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Executive Director- Museums of Sonoma County (Santa Rosa, CA)

10 Jan 2017 12:46 PM | Anonymous

About the Museum


The Museums of Sonoma County are run by a privately-financed 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization. We consist of the Art Museum of Sonoma County, which presents exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, and the History Museum of Sonoma County, which is a regional history center for the north San Francisco Bay area. In addition to rotating exhibits, both museums serve as gathering places and educational forums for our community.  The Museums are privately funded and have an operating budget of approximately one million dollars, employ approximately fifteen full and part-time staff members, and have endowments of 3.7 million dollars. 

Who We Are Seeking


The Board of Directors is seeking a person who will enthusiastically lead the Museums into the next phase of our growth. We have operated with separate art and history spaces for just over one year. Our new Executive Director will coordinate the operation of our two exhibition venues and begin the second stage of our Art Museum expansion, which is why the successful applicant will have demonstrated excellence in building community networks that develop strong and continuing ties to patrons, donors, members, and to the visiting public. We believe that with the right leadership we can deepen the Museums’ support base by attracting new board members, increased corporate sponsorship, and greater cooperation with City of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County government officials. The new Executive Director’s salary will be commensurate with education and experience.

Primary Responsibilities


The following list is illustrative and is not intended to describe every function that may be required by this job:

  1. Cultivates fundraising relationships for the development of endowments, exhibits, special projects, Museum collections, and operations.
  2. Oversees the planning and execution of Museum fundraising events such as the annual gala, artist and donor receptions, guest speakers, and special sales events.
  3. Plans, coordinates, and oversees the operation of the Museum including collection accession and deaccession, exhibits, educational programs, and facilities maintenance. 
  4. Utilizes both print and electronic media to bring visitors to the Museum and foster participation from diverse demographic communities.
  5. Collaborates with community partners to enhance appreciation of history and the arts; develops relationships with community organizations to communicate the Museum’s vision.
  6. Oversees planning, preparing, and administering the Museum budget; seeks opportunities to develop new revenue streams for the Museum.
  7. Performs public relations activities, including: coordinating internal and external communication, working with support groups, governmental and non-governmental agencies, potential donors, and others in the community to increase awareness of the Museum.
  8. Demonstrates effective staff development and organizational skills in hiring, coaching, collaboration, problem solving, and goal setting. Empowers staff to think, act, and plan in a collaborative manner.
  9. Ensures that the operations and administration of the Museum are in compliance with laws and regulations.
  10. Serves as principal advisor to the Board regarding Museum issues and projects; attends Board meetings and assists in the selection and orientation of new Board members.
  11. Attends conferences, seminars, workshops, and other training for professional development purposes.
  12. Prepares annual report and other special reports as prescribed by the Board.


Some combination of education, training, and experience providing the following knowledge, skills, and abilities: 

Knowledge of:
Modern and contemporary art; California history; museum management theory; fundraising principles and techniques; public relations; exhibition design and installation; art/artifact conservation and preservation; museum publication research, design and layout; computer skills; modern management principles and techniques.
Effectively lead and manage the Museums; cultivate donations for exhibitions and endowment; prepare and present clear and comprehensive written reports; demonstrate creative leadership skills dealing with Museum support groups; effectively supervise and develop Museum staff and volunteers; attend evening and weekend events and meetings; establish and maintain good internal and external working relationships; communicate effectively both verbally (private and public speaking) and in writing. 

Deal effectively and courteously with a wide variety of individuals and groups including the Board, local government, community leaders, Museum staff, and the general public; present an overall professional image; model and facilitate a working environment that encourages awareness and respect for differences among employees and citizens. 

Experience, Education, and Training:
Degree from an accredited college or university, and preferably a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration, Art History, Museum Studies, History or a related field, and a minimum of four years professional experience in a museum including at least two years in a management capacity.
How to Apply

Interested candidates should submit a current resume, cover letter, and three professional references in PDF format to Steven Gelber ( by February 1, 2017. The cover letter should address the following four areas: 1) work experience and achievements; 2) leadership experience and qualifications; 3) fundraising skills and experience; 4) your vision of the ideal role of an art and history museum in SonomaCounty. The Executive Search Committee expects to make a hiring recommendation to the full Board by April 2017.



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