The University of Southern California seeks an entrepreneurially savvy and scholarly leader to provide strategic leadership, management expertise and an educational perspective for the USC Pacific Asia Museum.  The University of Southern California Pacific Asia Museum is one of a small, elite group of stand-alone museums in the U.S. dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands that is also a part of a major research university.

The Pacific Asia Museum, founded in 1971 and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in 2009, is committed to scholarship and has produced more than 50 exhibition catalogues. It has a collection of over 15,000 items from across Asia and the Pacific Islands, extending from Persia to the Pacific Islands and spans more than 500 years. In 2013, The University of Southern California acquired the museum to form USC Pacific Asia Museum. The museum’s connection to the university expands the community benefiting from the museum’s role as a vital resource for education, cultural heritage and scholarship; and broadens the audience interested in dialogues about art, history and culture. The integration of USC PAM into the greater university serves the research and scholarly pursuits of the entire school and benefits USC institutions focusing on the historic, cultural and dynamics of the Pacific Rim and the Asia-America experience. These institutions include the East Asia Studies Center, the Korean Studies Institute, the USC Center for Japanese Religions and Cultures and the USC U.S.-China Institute. In addition, and importantly, all six arts schools include a significant number of students from Asia, and creative work by many faculty members is influenced by Asia.

The successful candidate recognizes and is excited by the enormous possibilities for this museum in a world-class research university environment. The prospective Director sees the opportunities for faculty and students across disciplines to increase and enhance their knowledge. The uniqueness presented by this opportunity is enhanced by access to and partnership with USC’s Roski School of Art and Design and programs such as the MA. Art and Curatorial Practice in the Public Sphere as well as the Departments of Anthropology, Art History, East Asian Languages and Cultures, History, and School of Religion in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. The Director’s excitement extends to a keen understanding of what it means to be in the artistic energy of 21st-Century Los Angeles, immersed in Asian and Pacific Islands art and culture and the opportunity to be in the center of scholars, artists, funding and cultural institutions.


The Director reports to the Executive Director of USC Museums, develops the museum’s vision, communicates its mission across communities and platforms, is the principle administrative and fiscal officer of USC Pacific Asia Museum. The Director is the museum’s leading spokesperson to a broad constituency including students, faculty, donor, alumni, university leaders, trustees, volunteers, visitors, local, global arts and philanthropic communities and the global museum and academic communities. The Director leads the marketing, fundraising, research and educational initiatives, curatorial vision, acquisitions program and exhibition schedule, as well as facility planning and budgetary process. The successful candidate works closely with the Executive Director of USC museums; and through PAM inspires and elevates the University’s institutional, intellectual, creative and community research, educational and cultural pursuits.


  1. Develop and implement strategic and budgetary plans to ensure the continuing integration of the museum into the broader university as an integral place for learning, and as a destination for the broader community. Manage museum resources including human, museum collection, capital, revenue and expenditures and the processes and controls necessary for implementation. Ensure alignment between the museum’s goals and the overarching goals of the University and leverage USC resources.
  2. Develop and implement plans to designate PAM as a global recognized resource for the study of Asian and the Pacific Islands’ art and culture. Lead the outreach to and create partnerships with traditional and contemporary Asian and Pacific Islands arts scholars, artists, museums and other cultural organizations, collectors and benefactors.
  3. Lead the continuing development and communication of the vision and mission to all relevant stakeholders. Ensure complete buy-in.
  4. Develop a brand promise/identity and marketing plan to communicate the identity and promise of the museum to the university, community and donors.
  5. Ensure curation of exhibits, shows and acquisitions are consistent with the brand promise/identity.
  6. Drive marketing and communication. Personally, and inspirationally communicate and advocate on behalf of the USC Pacific Asia Museum across media platforms, cultural institutions, galleries and all other global sources of influence in the world of scholarship, art and culture. Attend and represent USC PAM at relevant conferences, exhibitions and events, or where requested by Advancement and or University Marketing.
  7. Build and lead, in conjunction with USC’s University Advancement Office, a robust ongoing development/advancement and revenue program ensuring a capital reserve to fund programs, people and other resources. This includes but is not limited to donor and trustee relations, new donor development, grants, membership, special events, creation of national and international boards and councils.
  8. Oversee personnel and ensure a cohesive team and collaborative work environment. Promote individual initiative and provide mentorship. Recruit and hire best in class staff and outside consultants. Carry out timely evaluations, promotions and terminations
  9. Establish relationships and collaborate with University senior administrative and academic leaders and colleagues. Encourage and recruit interdisciplinary faculty participation including potential co-curatorial roles and research programs. Advocate for museum integration into curricula across disciplines. Help develop innovative curriculum and programs. Encourage and facilitate research, inquiry, interpretation, experimentation, innovation, conservation, new and contemporary artists, publication and all forms of scholarship.
  10. Collaborate with volunteers and other community leaders and be a resource for K-12 and other community programs. Build a robust membership base and encourage admission thus raising the profile of the museum as a destination point. Partner with the Fisher Museum and other relevant USC schools, departments and programs to ensure the museum plays a leading role in the ever-changing higher education environment and the role of the university museum in that environment. Maintain currency with emerging technologies and student behavior such as virtual environments and the use of social networks
  11. Oversee the curating of exhibitions. Develop criteria, plans and processes for new acquisitions
  12. Develop and manage budgets. Oversee the allocation of expenditure and resources. Oversee personnel, contract management, policy development and revenue such as memberships, admissions, concessions and retail. Create and communicate USC PAM specific success metrics.
  13. Foster and promote the museum as a point of entry for exploration into Pacific and Asian art and culture, a portal to the university and safe-haven for international students


  • -Ability to conceive, initiate, build and create meaningful and measurable institutional growth
  • -Ability to effectively communicate and lead diverse constituencies and stakeholders
  • -Entrepreneurial and impactful marketer
  • -Ability to fundraise
  • -Ability to manage people, budget and operations
  • -Passionate, experienced and knowledgeable about the role of the university museum
  • -Innovative and measurably effective in creating and executing new programs
  • -Previous leadership experience in a museum or cultural institution

The complete Position Description can be found at:

For applications and nominations please email in confidence:

Categories: Job Postings