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Arts and Culture, Fundraising and Advancement, Nonprofit and Social Impact

Director of Advancement

  • National Museum of the American Latino | Smithsonian Institution
  • Washington, DC
About The National Museum of the American Latino

For centuries, diverse Latino communities have played foundational roles in building the United States and shaping its national culture. Their rich histories and legacies predate the nation’s establishment. They are deeply rooted in this country’s pursuit of democracy, freedom, multiculturalism, and economic opportunity. Their stories and perspectives deepen our understanding of the United States and what it means to be American.

On December 27, 2020, legislation passed calling for the Smithsonian to establish the National Museum of the American Latino (NMAL). The new museum will be the cornerstone for visitors to learn how Latinos have contributed and continue to contribute to U.S. art, history, culture, and science. Additionally, it will serve as a gateway to exhibitions, collections, and programming at other Smithsonian museums, research centers, and traveling exhibition services. 

Since the legislation passed, the Smithsonian has named a Board of Trustees and commenced the site-selection process, conducting a site survey to identify a location on or near the National Mall for the new museum. Jorge Zamanillo, Executive Director and CEO of HistoryMiami Museum, has been named Founding Director of NMAL, effective May 2, 2022. In June 2022, NMAL will open its first exhibition, the Molina Family Latino Gallery, at the National Museum of American History while the future home of the new museum is planned, designed, and constructed.

NMAL seeks candidates for its inaugural Director of Advancement, the lead executive responsible for conceptualizing, organizing, and implementing a comprehensive and strategic fundraising program in support of the museum’s progression as an institution, its mission, and strategic priorities. The opportunity constitutes a unique, high-profile opportunity for a fundraising leader to help affirm the centrality of American Latino history and culture to America’s past, present, and future. The museum will make the Smithsonian more effective, vibrant, and meaningful, embracing an inclusive vision of our history and culture to be shared with millions of visitors from around the world.

Reporting to the NMAL Founding Director, with a consultative relationship to the Smithsonian Institution’s Assistant Secretary for Advancement, the Director of Advancement will plan, direct, implement, and evaluate both annual and long-range comprehensive fundraising activities for the museum. The Director of Advancement will be a trusted partner to the Founding Director in collaborating with, cultivating, and soliciting the active support and involvement of the museum Board of Trustees and Smithsonian National Latino Board in philanthropic activities, including high-priority leadership and principal gifts. The Director of Advancement will oversee the NMAL advancement team’s work and ongoing expansion, as well as collaborate with other colleagues both at NMAL and across the Smithsonian’s Office of Advancement to plan, direct, and optimize fundraising strategies and initiatives. The NMAL advancement team currently includes the Senior Advancement Officer for Institutional Giving and Senior Advancement Officer for Individual Giving. In addition, advancement positions are being recruited to jointly serve NMAL and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum to support membership and online giving operations, gift processing, proposal writing, and prospect management. NMAL’s advancement staff will grow each year to meet its ambitious fundraising goals.

The Director of Advancement is a key member of the museum’s executive leadership team and will work closely with the Founding Director and other senior museum leaders to set priorities and develop strategies to accomplish the museum’s overall strategic goals.

The Director of Advancement will prioritize equity as a driver for NMAL. This leader will embrace principles of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion in hiring, mentorship, teambuilding, network activities, and stakeholder engagement. The Director of Advancement will actively focus on building equity into structures, systems, and processes for employees and the communities NMAL serves. The Director of Advancement will bring expertise, an innovative and open mindset, and a commitment to inclusive practice that values different backgrounds and life experiences.

While the National Museum of the American Latino will consider a broad range of backgrounds, the ideal candidate will have the following qualifications/experience:

  • Passion for, and deep interest in, the mission, exhibitions and programs of NMAL and the Smithsonian Institution. Familiarity with American Latinos’ histories and cultures, combined with the ability to frame those histories and experiences as a broader story that impacts America and the world in profound ways. Ability to inspire and engage others as a senior representative of NMAL and the Smithsonian.
  • A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree and strong academic credentials that will be credible to donors and other stakeholders are preferred.
  • A range of 8 to 10 years of experience in progressively responsible development leadership positions, which includes work in all functional areas (individual giving, institutional giving, annual giving, planned giving, stewardship, board relations) and leadership in a major capital campaign, preferably within a major cultural institution, nonprofit organization, educational institution, or other environment of similar complexity.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide management oversight, leadership, and direction with at least seven years of supervisory experience, including creating and managing a budget.
  • A proven and inspirational frontline major gifts fundraiser with a long track record of success in securing six and seven-figure gifts and greater.
  • Particular strength in developing the case for support and strategic, complex, and innovative fundraising plans, and executing against those plans to achieve goals and objectives.
  • Demonstrated ability in planning and executing integrated, strategic communications in support of achieving fundraising goals.
  • Experience identifying, nurturing, and working with Board members and other museum supporters, and an appreciation for their role in building an effective fundraising network.
  • The ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process. A working knowledge of modern data management practices and techniques, including database information systems, data modeling, and analysis.
  • A forward thinker, driven by innovation, transformation, and impact. The successful candidate must thrive on developing new philanthropic best practices in the current and post-COVID world.
  • Ability and enthusiasm to travel domestically and internationally, as necessary.
  • Fluency in English and Spanish, writing and speaking.

The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.

Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

National Museum of the American Latino has retained the Diversified Search Group for this engagement. Managing Director Gerard F. Cattie, Jr. is leading the search with Managing Director Victor Arias. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed via email to gerard.cattie@divsearch.com

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