Deputy Director for Operations (DDO): Stanford University, the Arts and the Cantor Arts Center

The Cantor Arts Center boasts a proud and venerable history. Conceived with the founding of Stanford University in 1891, the museum opened in 1894, and now serves the University and the broader Bay Area community. In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake damaged the museum, necessitating its closure. Six years later, groundbreaking for a major new wing and restoration of the historic building began, and the revitalized museum re-opened in 1999 as the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, the new name recognizing the gift of the largest collection of Rodin sculptures outside France. In 2006, Stanford launched the Stanford Arts Initiative with the goal of making the arts a fundamental part of a Stanford education. In 2017 Stanford announced the creation of a new administrative division: the Vice Presidency for the Arts (VPA) to provide oversight and strategic planning for arts organizations on campus, including the Cantor Arts Center.

The Cantor is an encyclopedic museum, with collections of historic and contemporary art from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, Oceania, and from the Stanford Family, totaling over 33,000 objects. The Cantor offers approximately 50,000 square feet exhibition space, a café, and study spaces for students and faculty, and has a staff of 60.

Job Purpose:

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Deputy Director is a key member of the senior leadership team at the Cantor Arts Center. The Deputy Director is responsible for overseeing the museum’s day-to day operations and the overall administrative management of the museum, including oversight of strategic objectives and organizational initiatives.

The Deputy Director oversees the departments of security, facilities, the café, visitor services, events, and collections and exhibitions management, supervising managers in those areas; and working closely with the administration of the Vice Presidency for the Arts (VPA), the Deputy Director also has oversight for the museum’s finance and human resources. The Deputy Director will work with the Executive Director, senior university and museum leadership, and staff to build a culture of innovation, inclusion, collaboration, and teamwork.

Core Duties:

Strategic Planning, Administration, Finance, HR

  • Partner with the Executive Director to develop, direct, and implement strategic plans for organization and/or program(s), including the pursuit of American Alliance of Museums (AAM) accreditation.
  • Lead and manage day-to-day operations and general administration of the museum, providing oversight of long-term strategic planning.
  • Working closely with VPA Finance team, develop and implement effective financial management, human resources, and operational policies, in accordance with University and VPA guidelines and policies. Serve as lead liaison to VPA for finance and operations, including working closely with the VPA leadership.
  • Responsible to the Executive Director for the financial viability and success of the museum, including long term planning. Develop, monitor, and authorize expenditures within complex budget.
  • Direct staff and provide leadership to achieve goals and vision of the organization.
  • Encourage and model open cross-departmental communication and actively identify and increase efficiencies within museum work flow.
  • Motivate staff, as well as provide and model effective project management skills.
  • Responsible for hiring/retaining, career coaching, and professional development of operational staff, and accountable for the performance of direct reports.
  • Supervise additional administrative duties museum-wide, including cross-departmental collaboration and relations with operations, donors and members, and community stakeholders.

Security & Facilities

  • Oversee and guide development and management of security policies and procedures based on regulatory, contractual and/or best management practices. Lead the strategy and planning to determine and define short- and long-term security measures. Oversee implementation of the measures for buildings, assets, and site protection.
  • Oversee and guide management of assigned facilities and programs including planning and directing the activities of department(s); monitoring maintenance activities for timely completion and quality.
  • Cantor Arts Center shares security, facilities, and visitor services operations with the Anderson Collection, which is housed adjacent to the Cantor.
  • Oversee management of the onsite café, in cooperation with the cafe’s owner and manager.
  • Work with Collections Management to upgrade on-site storage facilities, including implementation of state-of-the-art security systems and protocols.

Collections Management

  • Oversee the division of Collections and Exhibitions to ensure smooth operational functions among divisions.
  • Initiate upgrades to collections management systems and storage facilities.

Visitor Experience

  • Oversee all aspects of visitor services and the daily operations with an emphasis on ensuring a positive and efficient visitor experience. The Deputy Director will be expected to proactively propose new ideas to improve and enhance the visitor experience, including the development and implementation innovative technological modes outreach.


  • Provide counsel on highly complex, high profile events that attract hundreds to thousands of attendees. Has ultimate responsibility for the vision, strategy and execution of all aspects of event planning and production, creating policies and overseeing procedures, mitigating risk and liability.

Other duties may also be assigned

Minimum Requirements

Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, preferably in Arts or Museum Administration, and five to seven years of relevant museum experience in administrative and financial management, or combination of education and relevant museum experience.
  • Experience with the mission, structure, and operation of the visual arts museum at all levels, including budgetary and long-range strategic planning.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated leadership and supervisory skills including conflict resolution.
  • Experience working in a research-oriented academic environment coupled with a commitment to arts education in higher education; the ability to promote and foster interdisciplinary practices; and a demonstrated commitment to promoting a climate of diversity throughout the institution and its programming.
  • Desire and ability to work in a collaborative environment with artists, faculty, staff, students, visitors, and community partners.
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong financial expertise in budget planning and financial forecasting.
  • Strong negotiation and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Strong expertise in business and management computer applications and databases.
  • Strong knowledge of industry standards and/or regulatory requirements.
Certifications and Licenses:



  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Frequently sitting.
  • Occasionally stand/walk, reach/work above shoulders, use a telephone, writing by hand, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds;
  • Rarely twist/bend/stoop/squat, sort/file paperwork or parts, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh 11-20 pounds.

* – Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.


  • Occasionally work evenings and weekends.


  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,




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