California Arts Council

State of California

Arts Jobs - Detail

Executive Director
The Museum of American Heritage

Palo Alto, CA

The Museum of American Heritage (MOAH) seeks an Executive Director to provide creative vision and strategic direction for the Museum, leadership and empowerment for the Museum’s staff and volunteers, and oversight and coordination of the Museum’s operations and management.


Founded in 1990, the Museum of American Heritage is housed in the historic Williams House and Gardens in the heart of downtown Palo Alto. With a collection of over 5,000 artifacts, MOAH’s permanent and rotating exhibits highlight inventions and technology from 1750-1950. We combine elements of history, technology, and design to illustrate this evolution of innovation and how and why technology has influenced—and will continue to influence—society and culture.


Reporting to the President of the Board of Directors and working in partnership with the staff, the Executive Director is responsible for the creative, intellectual, and programmatic direction of the Museum and collaborates with staff, volunteers, community leaders, donors, collectors, industry contacts, and others to implement a vision aligned with the mission and priorities of the Museum. 

The Executive Director is further responsible for all operational and financial aspects of the Museum’s management, including the design and installation of exhibits, organization of public and private events, coordination of educational programs, promoting community relations and outreach, fundraising and donor cultivation and stewardship, membership management, recruiting and retaining volunteers, the ongoing maintenance of the Museum’s historical gardens and grounds, and any other related duties requested by the Board and as necessary to the Museum’s operations.

The Museum relies heavily on its team of over 60 regular volunteers, and overseeing volunteer recruitment and coordination is a major responsibility of the Executive Director.  In addition to the Executive Director position, MOAH currently has 2 part-time employees. The Executive Director is the only full-time paid position.


  • Minimum of five years experience in a nonprofit organization; prior museum experience and executive management are strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated leadership skills with both staff and volunteers
  • Fundraising experience, preferably including grants, individual and corporate gifts, and events
  • Skills in budget tracking and financial management 


  • Self-motivated with a strong, independent work ethic
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work with a diverse group of individuals
  • Ability to multi-task under pressure and be resourceful to meet deadlines


This is a salaried, full-time position located at the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto, CA. This position allows significant flexibility in work schedule, though occasional evening and weekend commitments are required.

The salary range for this position is set to start at $60K per year and is flexible depending on the candidate’s experience and qualifications. The position is expected to begin mid-August of 2016, with the official start date to be determined by the candidate and the Board of Directors.


  • Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and three references to Please include your first and last name in the email’s subject line, along with the words: MOAH ED Candidate.
  • Nominations are welcome.
  • Please note that only qualified candidates will be contacted.
  • Principals only. No phone calls, please.
  • The Museum of American Heritage is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Deadline: 09-05-2016

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