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October 16, 2011

[SSJ: 6905] Position Search: President and CEO for the JAPANESE AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM

From: Daniel Aldrich
Date: 2011/10/16

TITLE: President and Chief Executive Officer


Located in the Little Tokyo business district within downtown Los Angeles, the Japanese American National Museum seeks to promote understanding and appreciation of America's ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. It is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to sharing that unique experience as an integral part of U.S. history and to preserving the rich heritage and cultural identity of Japanese Americans. In December 2010, the Museum was awarded the National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the nation's highest honor for museums and libraries across the country.

The National Museum is engaged in major projects that further its mission to promote understanding and appreciation of America's ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese experience. Its programs and impact exist beyond its physical campus through conferences, educational outreach programs and traveling exhibitions at venues including, in the last two years, the National Archives in Washington, D.C., the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, and the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. The Museum's National Center for the Preservation of Democracy works in concert with many organizations and institutions toward shared goals of expanding access to democracy and inspiring youth to become active, informed participants in shaping democracy in America.

Occupying a 200,000 square foot campus, the Museum's campus comprises three buildings: a 22,000 square foot historic structure with an adjacent, newly-constructed 10,000 square foot theatre seating 200 people dedicated as the Tateuchi Democracy Forum with a connecting courtyard to an 85,000 square foot contemporary stone and glass pavilion designed by Gyo Obata of the HOK design firm. For more information, please visit www.janm.org.


Reporting to the Museum's Board of Trustees, the President & CEO will bring critical leadership to the Museum with responsibility for the overall performance of the institution. The successful candidate will be a visionary and inspirational leader, with responsibility for enhancing both the external face of the institution and the internal operations that will allow the Museum to meet its educational and programmatic objectives in an increasingly challenging economic environment and to continue to grow and fulfill its mission. The President & CEO participates as an ex-officio member of a national board, working with the Board in charting the course of the Museum's response to changing audiences, donors, members, and other stakeholders throughout the United States (including Hawaii) and Japan. The Candidate will also interface with the Museum's Board of Governors, chaired by Secretary Norman Y. Mineta (a current trustee) and formerly chaired by Senator Daniel K. Inouye; Governors serve as regional ambassadors for the Museum.

The President & CEO will supervise a staff of approximately 40 full-time equivalent employees. He/She is responsible for an approximately $7 million annual budget. A significant portion of the President & CEO's responsibility will be leading and working closely with the Museum's staff to maintain current and prospective relationships with donors, volunteers and stakeholders and establish new relationships with those constituencies.

Leadership, Management and Oversight

Lead the organization, setting the voice and tone from the top and providing vision for future growth and success Serve as the key liaison between the Board of Trustees and the Museum's staff and work with the chairs of the Board and its various committees in developing meeting agendas and materials Manage and oversee all program planning, organizing, operating and staffing activities Manage overall financial oversight and monitoring, including budget discipline Foster and monitor the quality of the Museum's activities to assure excellence as defined by the Board Form strategic alliances and partnerships, when appropriate to achieve the Museum's goals Manage the development and review of appropriate metrics to measure the performance, impact and results of programs Recommend long-range plans that support the Museum's philosophy and strategic objectives Fundraising and Community Affairs Represent the Board and the Museum to the community Oversee marketing and public relations programs Develop and oversee a robust fundraising and development department (including joint development efforts with the Museum's boards), and actively participate in those efforts Work closely with the development team in sustaining and establishing relationships with foundations, government agencies, and private donors Financial Management Assure the sound fiscal operation of the Museum, including timely, accurate and comprehensive preparation of an annual budget and its implementation Plan for capital improvements and building maintenance through the budget process Human Resources Establish objectives through the selection, supervision, professional development, motivation and evaluation of personnel Review personnel positions and organizational structure to ensure the efficient, timely and effective work of the organization with personnel appropriate for the position Specify staff roles and responsibilities, evaluate performance regularly and hold staff accountable for results Implement and maintain appropriate salary structures TRAITS AND

The ideal candidate will be a charismatic, inspirational and energetic leader who takes initiative and has the ability to articulate the mission of the Museum to its various constituencies. The successful candidate will have a passion for the cultural and historical foundations of the Museum, specifically in helping communicate the lessons learned from the World War II incarceration of persons of Japanese descent.
He/She will be an excellent communicator with strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills. The successful candidate will have the ability to develop and implement policies, procedures, and systems necessary to elevate the Museum's programming, including the Museum's National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and the Museum's educational outreach initiatives in targeted regions, while overseeing the big picture and overall impact of the Museum on the community.

The President & CEO should be able to manage multiple projects simultaneously and oversee effective operation of administrative functions, anticipating problems and opportunities in advance and offering creative, practical solutions. The successful candidate will have strong strategic planning and management skills to run a comprehensive exhibition and educational organization. He/She will exhibit a professional manner when communicating with staff, board members, museum visitors, contractors, vendors, donors and other funding sources. The ideal candidate will be a relationship builder who has strong critical thinking skills, technical expertise, organizational skills, logical priority setting skills, and will display good judgment and high moral character. The successful candidate will be able to manage and hold staff accountable to rigorous timelines and deliverables.

The successful candidate should be able to develop strong rapport with community members and have the ability to work with a diverse population. He/She will have experience working with board members and donors and will have successful experience in fundraising efforts. The ideal candidate will have an inclusive leadership style that endorses and encourages collaboration and open communication. He/She must be a consensus builder and develop rapport and trust with all staff while focusing and developing a team whose hallmark is a commitment to the care of and dedication to the clients served. The President & CEO will accomplish goals through motivation and by setting an example for the staff and the community.


Although the successful candidate will most likely have solid leadership experience in the field of Museum management, it is also possible that the individual might come from another career background in the nonprofit, public or for-profit sectors. He/She will have a minimum of seven to ten years of management experience that demonstrates the ability to conceptualize, plan, implement, administer, evaluate, communicate, and develop resources with a strong emphasis on past results. Knowledge of the history of Japanese Americans would be helpful.


An undergraduate degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.


Salary and benefits commensurate with qualifications and experience will be provided. Relocation assistance is negotiable.

Karin Berger Stellar
Morris & Berger
500 North Brand Blvd.
Suite 2150
Glendale, CA 91203
(818) 507-1234 (phone)
(818) 507-4770 (fax)

Check out my book SITE FIGHTS at
Dr. Daniel P. Aldrich, Associate Professor, Purdue University AAAS Fellow, USAID http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~daldrich/

Approved by ssjmod at October 16, 2011 01:27 PM