Director, Public Programs

Posted by
The Exploratorium
San Francisco, CA
Published 12 days ago


The Exploratorium is seeking a visionary, creative, and collaborative Director of Public Programs to lead the development, design, and implementation of an innovative temporal programming and arts strategy that aligns with our mission to create transformative learning experiences.

The ideal candidate is a dynamic thought leader with deep curiosity, strong communication skills, the ability to foster inter- and cross-departmental synergy and collaboration, and a passion for creating unique experiences that engage people of all ages and backgrounds with science, art, and human perception. The Director of Public Programs is responsible for leading all temporal and arts programming across our Museum. They will collaborate with a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders and producers to create innovative and interdisciplinary experiences that strengthen our connection with local communities and drive both onsite visits and online engagement. The candidate will value diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion (DEAI) and embrace the Exploratorium’s aspirations to create an anti-racist organization. This position reports to the Managing Director.



  • Provide creative leadership and ongoing strategic direction for the Exploratorium’s vibrant Arts program, unique temporary exhibitions, and continuous public programming, leveraging the assets and expertise of the Exploratorium as well as bringing in visiting artists and scientists.
  • Maintain and enhance an outstanding repertoire of science and arts programs and modalities, external and internal talent resources, and community connections, to drive audience engagement.
  • Manage the teams responsible for creating and producing Public Programs, Temporary Exhibitions, and Arts programming; support, develop and coach team members and cultivate a cohesive, creative, and inclusive working environment.
  • Foster co-creation and collaboration to create programs and community engagement strategies for constituencies with varying needs: members, families, young adults, and those historically excluded by STEM. 
  • Establish robust performance metrics and data analytics to evaluate impact and success of current and proposed programs
  • Clearly communicate and hone strategy in a way that aligns with the Exploratorium’s priorities, impact, and learning goals and allows for effective public communication
  • Partner with Institutional Advancement to identify, develop, and implement fundraising strategies for large-scale engagement initiatives; and facilitate proposal development and fundraising efforts.  Partner with Marketing and Visitor Services to maximize gate revenue.
  • Oversee budget development and management to ensure alignment with departmental initiatives and organizational feasibility
  • Align the audience engagement strategy and its people, processes, and policies with the Exploratorium’s organizational values and aspirations to create a culture where anti-racism permeates every aspect of the work



  • Deep knowledge of experience design and lifelong learning with an emphasis on participatory learning; demonstrated grounding in or deep appreciation and passion for science and art as a way of knowing.  A sense of wonder, fun, and risk-taking; and a desire to spark curiosity in self and others
  • 10 years progressively responsible experience as a program leader in nonprofit, cultural, or university-based presenting organizations with a strong emphasis in science and arts programming.
  • Experience building culturally responsive programming and an ability to engage with contemporary conversations around representation, DEAI, and social impact in program design.
  • Proven ability to manage a team and provide them with clear vision and guidance.
  • Experience with budgets, staffing, deadlines, metrics, deliverables, and demonstrated ability to think strategically about the resources needed for sustainability and growth.
  • Exceptional communication skills, both oral and written; excellent public speaking and presentation skills.  Ability to inspire teams and partners in support of developing and implementing innovative programs.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with the ability to independently follow through to successful completion of large projects with multiple stakeholders within a deadline. Ability to multi-task and distribute efforts appropriately among teams, and manage competing deadlines. Flexibility to adapt quickly and easily to changing situations and priorities in a calm and professional manner.
  • Commitment to supporting the Exploratorium’s efforts in the examination and eradication of structural racism in program content and development, hiring practices and workplace culture
  • Ability to participate in Exploratorium programs, events and receptions that may occur outside of normal working hours



This position is open until filled



This is a regular, full-time (37.5 hours per week), exempt position that includes benefits. Please, no phone calls in regards to this job. To apply, please visit the Exploratorium job page.


The Exploratorium is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and values diversity, inclusion and respect.  We welcome and strongly encourage applicants from all backgrounds. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment.

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The Exploratorium is seeking a visionary, creative, and collaborative Director of Public Programs to lead the development, design, and implementation of an innovative temporal programming and arts strategy that aligns with our…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Professional Level


San Francisco, CA 94111, US

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