Executive Director

North Santa Barbara County
Santa Maria
Full Time
Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum

Position Summary

 The Executive Director has primary responsibility for the museum’s overall organizational development and financial operations, fundraising activities, employee selection and development, museum policies and practices, and the safeguarding of all human and physical resources.  This position coordinates closely with the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors and is in active participant in strategic planning.  Using exceptional leadership and communication skills, as well as mastery of grant writing and development protocols, this position shapes the goals and success of the organization and its mission.

Primary Responsibilities:


  • Provides motivational leadership to the museum staff, creating a positive workplace environment in which support for the mission and vision can be achieved.
  • Works closely with the board of directors to develop and implement short term operational and long-term strategic plans and goals.
  • Evaluates and reports progress towards goals on a regular basis with the Board.
  • Conveys a passion about the museum’s mission and endorses working with children, families, and educators.


  • Designs, manages, implements, and evaluates the overall fundraising program consistent with the museum’s needs and goals.
  • Personally cultivates major corporate and individual donors.
  • Engages board members in fundraising strategies.
  • Instills ethics in all fundraising programs, maintaining highly professional relationships.

Finance and Administration

  • Supervises the preparation of timely financial reports and oversees the annual operating budget process.
  • Works with the board to track and project income and expenses, monitors expenses against budget and mentors staff on effective budget monitoring and reporting.
  • Oversees the design of business processes, controls and information systems that ensure efficient operation and full compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and accounting standards.
  • Hires, and supervises administrative staff; monitors employee performance against objectives while providing appropriate guidance and leadership.
  • Establishes an administrative environment and decision-making process that promotes a positive working atmosphere and collegial staff relationships.

Community Relations

  • Creates and implements a strong community relations program to educate local leaders and the community at large about the museum and its programs.
  • Represents the museum at numerous community events to cultivate positive external relationships.
  • Supervises and controls all external communication with media, community partners, supporters, members and interested parties and develops a robust marketing and public relations protocol to enhance awareness of museum programs and services.

Influencing Capabilities

  • Effective communication skills to clarify roles and accountability.
  • Demonstrates sensitivity to diversity and cultural issues.
  • Is a problem solver.
  • Possesses the ability to identify problems, analyze risks, generate solutions, prioritize issues, set goals, resolve conflict, gather data, and prevent problems.
  • Is organized and can plan ahead; can develop strategic plans and annual business plans.
  • Establishes and monitors deadlines, assigns tasks while working with a budget and resource limitations.

Professional Characteristics and Interpersonal Skills

  • Initiates and develops relationships in positive ways.
  • Successfully works with a wide variety of people, inside and outside the Museum.
  • Possesses knowledge and experience with Children’s Museums or other institutions serving children.
  • Working knowledge of financial controls and policies in either a public or private sector.
  • Must be able to self-start and self-manage.  Maintain a level of activity without direct supervision while orchestrating teamwork to complete high quality work on time.


This position is a salaried, exempt position.  The work schedule is determined by the needs, objectives, and deadlines that are presented at any given time but is based on a work week of 35 hours minimum with some evenings and weekends expected.


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