Here is the Smithsonian’s job posting for the position of Director of the National Postal Museum:
POSITION DESCRIPTION AND CANDIDATE SPECIFICATION
DIRECTOR, NATIONAL POSTAL MUSEUM
The position serves as Director of the National Postal Museum (NPM), with responsibility for the overall planning, direction, and management of all programs and activities of the Museum. The Museum stewards the nation’s foremost stamp collection and is dedicated to the preservation, study and presentation of postal history as it pertains to the history of American postal operations and philately using exhibitions, educational public and online programs and research to make this rich history available to scholars, philatelists, collectors, post office employees and retirees and visitors from around the world. The Museum develops collaborative programs and activities with other Smithsonian and U.S. museums and maintains relations with the postal museums of other countries on a national level. The Museum is served by a Smithsonian-U.S. Postal Service Coordinating Committee, a Council of Philatelists and an Advisory Council. The Director is appointed by the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and reports on all matters relating to NPM through the Smithsonian’s Provost/Under Secretary for Museums & Research.
View full job description and apply online.
The National Postal Museum was created on November 6, 1990 in a joint agreement between the Smithsonian Institution and the United States Postal Service and opened to the public on July 30, 1993. The Museum is located next to Union Station and near the U.S. Capitol, in the historic City Post Office Building, which was constructed in 1914 and served as the Washington, D.C., Post Office from 1914 through 1986. The Museum occupies 100,000 square feet of the building with 35,000 square feet devoted to exhibition space. The Museum also houses a 6,000-square-foot research library, a stamp store and a museum shop. Admission to the museum is free to the public and annual attendance ranges from about 350,000 to 400,000.
The National Postal Museum houses one of the largest and most significant philatelic and postal history collections in the world with more than 6 million items including prestigious U.S. and international postal issues and specialized collections, archival postal documents and historic artifacts. The Museum is home to William H. Gross Stamp Gallery-the largest stamp gallery in the world. The Museum’s many exhibition galleries present America’s postal history from colonial times to the present. Onsite educational programs in the Byrne Education Loft amplify the museum experience for visiting teachers and students. The National Postal Museum’s Library Research Center-a branch of Smithsonian Institution Libraries-is among the world’s largest and most comprehensive library resources on philately and postal history with more than 40,000 volumes and manuscript holdings.
The museum conducts and supports scholarship, research and publication on philately and postal history, participates fully with the philatelic and postal service community, and sponsors numerous activities including the annual Sundman lecture and the Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award. It has a robust online presence that is a resource to scholars, collectors, teachers and students. Its online resource, Arago, pioneered curatorial crowd-sourcing, while projects with U.S. Postal Service oral history, and the development of the postal industry invite strong constituent participation. Active educational programs provide activities, curriculum and special programs reaching teachers and students across the nation and around the world. The Museum has initiated and promoted a variety of programs with other Smithsonian museums such as the National Portrait Gallery, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Anacostia Community Museum, that encourage telling the diverse stories of American history and the American people.
The Museum has a highly motivated staff of some three dozen, not counting Smithsonian security and maintenance personnel. NPM’s annual operating budget is about $5-6 million with about $3 million in an annual allotment from the U.S. Postal Service and the remainder from the Smithsonian’s appropriation and from fundraising. Additionally, the Smithsonian annually provides over $4 million from central federal funds for security and maintenance costs. The Museum has a small endowment of about $3 million.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Provides the intellectual vision and overall leadership for NPM, its staff, supporters and volunteers, and serves as the key communicator for the Museum to the public and other constituencies. Formulates both high level strategic and operational plans for NPM to achieve its overall mission, defines program goals, objectives, and priorities, and issues policy guidelines, as appropriate, for program operations and consistent with Smithsonian strategic plans and policies.
