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Senior Director of Creative Development and Partnerships - Academy of Natural Sciences

Drexel University
Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, US
Closing date
Jul 16, 2022

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Academic / Research
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Senior Director of Creative Development and Partnerships - Academy of Natural Sciences
Apply now Job no: 498310
Work type: Full-Time
Location: Center City - Philadelphia, PA
Categories: Academy of Natural Sciences

About the Academy

The Academy of Natural Sciences was founded in 1812 for "the encouragement and cultivation of the sciences". Since then, it has sponsored global expeditions, conducted pioneering environmental and systematics research, and amassed remarkable collections containing more than 18 million specimens from around the world and a peerless library and archive. Since 2011 its academic enterprise has been further strengthened through its affiliation with nearby Drexel University - a leading private non-profit research institution that focusses on innovation and entrepreneurship and provides a unique cooperative education program for its undergraduate and graduate degree students.

Today the Academy is one of the most important natural science institutions in the world. However, the world is changing fast and the Academy - directed by its Strategic Plan 2019-24 - is changing with it. Over the next five years the Academy will become a "force for nature" and advance its mission: "to understand the natural world and inspire everyone to care for it". In so doing the Academy will build on its fundamental belief that diversity and inclusion generates better ideas, inspires creativity, and is essential to building a positive workplace so that in time it can become an institution that is of, by and for all Philadelphians.

Job Summary

The Senior Director of Creative Development and Partnerships of The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is an experienced, curator and creative producer who works closely with the VP Experience and Engagement to nurture a culture of creativity and innovation. Attuned to leading edge practices in informal art and science learning, adept at research and cross-disciplinary collaboration, the Senior Director will manage and guide the development of exhibitions, public programming, mediated experiences, and hands on learning.

The role requires a creative individual skilled and experienced in the creation of projects and programs that manifest in various forms-whether exhibition, film, public forum, interactive exhibit, public art project, or demonstration-to support the Academy's mission of fostering meaningful public experience and engagement.

Drawing from art, science and design-thinking methodologies, the Senior Director will work with contributing collaborators, and organizational partners to shape indelible, impactful, inquiry based, user-directed experiences based in the Academy's scientific research in the natural sciences. They will work closely with the Academy staff from Community Learning, Patrick Center for Environmental Research, Collections, Institutional Advancement, Marketing and Communication, Finance and Operations as well as Drexel faculty and staff to ensure shared alignment.

The Senior Director of Creative Development and Partnerships works closely alongside the VP Experience and Engagement and Senior Director of Public Environment, guiding project teams towards the realization of exhibitions and projects developed to achieve the Academy's public engagement goals for intergenerational audiences. Key to the role is the management of leadership staff including the Manager of Public Programs; Manager of Mediated Experiences; Manager of the Urban Nature Lab; Senior Exhibition Designer, and Media Developer as well as volunteers within these areas, and the empowering of teams to build engaging experiences, and to continually evolve in dynamic ways.

The ideal candidate should be a natural leader with management experience, and a creative yet organized style of working. They should be passionate about the importance of instilling a sense of wonder, and curiosity for the natural world among the Academy's diverse publics. They should be equally compelled by the importance of co-creation and convening dynamic forums to discuss the most challenging environmental issues of our time-climate change, mass extinction, biodiversity loss, etcetera-in the full complexity of their cultural, social, and political dimensions. The Senior Director must display excellence in their work and guide their teams to excellence as well.

The role requires an individual who is well versed in forward-looking contemporary art, design, education and ecological practices, and an advocate for STEAM learning, integrating the sciences with other disciplines, and connecting the Academy with local, regional, national and international partners.

The Senior Director of Creative Development and Partnerships reports to the VP Experience and Engagement in the Experience and Engagement Division

Essential Functions
  • Advancing the Academy's Strategic Plan and Experiential Masterplan.
  • Working with the VP of Community Learning, the Experience and Engagement Manager, and the Senior Director of Public Environments to plan, develop, and implement a compelling yearly schedule of program offerings, including exhibitions, public programs, conversation series, festivals, evening programs, and children's workshops.
  • Managing, directing, and guiding the work of the Manager of Public Programs; Manager of Mediated Experiences; Manager of the Urban Nature Lab; Senior Exhibition Designer, and Media Developer as well as volunteers within these areas.
  • Fostering strong collaborative relationships with a wide range of external partners including individual artists, designers, writers, researchers, and educators as well as community partners and organizations.
  • Developing and maintaining key partnerships and ensuring the Academy enjoys a lively and productive relationship with the cultural community locally, regionally and nationally and internationally.
  • Effectively collaborating on joint programming initiatives with Drexel faculty, staff and students.
  • Researching ideas towards the conceptualization of dynamic exhibitions and public programs
  • Contributing toward the development of grant proposals.
  • Continuously improving offerings for those with accessibility needs or barriers
  • Representing the Academy in the community, at Drexel and in the wider field at conferences, etcetera
  • Fostering a culture of open communication and spirited collaboration.
  • Serving as an advocate for the visitor experience, participation and contributions.
  • Managing department budgets, endowments, and gifts.
  • Identifying and pursuing opportunities for earned and contributed revenue.
  • Identifying and pursuing opportunities for earned and contributed revenue. Identifying, recruiting, hiring, training, supervising, and evaluating staff members, interns, Drexel Co-Ops, and volunteers
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor's Degree, Major in Art, Design, Education, Curatorial Practice, or equivalent.
  • Minimum 5 years management-level museum experience (or equivalent).
  • Minimum 5 years curatorial or creative production experience.

Other requirements
  • BA/BS Degree.
  • Exemplary written, verbal, and listening communication skills and a demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and professionally.
  • Strong staff management and mentoring skills.
  • Highly developed public speaking skills
  • Self-directed working style, and the ability to work independently and effectively.
  • Ability to maintain the highest levels of confidentiality and discretion.
  • Understanding of and ability to maintain the highest ethical standards, related to organizational responsibilities and public accountability.
  • Ability to create and successfully manage multiple annual budgets.
  • Demonstrated organizational planning, problem solving, and collaboration skills.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of current practices in cultural institutions; understanding of learning styles, and the various needs of diverse audiences.
  • Available evenings and weekends.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Proficient computer skills including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Experience or ability to learn specialized reporting software. Database creation and reporting experience very desirable.

Please make sure you upload your resume and cover letter when submitting your application.

Review of applications will begin once a suitable candidate pool is identified.

Advertised: Apr 25 2022 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Jun 25 2022 Eastern Daylight Time

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The Academy of Natural Sciences, Engagement Administration is seeking a Senior Director of Creative Development and Partnerships

The Academy of Natural Sciences, Engagement Administration is seeking a Senior Director of Creative Development and Partnerships
Expression of interest
No expression of interest currently available

Drexel University, in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) publishes the Drexel University Security & Fire Safety Annual Report for current and prospective students and employees. This report contains important safety information and crime statistics for the previous three years. These statistics pertain to reported crimes that have occurred on campus, in certain non-campus buildings or properties that are owned or controlled by Drexel University, and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.

Printed copies of this report are also available by calling the Public Safety Administrative Office, 215.895.1550.

Additional information about the services provided by the Drexel University Department of Public Safety can be obtained by visiting their website.
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