The Current Situation and Opportunity
OCMA has an established reputation as an innovative art museum and major cultural institution dedicated to modern and contemporary art, with a rich history and strong focus of actively discovering and engaging with living artists connected to California who are at pivotal points in their careers. OCMA has built an international reputation for its collection of post-World War II contemporary art from California and has an impressive exhibition history of presenting the world’s most significant art from the 20th and 21st centuries. This, coupled with its track record of delivering high-quality educational programs that connect audiences to the art on view, has established OCMA as an institution that is both internationally significant and locally relevant.
As the face and voice of OCMA, the Director and CEO will have the gravitas, enthusiasm, and ambition to develop and leverage a range of relationships locally, regionally, nationally, internationally, and within the industry. The Director and CEO is also seen as the primary advocate for arts and culture in the community and passionately speaks for the Museum’s collection, exhibitions, connecting the public to arts and culture. Through inspired, active, and diligent leadership and management, and drawing on a well of experience and knowledge, the Director and CEO will shepherd the Museum into the next phase of its evolution.
About Orange County Museum of Art (“OCMA”)
The Museum opened in 1962 as the Balboa Pavilion Gallery by thirteen visionary women. With a focus on modern and contemporary art, their efforts were well received, and the museum enjoyed recognition from coast to coast. In 1968 the institution became known as the Newport Harbor Art Museum and in 1972, moved to a nearby, larger location in Newport Beach. Interest and support continued to grow, as did its collections and exhibitions and in 1977, the museum opened its doors on San Clemente Drive. In 1997 the museum was remodeled and renamed the Orange County Museum of Art. In June 2018, the museum closed its doors in Newport Beach, and in October 2018 opened its temporary location in Santa Ana in South Coast Plaza Village where the museum has been operating as it builds a permanent home at Segerstrom Center for the Arts LIVE CAM.
For more information on OCMA, please visit the museum’s website: www.ocmaexpand.org
Main Focus, Priorities, and Key Responsibilities
The Director and CEO is responsible for fulfilling the Museum’s mission and its financial objectives by providing compelling leadership and innovative vision for its sustainable growth, with respect for its history and a creative vision for its future. A flexible, confident, and self-motivated leader, the Director and CEO of the Orange County Museum of Art orchestrates the day-to-day management of the Museum and reports directly to the Board of Trustees, specifically through the President/Chairman and the Executive Committee. The Director and CEO serves as the Museum’s primary spokesperson and advocate to the community, engaging and inspiring broad support for the Museum, expanding its profile as a cultural beacon for the region, and underscoring the importance of art and culture to the community.
This individual will work closely with the Museum’s Board of Trustees to develop and implement strategic goals and objectives for its collection and programs. The Director and CEO will plan and manage the business and financial affairs of the Museum, and will inspire, mentor, and provide ongoing professional development for its staff.
The Director and CEO’s position includes, but is not limited to, the following priority responsibilities:
Leadership and Management
• Work in close association with the Board’s Building Committee and Campaign Committee to implement the plan to move the Museum’s primary exhibition and administrative premises to the donated parcel in the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa.
• Collaborate with the Board of Trustees to refine the Museum’s long-term goals, creating and executing an overall strategic plan.
• Develop, implement, and accomplish the annual operating plan and annual budget of the organization as approved by the Board of Trustees, working with staff to evaluate day-to-day operational effectiveness of the Museum and align resources and assure revenues to fulfill strategic goals.
• Provide skilled and diligent oversight of the Museum’s financial resources and operations, working with the Board of Trustees to communicate with transparency and provide high-quality information to support sound policy decisions and facilitate their fiduciary responsibility.
• Responsibly manage an annual operating budget of $2.5. to $3.0 million currently and the projected budget of $5 to $6 million after the new building is opened.
• Oversee, along with guidance and support from the Board, budgeting, the annual financial audit, tax filings, and maintenance of correct and complete records required; maintain the healthy operation of the Museum under all federal, state, and local rules and regulations and contractual requirements and in keeping with the best practices and standards of collecting museums.
• Work in close association with the President/Chairman and Trustees to maintain effective and productive committees.
• In conjunction with the President/Chairman and other appropriate Board members, identify and recommend to the Board candidates for trusteeship who will help build a broader representation of the Museum’s wide constituency.
• Translate Board policies and strategies into action plans; guide, coach and assist the staff to achieve the Museum’s mission, both aesthetically and financially.
• Build, develop, and retain an effective management team.
Development and Fundraising
• Partner closely with the Board of Trustees to devise a successful fundraising strategy for the Museum to complete the building project and which leverages the unique landscape of the region’s philanthropic community. Engage the Board as active participants in fundraising efforts, and in cultivating and identifying potential Trustees and donors.
• Lead the development team in the creation and implementation of plans to complete the building campaign, increase the endowment, and establish a well-rounded development function to include membership; annual fund; donor cultivation, recognition, and retention; major gifts and planned giving; government agencies; corporate and foundation relations; marketing and communications.
