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Senior Director, Keller Science Action Center, Field Museum

Field Museum
Chicago, Illinois
$150,000/year + Benefits with flexibility based on experience
Closing date
Feb 27, 2023

The Field Museum is a not-for-profit organization located on the Museum Campus of Chicago. Since the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, we have conducted research across all seven continents and accumulated a collection of over 40 million specimens and artifacts.

The Field Museum is searching for a Senior Director to join our team at the Keller Science Action Center.

The Field Museum’s Keller Science Action Center translates museum science and collections into lasting results for conservation and quality of life. The Senior Director of the Center provides leadership to generate significant and measurable advances in community-centered conservation, particularly in the tropics (currently Andes Amazon) and Chicago Region. The Senior Director oversees and pursues effective strategies, decision-making, operations, communication, fundraising, and partnerships of the Center for visible conservation results on the ground. They lead the interdisciplinary staff of the Center and coordinate closely with other areas of the Museum to integrate community engagement and conservation action across the Museum. The Senior Director also plays an important public role, creating opportunities to highlight the work of the Museum in conservation and cultivating the engagement and interest of potential and existing partners and supporters.

The Senior Director is an experienced leader who cultivates a broad network and has a deep commitment to both the biological and social aspects of conservation and its outcomes for local people. They support and engage the Action Committee of the Board of Trustees. They manage the Center’s program directors and other staff. The Senior Director reports to the Vice President for Science and Education, is a member of the Science and Education Leadership Team, and serves on the senior management team of the Museum.

Review begins on December 5, 2022. The position will remain posted until filled.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership to the Action Center’s efforts to generate large-scale, high-impact advances in conservation, cultural understanding, and quality of life
  • Work closely with and engage the Action Committee of the Board of Trustees to guide the Center’s work and build a vibrant community of support
  • Sustain and grow programs in the tropics and Chicago region
  • Lead the Keller Science Action Center through effective management and development of staff; development and tracking of the program and annual budgets; establishment of standard operations and administrative processes; and creation of sound strategy and evaluation of results
  • Foster strong management and collaborative decision-making in the Center through a tight strategy and facilitation of a leadership team, cross-programmatic working groups, and program initiatives
  • Expand the capacity and opportunities for the Field Museum to act on behalf of conservation, sustainability, and cultural understanding. In particular, build collaborations with departments across the Museum to increase the Field’s conservation impact and community engagement
  • Explore new methods of environmental surveying, including eDNA and Artificial Intelligence approaches
  • Identify and develop key partners for community-centered conservation impact
  • Grow resources for the Action Center, the work of its staff, and the Museum
  • Act as a spokesperson for the Center and the Museum, promoting conservation, the Center’s efforts, and raising the profile of the Museum
  • Provide support and direction on other projects and deliverables, as required


  • Strong leader with a record of commitment to the social and biological aspects of conservation and a track record of demonstrable impact on the ground
  • Advanced degree in environmental conservation, social science, or related Field, or extended experience in fieldwork and conservation results, preferably in the Andes Amazon and/or Chicago regions
  • Successful history of securing public and private funding for conservation endeavors
  • Excellent communicator and synthesizer, with demonstrated creativity and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to understand and translate the research underpinnings of scientific action and connect this to the importance of social impact and justice
  • Demonstrated success in collaboration, network-building, and teamwork; ability to build rapport with diverse teams and stakeholders
  • Commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity; ability to lead an organization with sensitivity, transparency, fairness, humility, and compassion
  • Proficiency in one or more languages that align with program needs, particularly Spanish and Portuguese
  • Experience in a natural history museum setting is a plus

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