California Arts Council

State of California

Arts Jobs - Detail

Chief Operating Officer (COO)
The New Children's Museum

San Diego, California

The New Children's Museum ("Museum") board recently approved an ambitious 5-year strategic plan. It sets a bold vision for the Museum, with an emphasis on creating an organization with national significance and local visibility. The Museum has partnership opportunities to secure research initiatives that support the tenant that our arts-based model measurably benefits childhood development and future leadership potential. To achieve this vision, the Museum has decided to hire a Chief Operating Officer to partner with the next Executive Director/CEO and the management team to fulfill this vision. In the new structure, the CEO will spend a significant amount of time externally building the donor and partnership base needed to deliver on the strategic initiatives. Given the ED's focus, there is a clear rationale for bringing in a talented leader to focus on day-to-day operations and the Museum staff culture.

That is the basis for hiring the role of Chief Operating Officer. The COO will be responsible for building a strong internal operation to support the creation of regionally (as well as nationally) recognized exhibitions and arts education programs. As the organization has grown over the years, much of the internal operations have developed organically. The organizational culture is steeped in a deep and genuine commitment to the mission and is evidenced by the passion of the floor staff. The key to longevity for the Museum will be a strong focus on employee satisfaction and retention and the delivery on operational goals, including development and financial resources. Everyone will benefit from stronger systems to improve the Museum's communications, human resources, and budgeting practices.




The COO works with the ED and the Board for the long-term, strategic growth of the organization and its mission. Specific duties include the oversight of finance, budgeting and planning, human resources, contract negotiations, facilities management, legal, exhibitions, marketing and information technology.

The COO is also responsible for developing a plan for staffing all functions in a manner appropriate to the organization's requirements and within established budgetary parameters. The COO will have management authority over staff and will oversee an annual operating budget of approximately $3 million. Individuals reporting directly to the COO include the Development Director, finance leader and the Directors of Education and Marketing. The COO will have day-to-day oversight of program operations and the ED will direct overall program and strategic planning.


The scope of accountability for the Chief Operating Officer is defined within the following key imperatives and activities:

  • Strategic Planning
    • Collaborating with ED and Board to develop strategic plan
    • Implementing the strategic plan in partnership with senior leadership
  • Staff Management
    • Including establishing human resources policies and ensuring they are being followed through
  • Financial Oversight
    • Ensuring the museum achieves all financial goals
  • Reporting to the ED, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) will have overall operational responsibility for the Museum. Specifically, s/he will ensure that the Museum's fiscal, operations, revenue, marketing, human resource, technology, strategic and programmatic plans are effectively implemented across all segments of the organization
  • Supervises and evaluates the work of the Senior Management Team that oversee the Development and Administrative functions of the organization, and will oversee Program operations
  • Directs all aspects of finances and operations
  • Ensures governance processes and procedures are in place and followed - including financial and board policies and procedures
  • Physical facility - oversees administration of museum space to ensure safety and alignment with strategic plan
  • Program Administration & Evaluation
  • Oversees implementation of exhibits and programs to ensure that they are executed well and align with the strategic goals of the organization.
Fosters integration between all program areas and administration.

Candidate Profile

We seek a proven administrator to work in partnership with the Board and ED to achieve the organizational vision in a team-oriented fashion. It is essential for the candidate to have a demonstrated commitment to the mission of the museum. The person we seek should have a balance between management acumen and creative thinking. Given that the individual will be responsible for directly managing the financial results of the organization, they should be well versed in all aspects of budgeting and planning. The successful candidate will also excel in strategic planning, effective communication and judgment.

Candidates should have prior experience leading the process of business plan development, as well as a background in managing all or a significant part of a major organization's operations.

This person will possess interpersonal skills to influence others to become more effective managers, including the ability to prioritize, provide feedback, delegate and make timely decisions.

Flexibility and being comfortable with ambiguity is required. This person should be a good listener and exhibit a positive attitude toward change while maintaining a sense of urgency and passion about issues. We seek an individual willing and ready to commit the time and energy required to ensure the continued evolution of the organization. A track record in establishing relationships marked by humility, trust, respect and integrity is sought.

The person we seek will demonstrate an emotional connection to the work of the Museum, but will be able to lead in a fact-driven manner. Ideally, this person will be a passionate communicator of the mission, yet run the Museum in a business-like fashion.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate success building organizational profiles. A track record in community relations with the skills to further advance the Museum's role as a community leader is strongly desired.

The final candidate will possess superb communication skills (written and oral), be able to work on multiple projects simultaneously, meet short deadlines and have a willingness to "roll up his/her sleeves" to get the job done. The candidate should be able to relate well to people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds and demonstrate a willingness to participate in the life of the institution at all levels.


Please submit your resume, cover letter that clearly describes how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of this position, three professional references, and salary requirements via email to and reference "COO" in the subject line. No phone calls please.


Deadline: 10-19-2015

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