This position serves as Chief Curator of the National Air and Space Museum and oversees the Directorate of Curatorial Affairs that is comprised of three Departments: Aeronautics, Space History, and the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies. The Directorate is responsible for all curatorial aspects such as acquisitions and management of collections, research, scientific inquiry, exhibits, publications, public service, curatorial aspects of preservation and restoration, and outreach.
ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Chief Curator provides overall curatorial voice, input, and executive-level advice to the Deputy Director and the Director of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM). S/he will also provide executive leadership and direction in overall planning, development and implementation of all programs, policies, and priorities of the Curatorial Affairs Directorate; in addition, determines and establishes the direction and emphasis for all scientific and historical research conducted at the Museum.
Directs and coordinates the efforts of curators and other Directorate staff to ensure high quality performance is maintained, and that subordinate supervisors are executing their duties effectively. Provides leadership and encourages staff to develop new and innovative ways to achieve program improvements. In conjunction with the Director, Deputy Director and other Associate Directors formulates strategic plans, policies, priorities, and program goals and objectives to accomplish the long and short-term goals of the Museum. Advises and assists the Director and Deputy Director with policy decisions, and setting priorities for all curatorial affairs. The Chief Curator should create a stimulating and effective environment for research and ensure that exhibitions are produced that appeal to a multiplicity of audiences.
Explores and develops joint or pan-institutional programs in collaboration with other museums and organizations. Encourages subordinate staff to establish and cultivate collaborative relationships with those organizations to advance the relationships and the interests of NASM and the Smithsonian Institution, and promote NASM programs.
Allocates resources among subordinate Departments and assures adequate internal controls are in place, and resources are managed within museum guidelines. Works with subordinate supervisors to establish work priorities, outcome goals, and success metrics for individual programs, workforce and resource levels. Identifies programs that require outside funding support and determines potential sources for this support.
Directs a large staff of professional, technical and support employees. Performs supervisory duties to include full performance management duties and ensures subordinate supervisors perform these same duties. Keeps apprised of disciplinary or other employee relations issues involving key subordinates. Ensures that subordinate supervisors are responsible for completing Museum Annual Plan actions and meeting Museum Key Performance Indicators and metrics.
Represents the Director and Deputy Director, as necessary, at various meetings and conferences, with delegated authority to commit Museum resources or make decisions affecting the Museum’s collection care or facility related issues.
SUPERVISORY CONTROLS The incumbent receives general supervision from the NASM Deputy Director who provides broad guidance in terms of overall policy, program objectives, and delegated authority. Within this framework, the incumbent plans and carries out assigned responsibilities with a minimum of technical direction. Major policy questions or controversial issues are discussed with the Deputy Director for decisions or guidance. Keeps the Deputy Director informed of all significant program activities and potential problems. Work performance is appraised in terms of overall effectiveness in achieving program objectives and measures.
SECURITY LEVEL This position has been reviewed to determine the level of POSITION SENSITIVITY. Based on the nature of the work, the position has been determined to be Public Trust/HIGH RISK. This designation will require (1) a pre-employment Security Agency Check (SAC) for the prospective incumbent; and (2) a subsequent comprehensive background investigation and favorable adjudication in order to continue in the position.
EEO The Smithsonian does not discriminate against any employee or any applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, membership in an employee organization or other non-merit factors.
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION The Smithsonian provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need an accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the contact person listed in this announcement. The decision on granting a reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
RELOCATION Relocation expenses will not be paid.
Basic Qualifications A degree in Museum Education, Management, or a related field; or a combination of education and appropriate experience that provides knowledge comparable to that normally acquired through successful completion of a four-year course of study in an applicable subject matter field. A PhD in a related field is preferred.
Specialized Experience In addition, applicants must have one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-15 level. Specialized experience is defined as the demonstrated knowledge and leadership skills as it relates to managing functions such as exhibitions development, research, collections development and care, publications and outreach programming of large museum, research or cultural organization with an emphasis on aviation and space history, or planetary science.
The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:
1. Demonstrated experience in providing executive leadership in the direction, planning, development and implementation of programs, policies, and priorities related to the following functions: acquisitions and management of collections, research, exhibits, publications, curatorial aspects of preservation and restoration, and public outreach with an emphasis on aviation and space history, or planetary science.
2. Demonstrated leadership experience at the managerial level that includes visioning, developing key strategies for creating and sustaining high performance organizations, goal setting, and executing success factors for a large organization.
3. Demonstrated expertise in the field of aviation, spaceflight, or planetary science; as indicated by a combination of professional work experience, published books, articles in peer-reviewed journals, professional memberships, specialized academic training or certifications, professional recognition and awards.
4. Demonstrated skill in leading, supervising, and managing a multi-disciplined and culturally diverse workforce, including fostering teamwork and high morale; attracting, retaining, motivating, and providing guidance to a diverse workforce; and implementing EEO/Affirmative Action policies and programs.
Internal Number: NASM, Chief Curator
About Smithsonian Institution | National Air & Space Museum
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION (SI)
Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research
complex, with 19 museums, 9 research centers, 5 educational units, and the National Zoo. Every day the
Institution continues to shape the future by preserving heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing its resources with the world. Under the leadership of the Secretary, the Smithsonian advances its core values of discovery, creativity, excellence, diversity, integrity, and service.
The Smithsonian employs more than 6,700 committed professionals, including renowned scientists and
scholars, and a comparable number of highly motivated volunteers, interns, fellows, and visiting artists
including over 700 fellows and an additional 8,500 digital volunteers. The Smithsonian annually attracts
30 million visitors to its museums, and 160 million unique visits to its websites, as well as 8M+ followers
on social media. The Institution reaches millions of others through its cable channel, magazine, and other publications. The Smithsonian’s vast collections hold more than 154M objects and specimens, as well as more than 2.1M library volumes.
NATIONAL... AIR & SPACE MUSEUM (NASM)
The purpose of the National Air and Space Museum is to memorialize the development of aviation and spaceflight; collect, preserve, and display aeronautical and spaceflight equipment of historical interest and significance; serve as a repository for scientific equipment and data pertaining to the development of aviation and spaceflight; and provide educational material for the historical study of aviation and spaceflight. Within the broader mission, immediate goals are to explore and present the history, science, technology, and social impact of aeronautics and spaceflight and to investigate and exhibit the nature of the universe and the Earth’s environment. NASM is the most visited Smithsonian museum and has the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. NASM is also a world center for scholarship in the history of aviation and spaceflight.
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