have to offer, inspires curiosity, and communicates science to wide audiences.
 
The Museum seeks an innovative and visionary leader who demonstrates a passion for engaging others in a lifelong learning agenda while delivering a high-quality experience that is financially sustainable through solid program, engagement, fundraising and business practices.   A deep understanding, appreciation for, and connection to the natural world through collections-based science is required.
 
A high level of experience in building and sustaining community, national and international partnerships with other educational and cultural stakeholders, public and private, is necessary.  The Museum seeks a dynamic, energetic communicator who can influence others to action, be they staff, faculty, board members, donors, elected officials, corporate executives, members, volunteers, and other supporters.
 
The Canyon lobby of NHMU.
The ideal candidate will show evidence of successful fundraising leadership or will address how he/she/they have the aptitude to be successful with acquiring major gifts and grants from foundations, corporations, individuals and the public sector at the local, state and national level.  A background of launching innovative, groundbreaking programs resulting in long-term funding and stable revenue streams, world-class research, and dynamic public engagement is highly valued.
 
A Master’s degree is required. Formal education in science is preferred, but not required.  Demonstrable leadership experience in public or private institutions concerned with informal education, natural history/science or related professions is highly valued.
 
Applications and nominations are being received by Kittleman & Associates, LLC. To apply, submit a current resume, letter of interest, and a diversity statement (a document that addresses your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through work, professional activity or service) to Kittleman using the button below. The position will remain open until filled, but applicants are highly encouraged to submit their materials by September 10 to ensure full consideration.

Mission

The Natural History Museum of Utah illuminates the natural world and the place of humans within it.

Values

  • We are a creative, dynamic institution.
  • We attract and serve a broad, diverse audience.
  • We meet the highest professional and ethical standards.
  • We are accountable for our work.
  • Our scientific research and interpretation are interdisciplinary, timely, and encourage active inquiry.
  • We strive for and promote sustainability in all we do.
  • We seek and sustain meaningful partnerships.

About the Natural History Museum of Utah

Exterior of the Natural History Museum of Utah.
The Museum cares for more than 1.6 million objects that have been amassed since the late-nineteenth century, primarily through University faculty and student research, and the collection continues to grow. The collections serve as the foundation for the Museum’s research, exhibits, and educational programs, and also serve as a resource for scientists worldwide. As the designated state museum of natural history, the Natural History Museum of Utah has the privilege of serving rural and urban communities across the state through its exhibits, educational programs, citizen science, and broad outreach activities. By providing access to these collections and through their insights to Utah’s rich natural history, the Museum serves as a threshold to all that Utah’s natural places have to offer, inspires curiosity, and communicates science to wide audiences.
 

Guests explore a museum.

Founded in 1969, the Natural History Museum of Utah is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019. In the past five decades it has developed a reputation of excellence in research, collections stewardship, education, exhibitions, and community engagement. In 2011, the Museum opened its spectacular new home, the Rio Tinto Center, which grew out of a remarkable public-private partnership between federal, state, and county governments, and corporations, foundations, and individuals. This was a transformational milestone for the Museum, providing a much-needed platform for 21st-century research and education. Since opening, the Museum has successfully grown its research capacity, increased its public, community and educational reach, honed the quality and scope of its offerings, developed a sustainable operation, and become a top destination in Salt Lake City, welcoming over 300,000 regional, national and international visitors annually. A LEED Gold Building, it has also received significant recognition for its stunning architecture and design, including being honored for Excellence in Architecture for New Building presented by the Society for College and University Planning at the American Institute of Architecture (AIA).
 
As a part of the unique intellectual resources of the University of Utah, the Museum’s campus collaborations spark applied research and programs, and the administration encourages a nimbleness rare in public organizations. The Museum’s scientific collections form the basis for internationally-recognized research, exhibits, and public and educational programs. In addition, the Museum offers extensive educational opportunities, welcoming over 55,000 student field trip visitors annually, provides direct instruction to students in every school in the state on a rotating schedule, provides innovative digital tools for teachers, students, and mentors in underserved secondary and high schools through its youth development programs. The Museum offers employment opportunities to University students, provides assistantships and internships for graduate students, and trains faculty and graduate students in science communication methods.

