Illinois State Museum Position Description: Museum Director

Position title:  Museum Director, Illinois State Museum (Full-time, State Funded)

Position number: #83445

Museum Description:  The Illinois State Museum is the steward of 13.5 million objects that document the natural and cultural heritages of Illinois, and is dedicated to the collecting of such materials and to their preservation, study, and use in exhibits and public programs as well as on-line presentations.  Founded in 1877, this nationally accredited Museum has a long and distinguished history of scientific research, the study of artistic traditions, and innovative educational programming, all of which fosters public engagement.  At present, the Museum is comprised of four facilities—the Illinois State Museum and the Research and Collections Center in Springfield; Dickson Mounds, near Lewistown, and the Lockport Gallery.  More information on each facility is available at

Duties and Responsibilities: The Museum Director reports to a Governor-appointed Board of Directors and to the Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  The Museum Director provides leadership and administration of the whole Museum system under policies developed by the Illinois State Museum Board.

The Director of the Illinois State Museum is responsible for the overall leadership, operation, planning, and management of all programs and activities of the Museum in conformance with professionally accepted museum practices and standards for the management of collections held in the public trust and for interpretation of those collections through research, exhibits, educational and public programs.

The Director embraces, models, and encourages museum best practices and upholds American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Accreditation standards; and ensures that the Museum lawfully meets all of its State and Federal obligations.  To accomplish these duties and responsibilities, the Director administers an annual budget; works with union and non-union staff to accomplish the Museum’s programmatic goals; serves as the final authority over the day-to-day operations of the Museum; directs the Museum’s long-term strategic planning; and actively strives to promote the Museum’s excellence in art, education, public service, and science.

The Director guides the Board and staff in statewide engagement and enhanced programmatic excellence that is diverse and inclusive; understands, articulates and encourages institutional image-building and marketing to represent the Museum in the larger regional, national and international museum community, and to state and federal governmental units; and is a skilled oral and written communicator who exhibits a passion for the field and who energizes the citizenry of the state as current and future stakeholders of the Museum’s mission and values.

The Illinois State Museum Director oversees the day-to-day administration of the Illinois State Museum Society, a 501(c)3 organization established by Illinois statute to promote and support the Museum.  The Museum Director works collaboratively with the elected Museum Society Board of Directors, which is currently composed of residents of the Springfield area; oversees the day-to-day operation of retail sales operations and also management of grants and contracts for the Museum awarded to the Society; and has a willingness and comfort in developing the organization forward through private and public fundraising by working directly with the Museum Society Board.

Qualifications: The Museum Director shall have substantial relevant senior level leadership experience at a museum or other similar organization.  An advanced degree in a field related to the Museum’s interests or commensurate experience is essential. Demonstrated successful experience and comfort is desirable in the following areas: museum operations, staff and fiscal management, strategic planning, governmental and other external relations, and fundraising. The ideal candidate will be a highly skilled communicator with experience in private and public fundraising, including complex federal grants. Success in building or growing an organization is highly desirable. Must be able to show sound understanding of effective fiscal management and administration, along with the ability to work with boards and government departments. Experience in building widespread public support and working with an organization in transition shall be highly valued. Preference given to candidates with a substantial publication or professional presentation record and/or participation and leadership in national professional organizations.  With agreement by the Board of Directors, scholarly research may be pursued.  Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to those articulated in this and prior sections.

Compensation and Benefits: Salary commensurate with credentials and experience, recommended by the Board of Directors to the Director of the Department of Natural Resources.  In addition, State of Illinois employees are eligible for a variety of benefits associated with their employment including comprehensive health and dental insurance programs; vacation and sick leave; and inclusion in the State of Illinois Employees’ Retirement System.  More information may be obtained by visiting:

Applications: Send applications electronically including cover letter, CV or resumé, and contact information for three professional references to:

Tammy Wheeler, Human Resources Liaison
Business Office, Illinois State Museum

For full consideration, submit application documents by July 21, 2017.

Questions regarding this position can be addressed to the Chair of the Search Committee Mr. Roger Taylor (email:

Applicants should note that this is a non-union position outside the jurisdiction of the State Personnel Code. The Board of Directors, per policy, develops the position description, and oversees the search process and the selection of the top candidate.  The Board then forwards their recommendation to the Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for administrative approval.

The Illinois State Museum does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age or handicap in compliance with the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Illinois Constitution, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the U.S. Constitution.