Executive Director – Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, Cambridge, MA

Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Salary information

139,400 – 259,000   

  • Note: Starting salaries typically fall in the lower half of the salary range; however, they are ultimately determined by the scope of the position, the candidate’s relevant experience, and internal equity. 

Job Summary

Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences is seeking an experienced museum professional to lead the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture as Executive Director.

The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture (HMSC), established in 2012, is a partnership for the six research museums that are organizationally based and supported within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and is responsible for the public-facing activities of these museums:

Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments
Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East
Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology
Harvard Museum of Natural History, the public face of three parent research institutions, which are:

  • Harvard University Herbaria
  • Mineralogical and Geological Museum
  • Museum of Comparative Zoology

Position Description

The Role

The Executive Director leads the HMSC.  The Executive Director reports to the Dean of Administration and Finance and works closely with the HMSC Faculty Executive Board, which is appointed by and reports to the FAS Dean and reports to the Dean, on planning and assessment, policies and standards, and coordination of activities with the research museums. The Faculty Executive Board includes the faculty leaders of the six research museums and other FAS and University stakeholders.

The Executive Director is responsible for setting a strategic vision and leading operations, administration, exhibits, education, public events, marketing, visitor services, and institutional advancement. The Director also serves as an advocate for learning by engagement with the collections and research originating in the associated museums. The Executive Director will work closely with the faculty leadership and curators of each of the associated museums to plan and develop a comprehensive, coordinated, inclusive, and interdisciplinary outreach program for broad and diverse audiences including K-12 students and teachers that will highlight and leverage the extensive collections and research at Harvard. Primary areas of oversight include exhibition planning and implementation; K-12 and other formal and informal educational programs; public lectures and events; public participation for each museum within the HMSC; membership and development; visitor services; community outreach; operations, including facilities; and internal and external communications.

Basic Qualifications

  • MA/MS required; Advanced degree in an academic field related to the work of one of the research museums, museum studies,  historic preservation, or a related field
  • At least 10 years of progressive administrative leadership experience
  • Budget development and management experience
  • Minimum 5 years experience working in a museum, academic, and/or collections-based organization

Additional Qualifications and Skills

The successful candidate will have a track record of developing and implementing compelling public programs for broad and diverse audiences, particularly those that cross disciplines and involve students and scholars in their development and implementation.  We are looking for candidates with the following skills and experience:

  • Experience working in a higher education context and/or collaboratively with students and scholars (strongly preferred)
  • Experience creating engaging programs that leverage the intellectual as well as physical assets of the museums
  • Ability to build consensus and lead through influence in a decentralized setting
  • Strong written and verbal skills
  • Experience working effectively as part of a leadership team characterized by trust, open communication, and shared goals
  • Ability to build collaborative relationships successfully with multiple constituencies and within complex governance structures
  • Ability to effectively communicate processes and build relationships at all levels of an organization
  • Experience leading strategic resource planning and budgeting, operations, and risk management
  • Experience recruiting, developing, and retaining a high-performing workforce
  • Ability to build diversity and instill values related to equity and inclusion
  • Experience building a customer service culture
  • A track record of generating revenue through legacy giving, major gifts, corporate sponsorships, foundation/state/federal grants, and memberships

Working Conditions

This position is based in Cambridge, MA.

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Additional Information

You must submit a cover letter to be considered for this position.

All formal written offers will be made by FAS Human Resources.


We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

To apply:


Job Function


Department Office Location

USA – MA – Cambridge

Job Code

390061 Museum Manager

Work Format



Harvard Museums of Science and Culture


Harvard Museums of Science and Culture

Time Status


Salary Grade



00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

Credit, Criminal, Education, Identity


35 hours per week

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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