• Cultivate major gifts from and steward the institution’s most significant past, current, and potential donors. Cultivate collectors and gifts of art to the Museum’s permanent collection.
Collection, Exhibitions, and Programs
• Develop with staff a vision for the museum’s programs and exhibitions that reflects a commitment to creative excellence that is accessible to a diverse range of audiences.
• Explore ways to reach new and diverse audiences, develop inventive exhibitions and initiatives, and partner with outside individuals and organizations to develop meaningful, engaging programming.
• Continue to assess the current collection, while continuing to move the museum forward with its acquisitions and limited deaccessioning; actively safeguard the physical health of the collection, diligently informing the Board of any long-term considerations.
• Work in close collaboration with staff and volunteers to enhance the visitor experience before, during, and after a visit to ensure positive and enjoyable experiences for all audiences.
• Embrace the power of interactive technology and its applications to advance the visitor experience.
• Pursue opportunities that engage and involve the community. Local residents, whose roots may stretch back several generations, are an important focus for museum activities, and are only part of the growing multi-ethnic and multi-generational population who call Orange County home and whom the museum aims to serve.
• Work with the Board and staff to continuously increase attendance and outreach.
• Develop and maintain meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with other community arts and educational organizations and their leaders and directors.
• Candidate Profile
• Ideal candidates will have at least 10 years of leadership and management experience in an art museum setting; an advanced degree in art, art history, arts management, another relevant degree, or equivalent accumulated professional experience desired. Additionally, they should possess a balanced combination of the following professional expertise, leadership competencies, and personal qualities.
Strategic and Visionary Leader
• Capable of providing stability and confidence when faced with rapidly changing and uncertain circumstances, the Director and CEO will be a consultative thought-leader to the Board and other stakeholders, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence (“EQ”) and an ability to recognize and manage risk, as well as to be agile in uncertain situations.
• Ability to foster a culture of openness and collaboration among staff, volunteers, and the Board of Trustees so that each may be informed and enhance one another’s work.
Development, External Relations, and Relationship-Building
• Top candidates should have substantial experience with various fundraising and communications channels, and the ability to provide high-touch engagement with all of the Museum’s constituents.
• The Director and CEO will have a compelling public presence and be exceptionally skilled at developing and sustaining relationships. This leader will be dedicated to reaching out to people and serving as an ambassador for the museum in the community with genuine interest in making connections and becoming embedded in the Orange County community.
• Demonstrated ability to interact comfortably with a range of constituents, building and rebuilding bridges among the various stakeholders of the Museum and throughout the region, including members, visitors, donors, the Board, and community leaders.
• The successful candidate will have achieved significant standing with peer institutions and will have the stature to represent the Museum to appropriate stakeholders.
• A high degree of public relations insight, serving as the outward-facing representative of the Museum, able to speak compellingly and write fluidly about the Museum’s legacy, impact, growth strategy, and future direction to all audiences. This individual will have superb public speaking abilities and will feel equally comfortable and effective in presenting to small groups as well as large audiences and symposia.
• This executive will be considerate and open, working collaboratively to find opportunities for the benefit of the Museum as a whole, promoting dialogue to identify best practices, synthesizing divergent views, and coalescing all constituencies around a shared view or plan.
Business Acumen and Operational Expertise
• The Director and CEO will have a strong record of successful oversight and management of museum operations and finances. Highly skilled in budgeting and fiscal management, this individual will have the perspective to consider the impact of decisions, strategic plans or initiatives, and programs on the organization, and make sound recommendations.
Artistic & Programmatic Leadership/Audience Engagement
• Experience, expertise, and industry stature in order to elevate the museum’s profile in the artistic and museum community regionally, nationally, and internationally.
• Understanding and knowledge of the art and museum world and its key players, and an ability to translate this into meaningful collaborations and exhibitions for the institution that speak to the community and national audiences. Experience actively cultivating relationships with artists and collectors interested in deepening the museum’s collections.
Skilled and Inspirational Manager
• A decisive, results-oriented leader with a collegial, team-oriented working style, open and nimble in adjusting to emerging needs or shifting priorities. A proven record of visible and effective management and the demonstrated ability to build, develop, nurture, and retain a strong team that is focused on impact, excellence, accountability, and efficiency.
• Track record of fostering a positive working environment, strong staff morale, and a culture of teamwork and mutual support among all staff. Committed to ensuring ongoing professional development and guiding a highly functioning team. A good listener and collaborator who is able to manage through conflict.
• An effective motivator who communicates a shared vision, inspires quality performance, and cultivates strong morale by empowering staff through active and effective communication, feedback, and delegation, and by promoting teamwork and cooperation.
Koya Leadership Partners, an executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Naree Viner and Stephen Milbauer are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
Orange County Museum of Art is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented applicants.