Director, Anacostia Community Museum

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $137,501
Maximum: $215,000



Start Date


Application Deadline



1901 Fort Place Southeast
District of Columbia
United States



The Anacostia Community Museum (ACM) was founded in 1967 as the Anacostia neighborhood museum with the purpose of exploring how a community-based museum could be a bridge between the Smithsonian Institution and the District of Columbia's African American community. Today, after celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2017, ACM looks to create a model for museums by undertaking a new mission to join with communities to amplify their collective power. By illuminating the intersections of history, culture, and contemporary social issues facing urban communities, ACM – through its collections, exhibitions, research, convenings, partnerships, and programming – brings diverse stakeholders together in order to envision and enact a better future for our neighborhoods. As a trusted and inclusive museum, ACM serves as a custodian in collecting and preserving historical and cultural material that reflects the breadth and depth of the experiences of individuals in its community and beyond. ACM seeks to inspire communities to take collective action and is an incubator for the next generation of civically engaged citizens in the Greater Washington, D.C area.

The Museum has a highly motivated and diverse staff of approximately 20, not counting Smithsonian security and maintenance personnel. ACM occupies a 25,000 square foot facility in the District’s Ward 8 and has a collection of 3,380 items, including art, historical artifacts, photographs, and archival materials. ACM’s annual operating budget is over $3M, which is composed of federal appropriations, Smithsonian Trust funds, and annual fundraising. Additionally, the Smithsonian provides approximately $2M from central federal funds for security and maintenance costs on a yearly basis.


The incumbent serves as Director of the Anacostia Community Museum, with responsibility for all aspects of the Museum's operation and management, including fiscal and personnel management, as well as fundraising to support ACM. The incumbent reports to the Provost and Under Secretary for Museums, Education, and Research and works in close collaboration with the ACM Advisory Board.


Provides the intellectual vision, inspiration, dynamism, and overall leadership for ACM, its staff, its Advisory Board, and its other supporters and volunteers while serving as the key communicator and the public face of ACM to the public, donors, the community and government entities, museums and other institutions.

Provides executive leadership and direction to the staff of the ACM, planning and overseeing the ACM's programs and activities. While serving as Director, ensures that the ACM continues to fulfill its overall mission and vision. In conjunction with ACM senior staff, develops and monitors near-term program and operations plans along with the long-range strategic plan. Provides leadership and direction to staff in the areas of exhibitions, educational and public programs, scholarly initiatives, collections management, and external relations. In concert with the Provost and Under Secretary for Museums, Education, and Research, makes decisions concerning the ACM's staffing, budget, and organization.

Works closely with the ACM Advisory Board, ensuring strategic alignment and overall board engagement and coordinating with the Board chair and the Provost and Under Secretary, as appropriate. Collaborates with the Board on initiatives to increase the visibility and public awareness of the ACM and to develop constituencies supportive of the ACM and the Smithsonian.

Plans, directs, and is deeply engaged in effective fundraising initiatives to support ACM programs and operations, including annual fundraising and fundraising for particular initiatives and for endowments. These efforts involve working closely with the Advisory Board and identifying needs, assigning priorities, and locating potential donors from private, corporate, and foundation sources. Oversees development staff in the areas of cultivation activities including cultivation of major donors, strategic communications, and special events. Plans and participates in the Smithsonian’s fundraising campaign activities, coordinates efforts with appropriate Smithsonian leadership and offices, and provides strategies to meet ACM’s fundraising goals.

Works closely with Smithsonian management, fellow directors, and various leadership bodies to achieve the Smithsonian’s’ mission, improve its effectiveness, efficiency, and relevance. Encourages, explores, and develops joint programs in cooperation with other Smithsonian museums, research, and educational organizations on projects of mutual interest.

Engages with external partners such as museums, academic institutions, artists, and community organizations on initiatives locally and nationwide. Represents ACM on a local, regional, and national level through interactions with entities and officials including, but not limited to, community councils, municipal offices, state and local government agencies and officials, arts and humanities councils, and the National Park Service.

Oversees the development, justification, allocation, and execution of the annual operating budget for the ACM. Works closely with the Office of the Provost and Under Secretary for Museums, Education, and Research in the management of the budget, as well as with staff in the Smithsonian's Office of Planning, Management and Budget. Hires, directs, and coordinates the activities of the ACM staff. Develops and implements operating policy, standards, and procedures to assure the continued high quality of staff performance. Ensures that the ACM adheres to Smithsonian policies and procedures. Develops and administers policies to achieve management objectives in such areas as staff development, labor management, employee relations, and equal employment opportunities, seeking expert advice from appropriate Smithsonian offices as needed.

Oversees current and long-term facilities capital and maintenance master planning in collaboration with Smithsonian Facilities staff.


Applicants must clearly demonstrate the necessary level of managerial and leadership skills and competence to perform successfully in this position. This includes a degree in museum work or an applicable subject-matter field, or a combination of education and appropriate experience that provides knowledge comparable to that normally acquired through successful completion of a four-year course of study in an applicable subject-matter field.


In addition, applicants must have one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-15 level. Specialized experience is defined as the demonstrated knowledge and leadership skills as it relates to managing programs and initiatives of a large museum, cultural or educational institution and experience with art or history collections, curated exhibitions and/or scholarly publications, and/or public programs. 

The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:

1. Knowledge of and/or experience working with community-based museums and their historical and contemporary contributions to the American experience and world cultures. This should include overseeing a range of programs, including, but not limited to educational and outreach activities, exhibitions, and online initiatives. 

2. Successful track record of raising funds from individuals, foundations, corporations and governmental organizations through gifts, grants and partnerships.

3. Demonstrated entrepreneurial ability to build relationships and lead collaborative initiatives internally and externally with organizations to leverage support for and participation in programs.

4. Ability to lead and manage a multi-disciplined and culturally diverse workforce. This should include fostering teamwork and high morale; attracting, retaining and motivating employees; and implementing EEO/Affirmative Action policies and programs.  


The Smithsonian offers excellent benefit to its Trust employees which include:

  • A Defined Contribution retirement plan with TIAA-CREF and contributes 12% up to the social security wage base rate of $128,400 for tax year 2018. Once the social security base rate is reached for the specific tax year, then the employer contribution increases to 17% up to maximum salary of $275,000. You are immediately vested in your employer contributions.
  •  Various health insurance plans and pays a portion of the health insurance premiums. Life insurance, long-term disability insurance, voluntary accidental death and dismemberment insurance (VADD) and flexible spending accounts (FSA) are additional insurance options available to employees.
  • Transit Pass Program and Pretax Commuter benefits. The transit subsidy for eligible enrolled participants is $140/month. Under the pretax commuter plan, Smithsonian allows pretax deductions for parking (up to $260/month).
  •  Ten paid holidays; annual leave is accrued 8 hours per pay period; and sick leave is accrued 4 hours per pay period. 
  • Rich programs of services and opportunities to balance and enhance your work life. They include: professional interest groups and committees, employee advocacy groups, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, lectures and events, discounts on museum shops and restaurants. These and other programs have made the Smithsonian one of the top 10 places to work in the government. 

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree