Current Opportunities

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer


Motown Museum is the ongoing heartbeat of the Motown legacy—a global tourist destination for music and history fans that celebrates the authentic story of Motown from its humble beginnings to its emergence as the "Sound of Young America" and beyond. The Museum brings together fans, people, and ideas from different generations and captures the imagination to fuel dreams and inspire accomplishments. Millions of music lovers from North America, Europe, Asia, and around the globe have visited the original site where Motown Records began, and the "Motown Sound" was born. This humble yet inspiring neighborhood home launched the remarkable careers of iconic artists like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Smokey Robinson, as well as the Miracles, The Supremes, The Temptations, The Jackson 5, and more. The mission of the Museum is to preserve, promote, and celebrate the authentic Motown story as a platform for others to flourish as thinkers, creators, neighbors, and entrepreneurs.

In 1985, Esther Gordy Edwards, former Motown executive and sister to Berry Gordy, founded Motown Museum to preserve the company's history as an American success story and to satisfy public demand to see where the Motown magic originated. "Esther preserved Motown memorabilia before it was ‘memorabilia,' collecting our history long before we knew we were making it," said Smokey Robinson. Today, a State-designated Historic Site and local community anchor, the Museum is an essential pilgrimage for musicians and music-lovers worldwide that inspires and serves as a platform for tomorrow's talent and entrepreneurs.

Motown Museum has undertaken a $65-million expansion campaign to realize a transformative vision which will celebrate Motown's history, its impact, music, and contributors through immersive and interactive exhibits. The Museum will honor the past while shaping future talent with unique forward-leaning programs that support creativity, music-making, and entrepreneurship. When complete, the Motown Museum will transform into a nearly 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art entertainment and education destination, engaging the community and attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to Detroit annually from around the world.

Currently, the Museum's annual operating budget is approximately $4.8M, escalating to $7M by the anticipated expansion opening in year 2026. The Museum currently has 46 employees and this number is expected to increase to upwards of 65 over the next three years. There are 20 Board Members increasing to a minimum of 25 by opening.

At present, the campus comprises the Museum building, affectionally known as Hitsville U.S.A., the newly constructed Hitsville Next building, which is the hub for education and community programs, and a newly acquired annex for education and programming, community space, office space, public events, and the storage of artifacts.

The Motown Museum has reached an exciting crossroad as it shifts scales from a small museum archive to a bold venue that combines a historical museum with a world-class performance venue to tout the legacy, culture, and achievements of Motown artists globally. With a mission to protect its history while expanding to new audiences, Motown Museum represents one of Detroit's, and Michigan's, most iconic treasures and will be a destination attraction for conventions and music industry national events.

Learn more about the Motown Museum by visiting


At this pivotal time in Motown Museum's growth, this role requires a visionary leader who can successfully carry out the mission of Motown Museum and contribute to the vision for an expanded world-class facility that produces authentic experiences, events, and educational programs. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) should also be enthusiastic about music and have the entrepreneurial mindset to create strategic partnerships with other influential leaders and brands. The brand equity associated with the Motown name is priceless, and the next leader will have the tremendous opportunity and responsibility to leverage the brand at scale for the impact of the community Motown calls home.

The next CEO will be the leader of Motown Museum, reporting to the Board of Trustees through the Chair of the Board.

The CEO will work in partnership with the Board of Trustees and external consultants to execute Motown Museum's vision for exhibition, education, and community engagement. This vision has been defined through a comprehensive strategic planning process. The CEO will be responsible for contributing to and executing the plan, which addresses Motown Museum's programming, marketing, fundraising, education, governance, and capital needs.

The CEO must be a knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and passionate leader capable of overseeing operations and a professional workforce. The CEO will act as an ambassador for this iconic Museum, serving as a spokesperson on behalf of the work of the community.

Further, the CEO will work closely with the Director of Development and Community Activation, play a leadership role in fundraising, and will enthusiastically approach resource-building with bold creativity and clarity of purpose. An intentional focus on increasing and diversifying financial support from individual donors, foundations, corporations, and government funders will be vital for annual operations and capital needs and to build the Museum's endowment. This is an opportunity for a dynamic leader to develop a powerful sense of shared purpose, with a connection to community while motivating them to engage in the opportunities and challenges ahead.

The new CEO will embrace and initiate partnerships and collaborations by building a wide range of constituencies across the City of Detroit, the State of Michigan, and around the country. Some travel will be required by the CEO in their commitment to strengthening the Museum's position and sharing its unique history with the world.


The CEO will be a dynamic, high-energy leader with a minimum of 10 years of strategic leadership experience, preferably in a growing museum or historical society with an emphasis on historical sites, African American history, or the arts and legacy brands. The CEO must have demonstrated experience building and/or re-establishing an organization or portion of an organization. This leader will have a bias for action with a demonstrated record as a change agent. As a leader, the CEO will display superb managerial, financial knowledge and problem-solving skills. Additionally, they will possess underlying ethical values, integrity, strength, and confidence, along with well-honed collaborative skills. Core to their success will be the track record of cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding large gifts with the ability to share the Museum's powerful story to the world.

The new CEO will possess the following attributes and competencies:


The CEO will have an entrepreneurial spirit and be able to guide and substantially contribute to the continued articulation of the identity, values, mission, and strategy of the Museum. They will work with the Board to construct the vision that, upon implementation, will bring to life an inspirational future for the Museum and transform it into a destination that will continually draw new audiences. The CEO will be an experienced and innovative, cultural arts not-for-profit manager. They will have the capacity to understand the trajectory of the Museum and its import in the music and entertainment industry. The CEO will lead the organization through a period of growth, expansion, and transformation.


