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City and County of San Francisco
Hayes Valley, California
Closing date
Jun 8, 2024

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Position Type
Archivist / Curator / Librarian
Full Time
Museum Studies
Organization Type
Job Description

Established in 1980 by the Airport Commission, SFO Museum's mission is to delight, engage, and inspire a global audience with programming on a broad range of subjects; to collect, preserve, interpret, and share the history of commercial aviation; and to enrich the public experience at SFO. Since 1999, the Museum has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It retains the distinction of being the only accredited Museum in an airport. Today, SFO Museum features 25 galleries throughout the Airport terminals, which display a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum (AML), which houses a permanent collection of more than 140,000 objects related to the history of commercial aviation.

SFO is seeking a seasoned Museum Director and Chief Curator to join a world-class organization. We are searching for a forward-thinking leader who has a passion for aviation and experience leading and managing new and existing museum programs. Consider joining our team if you are an innovative, dedicated individual with strong design instincts and an eye for detail, solid negotiation, collaboration, and management skills!

The Museum Director and Chief Curator for SFO Museum reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and is a member of the senior leadership team. This position has sole responsibility for all functions and activities of the Museum, including SFO Museum operations, oversight of curatorial staff and all exhibitions, and fiscal management. In addition, the Museum Director and Chief Curator is responsible for curating, designing, producing, and installing between 30 and 50 exhibits in four terminals annually; collecting, preserving, interpreting, and sharing the history of commercial aviation; and maintaining SFO's public art collection. This position is also responsible for developing partnerships with community arts organizations, integrating the Museum with the Bay Area community, and facilitating collaboration with the executive staff of the Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco Art Commission, Airport Art Steering Committee, and Airport Commissioners.

Duties & Responsibilities

Museum Operations:

Oversees and directs a program of over 30 exhibitions annually, including designing and installing all permanent and temporary exhibits. Coordinates workflow of SFO Museum. Manages budget and resource allocation. Collaborates with Airport staff and other CCSF departments, especially the San Francisco Arts Commission, museums, galleries, artists, commercial establishments, governmental agencies, and other related services professionals.

Directs, develops, and manages new and existing programs and facilities of the SFO Museum, the cultural program within the Airport. Responsible for the oversight of the collection management and maintenance of over 150 paintings, sculptures, murals, and other pieces of art that make up the $50 million public art program provided by the San Francisco Arts Commission. Serves as a member of the Airport Art Steering Committee to promote an Airport Art Enrichment Program that meets the highest aesthetic standards, provides enjoyment for Airport visitors, meets Airport operating requirements, and enhances the national and international prestige of SFO and CCSF.

Manages facility operations of the 11,000 square foot AML, and the 28,000 square foot SFO Museum, including offices, workshops, and art and non-art storage. The facilities must meet American Alliance of Museum and Cal/OSHA standards regarding safety, security, climate control, access, light levels, pest management, and fire safety. In addition, the Museum facilities contain administrative and curatorial offices; workspaces for registration, conservation, designers, and technical/prep staff; art storage for the Aviation collection; art storage for the Public Art collection, and non-art storage.

Manages the development, programming, utilization, negotiations for donations and loans, and generating revenue through special event facility use. Develops and establishes policies and procedures and makes decisions that impact the daily operations of the AML. Strengthens the aviation collection through strategic accessioning and deaccessioning and meets collection management needs through research, cataloging, record keeping, storage, and conservation. Maximizes public access to the Aviation Museum and Library collection through digital media by expanding and improving the online aviation collection database. Establishes programs, procedures, and staff requirements while maintaining the Airport and American Alliance of Museums standards to maintain accredited status.


Promotes and provides visibility of the museum programs on local, national, and international levels. Meets with directors of cultural institutions, foreign ministries of culture, governmental agencies, airports, airlines, and businesses; and negotiates with other CCSF departments, primarily the Main Library, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Asian Art Museum, Park and Recreation, the Zoo, San Francisco Unified School District, California Academy of Sciences, and other cultural institutions in the Bay Area, including The Exploratorium, Fort Mason, the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, Oakland Museum of California, Stanford University Art Museum, etc. Represents the Airport with auxiliary groups, including the San Francisco Aeronautical Society and SFO Museum Advisory Board.

Forward-Thinking, Service-Oriented, Outcome Focused:

Plans, implements, directs cultural programs, and develops future programming at the Airport, including the Video Art's Program, Kids' Spots, and the rotating student art spaces. Conceptualizes and researches new cultural programs for the Airport. Presents ideas with merits and cultural value to the Airport Director and the Airport Commission and secures funding from the Airport. Involves co-programming with Airport departments; other CCSF departments; the Mayor's Office; San Francisco Arts Commission; zoos; children's museums; history museums; aviation museums; governmental agencies; airport authorities; airline officials, in the U.S. and overseas; foreign consulates in San Francisco; and other noteworthy cultural and governmental institutions.

Chairs the SFO Museum Collection Review Committee. Manages the development and enrichment activities for the Museum's collection; directs and participates in locating and selecting a wide variety of collection objects in the local and international market for inclusion in the collection; and conducts studies and research in connection with such acquisitions. In addition, negotiates gifts to the Aviation Museum and Library on local, national, and international levels and determines whether gifts and bequests offered to SFO Museum are of a clear and unrestricted nature.

Manages programming, design, and construction for SFO Museum contributions to the Terminal Redevelopment Programs. Works with project managers from Planning, Design, and Construction, contractors, architects, planners, Arts Commission staff, other art, and other cultural institutions, including museum directors, curators, conservators, and consulting with private designers. This position is the primary stakeholder for coordinating approval during the design review process and monitoring the progress during construction for all SFO Museum projects.

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