Associate Vice President, Collections

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Los Angeles, California
August 24 2017
Other, Education, Other
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (the Museum) seeks a thoughtful, collaborative, and inspirational leader to serve as its founding Associate Vice President, Collections. The Associate Vice President, Collections (AVP) will join the Museum at an exciting time of change and progression; the new President and Director, Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, along with other members of the senior leadership team, are currently engaging constituents in a robust conversation about the future direction of the Museum that will inform the next strategic plan. A critical priority for the Museum involves strengthening research and collections. This AVP will be a key hire in the growth and unification of the Museum’s diverse and priceless collections, promoting them both internally and externally, and ensuring they are properly resourced for the years to come.

The Museum consists of a family of institutions located in three Los Angeles County locations. The Natural History Museum (NHM), La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, and the William S. Hart Museum combine to provide visitors and researchers a rounded indoor-outdoor experience and unique natural and cultural insights into our past, present, and future. The Museum is a public private partnership between the non-profit Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Foundation and the County of Los Angeles. It serves over 1.3 million visitors a year, 200,000 of whom are school age children.

As one of the few large natural history museums with an extensive collection of historical objects and artifacts combined with an extensive natural history collection, the Museum offers a unique opportunity to develop an integrated program of urban environmental history in one of the world’s largest metropolises. The Museum is on sound financial footing, due in large part to longstanding support from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and a recent capital campaign, NHM Next, which exceeded its goal of $135 million. This has allowed the Museum to unveil exciting projects including the Nature Gardens, Butterfly Pavilion, Nature Lab and Booth Pavilion, Dinosaur Hall, Age of Mammals, the Becoming L.A. exhibit, and the remodeling of the historic 1913 building and rotunda.

The Associate Vice President, Collections role is a newly created position that reports directly to the Senior Vice President for Research and Collections, Luis Chiappe. The AVP will provide a strategic and comprehensive vision for the Museum's vast holdings of specimens and objects, including the collections of the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum and the William S. Hart Museum. The Museum has the potential to serve as a national model for how a museum can expand its collections’ use and accessibility while integrating and promoting it for research, education, and exhibit purposes. The AVP must provide the leadership to actualize this goal. In particular, the AVP will address the following opportunities and challenges:

  • Develop and implement a unified collections strategy;
  • Secure the resources to invest in and broaden the collections;
  • Advocate strongly for collections internally and externally;
  • Be a visionary and inspirational leader for collections in the 21st century; and
  • Manage and enhance the internal collections operations.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and is committed to diversity in its workforce. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Inquiries, nominations, referrals, and CVs with cover letters should be sent via the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.

David Bellshaw, Courtney Wilk, and Nate Brewer

Isaacson, Miller

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300

San Francisco, CA  94111

Phone: 415.655.4900

Fax: 415.655.4905