California Arts Council

State of California

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Executive Director
American Bookbinders Museum

San Francisco, CA

Executive Director Position Description

The American Bookbinders Museum (ABM) provides a complete experience of bookbinding history, craft, and culture.  Our collection of equipment, books, and ephemera focuses on the history of the bookbinding trade and the people central to an industry that extends from the early middle ages to today. Our Museum features experiential exhibits related to all aspects of book creation, and includes working tools and equipment from the 19th and early 20th centuries. We aspire to be responsive to and a reflection of the several communities that support us: San Francisco’s robust printing, binding, and book arts community, as well as the larger public.  We believe that our Museum is only as strong as the community that supports us.

The American Bookbinders Museum seeks an innovative, dynamic, and collaborative leader to serve as
its Executive Director. The ED will firmly lay the foundation for the Museum, spearheading its mission
to create a distinctive learning environment for the bookbinding community and society at large. The
ED, in harmony with the Board of Directors, will refine, develop, and implement a progressive program
for fundraising, exhibitions, collections management, outreach, and educational activities.

Position Responsibilities

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will have the following responsibilities:

  • Plan, organize, and manage all aspects of ABM operations and budget.
  • Work in conjunction with the Board to develop the strategic direction and establish initiatives to fulfill the mission of the Museum and increase national awareness and prominence.
  • Supervise and manage the staff, which includes full-time and part-time staff as well as dedicated volunteers and interns.
  • Develop fundraising strategies, steward and cultivate donors, and identify and seek grants. Manage revenue streams including earned revenue, grants, fundraising, memberships, and other sources (foundations, corporations, etc.).
  • Develop and implement effective communications to raise the profile of the Museum locally as well as nationally and internationally.
  • Manage the facilities of the Museum and the preservation of the collections through preventive and responsive methods, including, but not limited to, disaster preparedness, security, environmental monitoring, and continuous assessment of use of space.
  • Ensure the collection development policy is reflective of the Museum’s mission and builds relationships with current and potential donors to fulfill the policy.
  • Lead programming through the development of exhibitions, lectures, symposiums, tours, and other events.


The ED will be passionate about ABM’s mission. All candidates should have proven leadership, supervision, and relationship management experience. Concrete demonstrable experience and other qualifications include:

  • Minimum education requires a Bachelor’s degree. Advanced degree preferred.
  • Five years of experience in a museum, academic, or nonprofit organization. At least two years at a senior managerial level preferred.
  • Ability to provide strong leadership, vision, and strategic direction. Experience developing and implementing strategic plans.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of standards and best practices for museums, libraries, special collections, non-profits, or similar organizations, as well as a history of involvement in relevant professional organizations.
  • Strong record of success in fundraising and audience development.
  • Demonstrated excellence in writing and public speaking.
  • Proven ability to work cooperatively, diplomatically, and effectively with boards, volunteers, and in community relations and outreach capacities.
  • Competence in managing museum operations, including personnel matters. Demonstrated ability to supervise, as well as to work successfully with, museum staff, volunteers, and diverse public constituencies.
  • Evidence of success in developing, managing, and growing an annual operating budget. Strong financial management skills.
  • Willingness to work a variable schedule, including weekends and evenings when needed.
  • Essential qualities include passion, integrity, enthusiasm, and self-direction.

Knowledge and understanding of bookbinders, bookbindings, history of the book, and the book trade would be nice to have but is not essential.

For more information, please visit

Interested candidates should submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to Position will remain open until filled.







Deadline: 08-31-2017

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