The Opportunity

Scientists stand next to drawers of collections specimens in a museum.
This is a crucial time for Utah, with a rapidly growing population whose demographics are changing. Human interactions with Utah’s ecosystems, landscape, and climate are complex and have significant impacts. Understanding how humans interact with the natural world, and effectively communicating the risks, impacts and decisions associated with these interactions, is now more important than ever. The Museum’s scientific collections are unique archives of past and present biological and cultural diversity. Its researchers, curators, staff and students use and build these to examine change across geography and time through a variety of disciplinary and cross-disciplinary lenses, including a new research initiative examining the critical challenges of biodiversity loss. Across all programs, the Museum works to engage public audiences with science and nature in pursuit of both understanding of and solutions to significant challenges facing our communities, our nation, and the world.
 
The Natural History Museum of Utah has an extraordinary opportunity to build on the potential of the Rio Tinto Center to address these expanded challenges by continuing to invest in cutting-edge research, novel and impactful exhibitions, and innovative science education and community engagement. By leveraging relationships with the State, the University, and many other constituencies, the Museum seeks to strengthen its mission through innovation, collaboration, research, learning, and public experience.
 
Dinosaur fossils.
Of critical importance to the future of the Museum are the dual goals of enhanced engagement and research expansion using the scientific collections as a foundation. As the Museum moves forward, its major priorities will include formulating strategies, partnerships, and outreach that will engage a larger audience. Additionally, the continued growth of research partnerships and formal faculty lines at the Museum will be critical to the further engagement of science and exploration within the Museum and the 4 University. These important goals are reflected as priorities in the Museum’s current Strategic Plan and will offer a unique opportunity for the next Executive Director to further the external partnerships of the Museum to broaden its influence and impact on the State of Utah.
 

Position Summary

The Executive Director has overall responsibility for maintaining and enhancing the positive and respected internal and external programs of the Museum, serving as the principal representative to key external stakeholders, with the goal of expanding the organization’s impact, resources, and reputation. A major role of the Executive Director will be dedication to expanding relationships with existing and potential partners, donors, and other constituents in order to achieve the mission and goals of the Museum. The Executive Director provides overall leadership of the Museum and direction to the senior staff by formulating the strategic direction of key departments to ensure program growth, highquality processes, and sustainable infrastructure to meet the goals and mission of the Museum.

Candidate Profile

A tour guide leads guests through a museum.
The Natural History Museum of Utah seeks an innovative and visionary leader who demonstrates a passion for engaging others in a lifelong learning agenda while delivering a high-quality experience that is financially sustainable through solid program, engagement, fundraising and business practices. A deep understanding, appreciation for, and connection to the natural world through collections-based science is required.
 
A high level of experience in building and sustaining community, national and international partnerships with other educational and cultural stakeholders, public and private, is necessary. We seek a dynamic, energetic communicator who can influence others to action, be they staff, faculty, board members, donors, elected officials, corporate executives, members, volunteers, and other supporters.
 
The ideal candidate will show evidence of successful fundraising leadership or will address how he/she/they have the aptitude to be successful with acquiring major gifts and grants from foundations, corporations, individuals and the public sector at the local, state and national level. A background of launching innovative, groundbreaking programs resulting in long-term funding and stable revenue streams, world-class research, and dynamic public engagement is highly valued.
 
We seek a person who can demonstrate ability in developing sustainable financial and operating strategies within a non-profit, business, or public organization. This includes competencies in selecting and directing senior leaders, financial and program analysis, and philanthropic revenue enhancement.
 
Leadership that promotes creativity, accountability, resourcefulness, and competence across the entire team, along with a focus on action, is highly valued. Additionally, the successful candidate will be trustworthy and display a high level of respect, humility, loyalty, and personal integrity.
 
Master’s degree is required. Formal education in science is preferred, but not required. Demonstrable leadership experience in public or private institutions concerned with informal education, natural history/science or related professions is highly valued.

Procedure for Candidacy

Applications and nominations are being received by Kittleman & Associates, LLC. To apply, please submit a current resume, letter of interest and a diversity statement (a document that addresses your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through work, professional activity, or service) to Kittleman at https://ww2.kittlemansearch.com/Jobs.
 
The position will remain open until filled, but applicants are highly encouraged to submit their materials by September 10 to ensure full consideration.
 
 
At the Natural History Museum of Utah, we recognize that our strength and sustainability as an organization stems from diversity and inclusion. For this reason, we are committed to fostering equity, recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce that reflects the communities we serve, and empowering staff members in developing an accessible and inclusive work environment.
 
The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer. Upon request, reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided to individuals with disabilities. Please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 201 S. Presidents Cr., Rm 135, (801) 581-8365 (V/TDD), for further information or to request an accommodation. The University of Utah is committed to diversity in its workforce. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.