California Arts Council

State of California

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Executive Director
Chinese American Museum

Los Angeles, CA




The Executive Director reports to the FCAM Board of Directors, and serves as the primary interface in collaborating with the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument management (El Pueblo) and City of Los Angeles staff to operate the Chinese American Museum. The Executive Director of FCAM is the Director of CAM. The Executive Director works closely with the President of the FCAM Board of Directors, Advisory Council, and the General Manager of EP to advance CAM’s mission, vision, and values in a diverse multi-cultural community. The position is responsible for the daily operations of the Museum and the long-term development and execution of the Museum’s strategic plan, policies, and goals within the context of a city-owned facility. Overall responsibilities also include visionary leadership, consensus building, operational effectiveness, personnel management, fiscal management, and leadership in development and fundraising, maintaining institutional sustainability, and achieving targeted financial objectives. The Executive Director is also accountable for monitoring the Museum’s ongoing performance in support of its stated objectives.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES Vision and Strategic Leadership

The Executive Director guides the Board, staff and other stakeholders to ensure that the organization's vision and strategic plan remains current, relevant, and responsive to the changing landscape of the diverse community in which CAM exists. This includes:

  • Updating and implementing the strategic plan, which encompasses its business plan and organization plan.
  • Identifying and forging partnerships with other community-based organizations whose mission, vision, and values are complementary to those of CAM.
  • Guiding the Museum’s ongoing physical expansion (from its current 8,000 sq. ft to 20,000 square feet) and community engagement process to ensure its programmatic and financial success.

Administrative, Financial, and Operations Management

The Executive Director has ultimate responsibility and accountability for leadership and financial planning, leading an effective senior management team, and efficiently and effectively operating the Museum in order to: 

  • Oversee the implementation and review of annual and long-range plans for the Museum, incorporating progress toward strategic and financial goals.
  • Ensure all agreements with the City/El Pueblo are implemented, including those outlined in the 2013 Memorandum of Agreement, and work with the City/El Pueblo regarding operations, management, planning, events, and acquisitions.
  • Build a team that is dedicated to and excited about the future of the Museum. Manage the recruitment, employment, and supervision of staff, contractors, consultants, interns, and volunteers.
  • Set and maintain high standards for staff performance, and establish sound human resource policies and practices, including effective communications channels, mentoring, and retention strategies, in compliance with City requirements.
  • Oversee the negotiation of all contracts and agreements, prepare official correspondence, and execute legal documents in consultation with Board leadership as needed.
  • Ensure that the buildings and grounds of the Museum are maintained in a manner that preserves historical integrity, professional museum standards, safety, and welcoming environment for diverse audiences and also in compliance with City requirements and standards.
  • Ensure sound financial practices, including realistic annual and long-term budgeting, prudent management and monitoring of financial resources, and employment of the Museum’s assets for the most effective long-term fulfillment of its mission. 

Institutional Growth and Advancement

The Executive Director serves as the chief spokesperson for the Museum, represents its interests to the public, and embraces a leadership role in the Chinese American and Asian American community in order to:

  • Ensure that comprehensive and effective funding programs exist to promote the Museum’s activities and increase the financial support available for its operations.
  • Build, develop, and execute a comprehensive public awareness program to create a measurable increase in the stature and visibility of CAM in the local, national, and international community.
  • Provide leadership in the Museum’s fundraising efforts by developing and implementing a comprehensive annual fundraising plan. Personally identify, cultivate and solicit major donors, including foundation grant opportunities.
  • Devise and implement a strategy with Board leadership to recruit effective new Board members.
  • Create outreach programs to constituencies that encourage attendance, membership and further involvement in the life of the Museum. 

Museology and Collections

The Executive Director will oversee the Staff in acquiring, presenting, preserving and researching the Museum’s collection and in developing an overall “story” that attracts, excites and educates a wide public audience. This includes:

  • Working with the community to explore new ways of presenting the Museum’s collection.
  • Expanding its educational mission to an even wider range of national and international audiences.
  • Provide leadership and inspiration toward innovative and engaging display and presentation that appeal to a new generation of museum-goers.
  • Identify and cultivate potential collection donors.
  • Perform periodic evaluations to ensure that Museum programs have continued relevance and are responsive to the needs of a changing clientele.


A bachelor’s degree is required. An advanced degree or equivalent experience in museums, cultural preservation organizations, or other related fields or organizations is preferred. The successful candidate will have a minimum 5-7 years of non-profit management with related experience and demonstrated skills in organizational, financial and project management, and in institutional development, namely in fundraising and sustainment. Experience working with boards of directors, interacting with prospective donors, collaborating with other organizations, communicating in a sometimes high-profile multi-cultural environment, fostering community involvement, and success in fundraising activities are all highly valued. Computer literacy (including cloud based applications), and social media is expected.  Oral fluency in either Mandarin and/or Cantonese is desirable.  Reading and writing competencies in Chinese are a plus.

Please submit resume and cover letter to Sharon Chen, interim executive director, at

Contact:Sharon Chen

Deadline: 03-31-2017

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