Arts and Culture, Nonprofit and Social Impact, Program Leadership

Director of Public Engagement and Learning

  • The Chrysler Museum of Art
  • Norfolk, VA

This position has been filled.

The Opportunity

The Chrysler Museum of Art seeks innovative candidates for the position of Director of Public Engagement and Learning. Following the challenges of the pandemic, this individual will reimagine and rebuild the Chrysler’s programmatic offerings, in order to build a cohesive and complementary range of opportunities for audiences to engage across the Museum.

This senior leadership position will oversee the two divisions within the department dedicated to public programs and school and academic partnerships. As the Museum emerges from the pandemic, we face the challenge to restore and expand our pre-COVID levels of participation and attendance. Like all museums, we must create programs that will increase attendance, offer opportunities for learning, generate revenue, add value to membership, and build excitement for the Museum. The Director of Public Engagement and Learning will work with the Museum Director and other members of the leadership team to develop and implement the strategies that will help us achieve those goals and serve the interests and needs of a diverse community. This Director will collaborate closely with the Development office, the Glass Studio, and others to ensure that the master schedule of events is robust and properly balanced. The position reports to the Museum Director and oversees a department of six full-time employees and the corps of volunteers and docents.

The Director of Public Engagement and Learning should possess high emotional intelligence, excellent interpersonal skills, and the ability to establish a strong rapport and cultivate collegial relationships with staff at all levels of the organization. This Director must have the ability to lead, inspire, teach, mentor, and motivate a dedicated team as well as serve as a collaborative member of the leadership team across all departments. Strong candidates will have the ability to think broadly and holistically about the Museum’s offerings and ensure that they form a cohesive and complementary whole.

This Director should be an articulate and effective advocate for the Chrysler Museum. This individual must nurture a robust network of relationships—trustees, donors, community leaders, government officials—cultivate new constituents, broaden engagement, and create a welcoming environment for all visitors and program participants. The Director of Public Engagement and Learning should be a compelling communicator, demonstrating excellent public speaking and writing skills in order to build support from all constituencies, advance the Chrysler’s goals, and articulate its essential value to the public.

Key Responsibilities

Reporting to Director and CEO Erik Neil, the next Director of Public Engagement and Learning will have the following key responsibilities:

  • Participate as a member of the leadership team in strategic planning and decision making.
  • Provide constructive advice and counsel to the Director on all aspects of Museum operations.
  • Serve as a leader and mentor within the department and the Museum.
  • Work with the department team to ensure that the Museum offers a range of programs including social events for adults and families, as well as concerts and lectures that serve the public and offer value to our members.
  • Manage the team to create and implement a full spectrum of learning opportunities including public and private tours, school tours, teacher training, camps, and workshops.
  • Coordinate with the Manager of the Perry Glass Studio, the Community Engagement Manager, the Director of Development, and other institutional constituents to ensure that the Museum offers a balanced and coherent slate of programs to serve our institutional mission.
  • Work with the Communications team to develop effective marketing and promote all programs in a timely manner.
  • Lead the effort to continually assess, evaluate, and adjust programs to achieve the best results and meet our institutional goals.
  • Create and manage the departmental budget.
  • Work with the Director and the CFO to establish and meet annual revenue goals for the department.
  • Work with colleagues to more effectively implement the use of technology within and beyond the Museum, including the relaunch of the WonderStudio.
  • Work with curators and educators to reconsider and update the interpretive strategies of the collection with an eye toward greater inclusion.
  • Work with Museum educators to effectively develop and train the docent corps.
  • Manage and expand partnerships with area institutions of higher learning including Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, Virginia Wesleyan University, Christopher Newport University, and Tidewater Community College, as well as arts-focused high schools.
Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will be an energetic leader and creative thinker. They will have a broad appreciation of the programmatic and educational challenges facing art museums, experience managing and motivating a team, have a collegial approach and a sense of humor, as well as a commitment to the values of learning, diversity, and inclusion that characterize the Chrysler Museum of Art.

Non-Profit Management Experience

Strong candidates for this position will demonstrate a depth of professional experience leading education and programming teams within a museum setting or other relevant context. This Director will be comfortable and confident working as a peer with curatorial staff. Candidates should have professional programming experience in museums or other arts-focused institutions.

Team Management and Influence

The Director of Public Engagement and Learning leads and manages the Engagement and Learning team with empathy, a high standard of excellence and accountability, and inclusivity, allowing for the building of consensus and recognition of teamwork. This individual will foster trust and collaboration among team members and possess the ability to manage through change with flexibility, poise, and a sense of humor. They will seek to recognize the team’s talents and be invested in advancing team members while looking across and beyond job descriptions. The Chair will be able to coach and mentor staff members with wide ranges of experiences at different career levels. They will also possess active listening skills with the ability to engage with colleagues and peers throughout the institution.

Relationship Building and Ambassadorship

The Director of Public Engagement and Learning will be a gifted leader who will serve as an ambassador for the Museum in the education, public programming, and community building arenas and beyond. A charismatic spokesperson, the Director should embrace the external side of the role, and be able to originate and inspire enthusiastic relationships with educators, artists, scholars, art historians, civic and community members, government officials, donors, foundations, and corporate executives to broaden and deepen interest in and support for the Museum’s programs.

High-Level Decision Making and Strategic Vision

This position requires a high level of independent, entrepreneurial, and creative decision-making ability in areas of staffing, implementing overall vision for programs, as well as managerial decisions. The Director must bring revenue-generating and free programs and events into a coherent and cohesive structure that embodies and advances the values and mission of the Chrysler, builds audience engagement, and enhances the goals of the Museum. The Director will present cogent arguments for budget making and content/program development.

Compensation & Benefits

The target salary range for this position starts at $100,000 and is competitive and commensurate with experience; the Chrysler offers an excellent benefits package.

About the Chrysler Museum of Art

Founded in 1933, the Chrysler Museum of Art is one of America’s most distinguished mid-sized art museums, with a nationally recognized collection of more than 30,000 objects, including one of the great glass collections in America. The core of the Chrysler’s collection comes from Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., an avid art collector who donated thousands of objects from his private collection to the Museum. The Museum has growing collections in many areas and mounts an ambitious schedule of visiting exhibitions and educational programs each season. The Chrysler has also been recognized nationally for its unique commitment to hospitality with its innovative gallery host program.

The Perry Glass Studio is a state-of-the-art facility on the Museum’s campus. The studio offers programming for aspiring and master artists alike in a variety of processes including glassblowing, fusing, flameworking, coldworking and neon.

In addition, the Chrysler Museum of Art administers the Moses Myers House, a historic house in downtown Norfolk, as well as the Jean Outland Chrysler Library.

For more information on the Chrysler Museum of Art, please visit


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Naree Viner and Tenley Bank of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here, or email Tenley directly All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

The Chrysler Museum of Art is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit

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