2. Develops and maintains a good working relationship with the United States Postal Service (USPS). Convenes regular meetings of the USPS/Smithsonian Coordinating Committee to coordinate support, review plans, and address issues that bear on the success of the museum. Participates in the operation of the NPM Museum Advisory Council and the Council of Philatelists.
3. Provides executive leadership and direction to all NPM departments in the planning, development, and management of museum programs and activities. Develops and maintains standards and criteria for program development and execution. Develops and monitors short- and long- range program plans covering all aspects of museum operations, including new acquisitions, collections management, conservation, digitization, and dissemination, fundraising, external affairs, research, publications, exhibits, public service, and facilities management, where applicable. Makes major policy decisions concerning NPM programs, including matters relating to budget, staffing, organization and facilities. Continually evaluates program operations and initiatives, and directs management studies to achieve improvements. Coordinates closely with the Smithsonian central offices, USPS and GSA on building operations, visitor services and support functions.
4. Plans, directs and is deeply engaged in effective fundraising initiatives to support NPM programs and operations. Efforts include defining projects requiring funding, prioritizing needs, determining potential sources of money (corporate, private, foundation or governmental), and matching the Museum’s needs with the appropriate donors. Oversees and participates in formulating proposals, making approaches, and cultivating donors and works closely with the Coordinating Committee, Museum Advisory Council, and Council of Philatelists in doing so as appropriate. Plans and participates in the Smithsonian’s current national campaign, coordinates efforts with appropriate Smithsonian leadership and offices, and pursues strategies to meet the NPM campaign goal.
5. Develops and implements criteria for acquisition of items into the collection, actively understands and engages with leading philatelists and acts opportunistically to obtain nationally-significant items through gift and purchase for the permanent collection. Seeks advice and support of Coordinating Committee, Museum Advisory Council, and Council of Philatelists regarding proposed acquisitions.
6. Oversees the development, justification, presentation, allocation, execution and control of the annual operating budget for the Museum. Develops budget projections that reflect long-range planning for new and ongoing programs. Reviews budget justifications for and presentation of proposed budgets to the Smithsonian’s Office of Planning, Management and Budget, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Congress.
7. Directs and coordinates the activities of the staff. Develops and implements operating policy, standards, and procedures to assure the continued high quality of staff performance. Develops and administers policies to achieve management objectives in such areas as staff development, labor management, employee relations, affirmative action, and equal employment opportunity. Assures that subordinate supervisors effectively carry out their supervisory responsibilities. Reviews recommendations for personnel actions affecting key subordinates, and acts on major personnel problems referred. Initiates and directs major studies to improve organization, staffing, and operations.
8. Represents the NPM before various constituencies, the media and the general public. Provides leadership in raising the profile and public awareness of the Museum and in developing national constituencies to support the Museum and the Smithsonian.
9. Encourages, explores and develops joint programs in cooperation with other Smithsonian museums, research and educational organizations, the USPS, philatelic, postal history and industry organizations, universities, federal agencies, non-Smithsonian museums, and other appropriate institutions to further NPM’s mission. Assures NPM representation at national and international conferences and meetings, and on national and international committees. Provides expert advice and consultation to federal agencies, professional and other organizations.
10. Works closely with Smithsonian management, fellow directors and various leadership bodies to achieve the Smithsonian’s mission and to improve its effectiveness, efficiency and relevance. Attends high level Smithsonian policy meetings and conferences, making significant contributions to the development of Smithsonian policy and priorities. Participates in Congressional hearings on budget requests and other matters as required.
View full job description and apply online.
KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED AND KEY SELECTION CRITERIA/IDEAL EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS
The Director of the National Postal Museum will be knowledgeable about philately and postal history through either or both study and experience, and have a significant record of senior level professional leadership in a museum, cultural or educational institution or in the research and educational functions of an agency, business, or foundation. The successful candidate will be a recognized leader in the field. In addition, he/she will ideally have the following experience, qualifications, and skills:
• LEADERSHIP . An accomplished professional with executive leadership experience, either within a museum or a comparable setting with a similarly complex organizational structure, culture, constituencies, and constraints. Must be able to clearly and compellingly articulate a viable, resonating vision that can attract widespread support, and also be comfortable in a large, complex organization that requires creative leadership and collaborative skills to function as both a leader and a collaborator in order to harness the diverse talent within NPM as well as among the Smithsonian’s diverse museums, research centers, and education units and other collegial institutions and organizations. Ability to facilitate the creation and execution of workable agendas within NPM as well as between NPM, various Smithsonian museums and centers and central administration. Exhibits strong listening, negotiation, and communication skills to resolve impasses and remove roadblocks as they arise so as to create the conditions that will allow the project managers to be successful and operate efficiently. Fosters unity, creativity, and innovation, combined with a willingness to take calculated risks, experiment, evaluate results, and adjust as needed. Prior exposure to and success working effectively within a public/private or quasi-governmental entity is a plus;
• PARTNERSHIP. Possesses both the entrepreneurial instincts and the pragmatic skills to define, coordinate and lead collaborative outreach efforts internally and with other museums, organizations and collaborators. Accomplished in engaging business and community leaders, and establishing alliances with other institutions throughout the U.S. and beyond;
• MANAGEMENT. A disciplined, strategic thinker who acts purposefully, collaboratively, and pragmatically to identify and take advantage of resources and opportunities to realize an organization’s fullest potential. Demonstrated experience implementing a strategic plan, evaluating its impact and refining it over time. Experience in managing a professional staff, and a complex, multi-source budget. Able to work effectively with coordinating committee and advisory boards, and partner with other organizations internally and externally to achieve concrete goals and objectives;
• FUNDRAISING. Ability to set fundraising priorities and strategies. Demonstrated fundraising success and acumen with initiating, developing, and stewarding relationships with board members, individual donors, corporate sponsors, foundations, and government funders;
• EXPERTISE . Knowledge of philately and/or the history of American postal operations, in either specializations as well in a broader context that illustrates a larger understanding of the American experience. Demonstrated ability to connect postal history contributions and/or philatelic themes to American endeavors in civic life, technology, business and innovation, environment, community life and national identity over time, as well as ties to events and themes in other nations or world areas. Orientation must demonstrate the candidate’s understanding of the American experience through postal history studies that explain the diverse contributions to American history; and philatelic studies toward understanding and valuing the cultures of diverse peoples and communities, both in America and worldwide. Ability to understand the NPM’s assets and distinctive capabilities and develop an intellectually coherent and articulate perspective that will attract funding, talent, and institutional partners;
• PROGRAMMATIC PROWESS . Experience and demonstrated results in well-presenting philately and/or postal history, its aesthetics, contributions, themes and issues through exhibitions, scholarly research, public programming, publications and digital means including websites, applications and social media. Ability to identify and analytically assess elements of NPM’s program, work collaboratively with staff, partners and supporters to prioritize, iteratively evaluate, and efficiently enact program plans with a view to serving constituencies, achieving optimal impact, enhancing NPM’s reputation and standing, and garnering support and critical acclaim;
• COMMUNICATION. Demonstrated success in developing communication strategies and personally articulate and effective in communicating institutional goals, priorities, and accomplishments in both private and public settings. Ability to serve as the external face of the Smithsonian and NPM, inspiring confidence in its capabilities and building its profile as a distinctive national asset and source of public understanding and programming.
SALARY $200,000 – $240,000
Smithsonian Institution | Office of Human Resources
Tel: 202.633.6334 | Fax: 202.312.2930 | LozinsS@si.edu
SUBMISSION: Please submit your resume and cover letter to ExecutiveResources@si.edu.
When crafting your cover letter and/or resume, please provide detailed information on your background and experience in the following areas: entrepreneurial instincts and coalition building; management; fundraising; and philately and/or postal history expertise, familiarity or interest