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Museum Director And Chief Curator - SFO (0941)

City & County of San Francisco
Panhandle, California
Closing date
Jul 19, 2024

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Position Type
Archivist / Curator / Librarian
Full Time
Museum Studies
Organization Type
San Francisco International Airport (SFO), an enterprise department of the City & County of San Francisco, has a workforce of approximately 1,700 City employees and strives to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive employer.

SFO's mission is delivering an airport experience where people and our planet come first and our core values are Safety and Security, Teamwork, Excellence, Care, and Equity. Learn more about careers at SFO. For more information about SFO, visit Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

APPOINTMENT TYPE: Permanent Exempt full-time: This position is exempt from Civil Service rules pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section 10.104 and serves at the discretion of the Appointing Officer.

Specific information regarding this recruitment:
  • Application Opening: May 13, 2024.
  • Application Deadline: This position will be considered "open" until a final selection is made, but candidates are encouraged to apply immediately or by May 24, 2024 for optimal consideration.
  • Compensation: $184,314 - $235,274 annually.
  • Work Schedule: Full-time, 40 hours per week.
  • Work Location: San Francisco International Airport.

Role 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.

How to qualify

Education: Possession of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in Art History, Art, Anthropology, Museum Administration, Museum Studies, or related field; and

Experience: Five (5) years of managerial museum experience, including supervising staff.


Education Substitution: Additional qualifying full-time work experience (2000 hours equal one year) as described above may substitute up to two (2) years of the required education. One (1) year of work experience equals to 30 semester units or 45 quarter units.

One-year full-time employment is equivalent to 2,000 hours (2,000 hours of qualifying work experience is based on a 40-hour work week). Any overtime hours that you work above 40 hours per week are not included in the calculation to determine full time employment.

Applicants must meet the minimum qualification requirement by the final filing date unless otherwise noted.

What you'll bring to SFO:

The ideal candidate is a leader committed to expanding the Museum's aviation collection and embracing local, state, and international artists through exhibitions that reflect different cultures. The ideal candidate will also need to have a record of success that illustrates a career history that supports the ability to have the following:

Commitment to Artistic Excellence and Passion for the Arts:

The ideal candidate is passionate, extremely knowledgeable about the Museum's collection and is incredibly excited about expanding the Museum's lender base and identifying objects, artists, and voices that represent Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) contributions to cultural, artistic, and scientific achievement.


The ideal candidate is an exceptional leader who encourages teamwork and diversity; has a proven track record with leading a team in accomplishing goals; is self-aware and able to remain calm under pressure; and can exercise flexibility and adaptability in sensitive situations.

Strategic Visionary:

The ideal candidate can conceptualize projects several years in advance, whether it is an exhibition, performance, new facility, cultural exchange, etc., and organize the supporting structure of administration, participating institution, financial, design, staff, and technical supports to bring it to fruition.

Financially Responsible:

The ideal candidate can develop and analyze budget and funding needs; is analytical and creative in finding additional funding sources to support programs; and is fiscally responsible and able to make hard choices when funds are not available.

Excellent Communicator:

The ideal candidate has outstanding written and verbal communication skills; strong interpersonal communication skills combined with a collaborative style, and the ability to communicate effectively with internal and external audiences including, other CCSF agencies, and others in the cultural fields in both the U.S. and abroad, including collectors, dealers, journalists, government personnel, and interested parties; and has excellent presentation and interpersonal skills to engage effectively with all levels of the organization.

Collaborator: The ideal candidate can successfully develop, foster, and strengthen relationships with key stakeholders to achieve results; able to prioritize, manage multiple projects efficiently, and respond to a high volume of ongoing requests timely to meet deadlines; and can adapt and be flexible in a dynamic work environment.

Industry Expertise: The ideal candidate provides leadership, strategic vision, curatorial, and managerial oversight for the Museum's exhibition program and can negotiate and strengthen the aviation collection; possesses previous experience managing public programs in a municipal building; a master's degree in art history or related field; and demonstrates international, political, business, and cultural awareness to represent the Airport Director and to conduct Airport business with attention to protocol and efficiency in any locale in the world.

Any stated desirable qualifications may be considered at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred for hiring.


Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at

Note: Falsifying one's education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline. Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of a completed City and County of San Francisco application. Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores.

Applicants will receive a confirmation email from that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file. Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records. Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

Every application is reviewed to ensure that you meet the minimum qualifications as listed in the job ad. Please review the articles on Employment Application and Minimum Qualifications and Verification of Experience and/or Education for considerations taken when reviewing applications.

Selection Procedures:

After application submission, candidates deemed qualified must complete all subsequent steps to advance in this selection process, which includes the following:

The selection process will include evaluation of applications in relation to minimum requirements. Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement to interview. Depending on the number of applicants, the Department may establish and implement additional screening mechanisms to comparatively evaluate the qualifications of candidates. If this becomes necessary, only those applicants whose qualifications most closely meet the needs of the Department will be invited for an interview.

Notes: Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement through all of the steps in the selection procedure.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Security Clearance: Candidates for employment with the San Francisco Airport Commission are required to undergo a criminal history record check, including FBI fingerprints, and Security Threat Assessment in order to determine eligibility for security clearance and may be required to undergo drug/alcohol screening. Per Civil Service Commission Rule Section 110.9.1, every applicant for an examination must possess and maintain the qualifications required by law and by the examination announcement for the examination. Failure to obtain and maintain security clearance may be basis for termination from employment with the Airport Commission.

Customs Clearance: This position requires that the incumbent be qualified for unescorted access to the San Francisco International Airport U.S. Customs Security Area. An application for a U.S. Custom Access Seal may be submitted to Customs ONLY after employment has commenced. Employment in this position requires that the incumbent submit an application for, successfully acquire and maintain a Customs Access Seal. Per Civil Service Commission Rule 110.9.1, every applicant must possess and maintain the qualifications required by law and by the examination announcement for this examination. Failure to acquire or maintain customs access, a requirement for this position, may be basis for termination from employment with the Airport Commission. Customs Access Seal requirements and procedures are located in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 19, Part 122, Sections 181 or 189.

What else should I know?

Terms of Announcement and Appeal Rights:

Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of this announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations. Clerical errors may be corrected by the posting the correction on the Department of Human Resources website at

Additional Information Regarding Employment with the City and County of San Francisco:
  • Information About The Hiring Process
  • Conviction History
  • Employee Benefits Overview
  • Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Disaster Service Worker
  • ADA Accommodation
  • Right to Work
  • Copies of Application Documents
  • Diversity Statement


Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit and begin the application process.
  • Select the "I'm Interested" button and follow instructions on the screen

Applicants may be contacted by email about this recruitment and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date. Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter. To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file. Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records. Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.

HR Information: If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact People Projects Program Manager Alex Tsai at

The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.

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