The CEO will be results-oriented and able to translate the Museum's over-arching goals into clear objectives for the Board and staff. They will employ best-in-class governance principles to leverage the Board's strengths to advance the mission of the museum and actively engage constituents in its work. The CEO will have a track record of successful Board development and management and will always partner closely with the Board. They will approach the financial oversight of the Museum with objectivity and balance, with an even-handed and reasoned approach to budgetary decision-making based on a clear understanding of the strategic objectives of the organization. The CEO will monitor the budget and ensure that sound financial controls are in place, while setting attainable financial priorities to ensure that the organization delivers on its commitments.


The CEO must cultivate, support, and motivate the organization's staff and promote a positive, multicultural work environment. They will provide inspirational, well-conceived, and effective management by fostering a culture of strong department collaboration, open communication, and accountability among staff, volunteers, and the Board of Directors.

The CEO will be tasked with evaluating and adopting new technology to support efficient operations. This leader must embrace digital strategies to elevate and expand the organization's reach, create a more exciting and impactful visitor experience, and bring the Museum into today's digital era.


The CEO will persuasively communicate the Museum's direction and strategy both internally and externally and will ensure effective communication among the wide range of collaborators. They will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships at multiple levels and with varied constituencies to ensure the Museum has the leadership and partnerships in place to achieve its goals.


The CEO must be a prolific or proven emergent fundraiser with a track record of bringing in new sources of funding. They will have an inspirational approach to building collaboration and buy-in, generating support from new and existing interested parties. The CEO will be able to elevate Motown globally across current and yet-to-be explored platforms.

The CEO will be a proven leader and one who engenders trust and is deeply passionate about taking the beloved Hitsville and Motown brands to new heights.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Lead the organization and implementation of Motown Museum's strategic plan.
  • Elevate and expand Motown Museum's financial position and assets locally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Oversee/Direct the development of a strong, professional, and motivated staff.
  • Effectively foster a respectful and inclusive work environment to ensure all employees feel valued and welcomed.
  • Responsible for the overall financial health of Motown Museum through developing, monitoring, and reporting on operating and capital budgets.
  • Develop and maintain business policies and procedures that ensure the efficient and professional operation of the organization.
  • Engage and maintain effective and productive relationships with Board Members to maximize their stewardship and commitment to Motown Museum's growth and success.
  • Engage National Legacy Council (NLC) Co-Chairs and members to raise expansion dollars.
  • Collaborate with the Board Chair to ensure successful completion of expansion by working with contractors, vendors, and committees.
  • Work with the Board Chair to plan Board meetings, distribute communications, and follow up on action items.
  • Work in partnership with Board Chair and Nominating Committee on Board development and fundraising.
  • Lead with creativity and innovation for the continued enhancement of Motown's programmatic, educational, and community development activities. The CEO will work closely with the Curatorial and Education teams to curate and provide artistic direction for annual programs in alignment with the organization's mission.


  • Strong candidates will have the following experience and capabilities:
  • Minimum of 10 years' successful experience in a management and/or leadership position; within a music or cultural arts institution, history museum, legacy brand or community-based organization preferred.
  • Commitment to upholding a strong organizational culture by leading with the values of Motown Museum and dedication to inspiring and mentoring staff.
  • Candidates with knowledge of Motown history preferred.
  • Must have influence and a proven network of professional relationships and resources (both locally and nationally) to support the advancement of the Museum.
  • Strong relationship-builder with proven fundraising experience securing major gifts of six-figures or more preferred.
  • Significant experience providing marketing leadership to increase organizational presence, visitorship, and earned revenue.
  • General management experience with a strong understanding of finance, budgeting, information systems, human resources, and facilities management.
  • Some working knowledge of executing virtual content for programming.
  • Demonstrated ability to move organizational projects forward in an inclusive and streamlined manner.
  • Proven track record of success facilitating organizational change and development within a growing organization.
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills.
  • Strong understanding of social enterprise and the ability to apply key strategies and concepts in a nonprofit environment.


  • Master's degree required. Advanced degree in arts and culture management, nonprofit management, or related field preferred.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The range will be $200k - $275k.


Equal Opportunity Employer

Motown Museum provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, ancestry, citizenship, religion, sex, or gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, and pregnancy-related conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression (including transgender status), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Motown Museum expressly prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment or discrimination based on any characteristics mentioned above. Improper interference with the ability of employees to perform their expected job duties is absolutely not tolerated.


Koya Partners, a Diversified Search Group company, is the nation's premier search firm dedicated to mission-driven leadership. Since its founding in 2004, Koya has had an exclusive focus on mission-driven clients and was founded on the belief that the right leader can transform an organization and have a deep and measurable impact on our world. Koya works with nonprofits & NGOs, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

Diversified Search Group is consistently recognized by Forbes on its top 10 list of "America's Best Executive Recruiting Firms" and is an industry leader in recruiting transformational leaders for a changing world. The firm is deliberately different in its approach, with best-in-class teams who have decades of experience in cultivating inclusive leaders, understanding the dimensions of diversity, and building equitable teams.

Learn more about Koya Partners l Diversified Search Group via the firm's website.

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Salary Range: 
$200k - $275k

About This Job

  • Motown Museum
  • Detroit, MI
  • Category: Professional
  • Salary Range: $200k - $275k
  • Posted: April 8, 2024