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Director of Academic and Public Programs, Division Head – Harvard University – Cambridge, MA

Company: Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, MA

  • Full Time

Harvard University

Job Code

390060 Museum Manager

Duties & Responsibilities

The Division of Academic and Public Programs at the Harvard Art Museums drives the creative and practical conversations that make all academic and public programs at the Harvard Art Museums possible. The Division includes three research curators whose fields of specialization power a formidable engine of programming that—with the students—animates the collections of all three museums, particularly the Museums’ engagement with the many visual artists who are at work on Harvard’s campus each year.

We seek a dynamic Director of Academic and Pubic Programs, Division Head, who will be responsible for overseeing the formulation, management, implementation, and evaluation of a variety of dynamic mission-driven teaching and learning programs. The Director not only sets the public programming agenda, but also encourages collaboration with campus and community partners across disciplines. Based in the study of original works of art, these teaching and learning experiences are directed to—and appeal to- diverse university and community audiences, effectively activating the Harvard Art Museums unique interpretive platforms.

Reporting to Martha Tedeschi, the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director, the Director of Academic and Public Programs, Division Head is a key member of the museums’ leadership team and actively participates in setting institution-wide goals and priorities.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Formulates and shapes the programmatic mission and ambition of the division in close consultation with the director and chief curator, and in collaboration with other senior managers and curators, ensuring alignment with larger institutional goals.
  • Manages, coaches, and develops the divisional staff; oversees the guidance and development of undergraduate and graduate student affiliates.
  • Promotes a culture of equity and inclusivity and advocates the idea that student, faculty and community engagement is shared work in which all museum staff have a role.
  • Develops and fosters partnerships across the university campus, with other area universities, and in the wider public community. Participates on committees and teams within the art museums, the university and in the wider community.
  • Serves as an essential point of contact for university colleagues for teaching and program development. Recruits and liaises with university co-sponsors. Helps to facilitate joint teaching ventures, a wide variety of academic and public museum programs, and installations within the curricular galleries. Collaborates to develop all special exhibition-related programs at the art museums.
  • Leads the art museums’ outreach to faculty; works with faculty and teaching fellows to identify how the art museums can best support or advance their teaching. Liaises with university colleagues looking to collaborate with and use art museums’ spaces and interpretive platforms. Facilitates rigorous interdisciplinary inquiry and teaching using museum collections and exhibitions.
  • Leads the art museums’ outreach to community partners concerning programming and activities; works with educators, civic leaders, and others to develop ideas and plans for programs as well as to facilitate community relationships with the resources of the art museums.
  • Oversees the planning of a robust calendar of student co-curricular events and of public programs, including workshops, lectures, Art Study Center seminars, films, performances, gallery talks and tours. Oversees the unique programs of the Materials Lab.
  • Under the guidance of the Institutional Advancement staff, participates in efforts to establish and build donor relations. Contributes to or supports fund-raising activities.
  • Prepares the annual budget for the division within established guidelines. Provides guidance and oversight to staff concerning budget.

Basic Qualifications

Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications in order to be considered for this role:

Advanced graduate study in art history, education, or a relevant humanities discipline. Minimum of 6 years of progressively responsible museum program oversight and teaching experience, including managing staff.

Additional Qualifications

  • Ph.D. preferred
  • Demonstrated record of achievement in field
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering appreciation and understanding of works of art through teaching, lecturing, publications, and educational programs
  • Experience building and cultivating community relationships/partnerships
  • Familiarity with multidisciplinary approaches to learning, object-based learning methods, and a range of scholarly methodologies within a liberal arts curriculum
  • Creative thinker and problem solver
  • Excellent English-language oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with multiple and diverse populations
  • Excellent organizational skills and project management skills, including adherence to schedules and budgets
  • Successful fiscal management and staff supervisory skills

Additional Information

This position requires attendance at a variety of programs and art museums’ related activities, some of which occur in the evenings and/or during weekends. This position will also necessitate occasional travel.

In the cover letter, please describe relevant experiences you have had in building and working with diverse audiences.

Job Function




USA – MA – Cambridge


Academic and Public Programs

Time Status



00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Salary Grade


Pre-Employment Screening

Criminal, Education, Identity


Full time. Monday through Friday. 35 hours per week.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.