Director, Museum and Audience Engagement

Job Purpose:

The Director of Museum & Audience Engagement is responsible for leading the museum’s efforts to provide meaningful experiences to diverse audiences both onsite and online, and will define strategies for engagement, learning, and programming. They will lead a staff whose focus is to encourage and support the engagement of visitors with the museum’s diverse mission of history, STEAM, and nature, and to quantify best marketing practices for broadening audience. 

The Director of Museum & Audience Engagement will base their work on current research and best practices in the fields of museum education, programming, visitor studies, marketing and communication, and evaluation. The Director will implement methods that encourage engagement of visitors with the museum’s rich collections and programs. Successful candidates will demonstrate a deep understanding of how to engage family audiences and other segments of the public with a welcoming and accessible approach. The Director will also work with the Development Office to initiate grants that support the efforts of the Museum and Audience Engagement.

Specific Duties:

  • In partnership with the Executive Director and direct reports, the Director of Museum & Audience Engagement will manage the development of public programs in support of the new Nation of Inventors exhibition gallery (featuring Hagley’s collection of 19th-century U.S. patent models) and site-specific interpretation that engage the Museum’s diverse audiences creatively and effectively.  Serving as a cultural change agent and conduit for translating the Museum’s overall vision into action, the Director of Museum & Audience Engagement will have primary day-to-day responsibility for integrating the work of Education & Interpretation, Visitor Services, Curatorial, and Marketing and Design.  Direct reports include the Visitor Services Manager, Education & Interpretation Program Manager, Group Tour Manager, Curator of Collections, Marketing Manager, Design Manager, and Mechanical Exhibits Supervisor. 
  • Understanding the particular needs of Hagley audiences will allow the Director of Museum & Audience Engagement to design and develop experiences for museum visitors, and to develop methods that facilitate engagement of visitors with the museum’s rich collections and programs. Successful candidates will demonstrate a deep understanding of how to engage cross- generational and diverse audiences (including targeted emphasis on millennials and families), with a welcoming and accessible approach.  This position, in partnership with the Education & Interpretation Program Manager, will also serve as an advocate for program development and critical thinking in schools, leading staff in creating partnerships with K-12 and university programs that positively impact our communities state-wide. The Director will also have an understanding of museum standards and best practices for collections stewardship.
  • The Director of Museum & Audience Engagement will work collaboratively to integrate data collection and assessment into programs to ensure improvement and growth.  They will base their work on current research and best practices in the fields of museum education, marketing, exhibition evaluation, and visitor studies, evaluating their results both qualitatively and quantitatively to determine approaches that best meet the goals of the museum.
  • In addition to the day-to-day operations of the department, the Director of Museum & Audience Engagement will work with the Development Office on grants that support the efforts of the museum.  Establishing collaborative relationships and a research direction for the museum will allow the position to successfully pursue opportunities for additional grant funding in partnership with the Development team for education, exhibitions, and other program initiatives.  Working collaboratively with the Development team, the Director of Museum & Audience Engagement will assist in the cultivation of donors and general fundraising activities to benefit the museum.
  • The Director of Museum & Audience Engagement will pursue and develop successful professional relationships with peers in a broad cross-section of Hagley departments ensuring that the efforts of the Museum and Audience Engagement are well coordinated across the organization and are supportive of Hagley’s larger mission and strategic objectives.  

Experience and Requirements:

A master’s degree (M. A.) in Communication, Marketing, Museum Studies, or other relevant field, as well as a minimum of 7 years of experience in museum marketing or education with a focus on programming and audience development. 

Experience in conducting primary research with an understanding of both qualitative and quantitative methods of evaluation. Knowledge of best practices and standards for the stewardship of museum collections. Proven track record in museums or a related field as a thought-leader with experience in written and oral presentation of results.