Senior Vice President for Exhibitions & Programs


Website Museum of African American History

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is seeking an Innovative and Progressive Senior Vice President for Exhibitions & Programs.

About Us:

Founded in 1965, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History has for over half a century been a leading institution dedicated to the African American experience.

The Wright Museum’s collection contains over 35,000 artifacts and archival materials and is home to And Still We Rise: Our Journey through African American History and Culture, the museum’s 22,000 square foot, interactive core exhibit. This exhibit is one of the largest single encyclopedic exhibitions on African American history in existence. The Ford Freedom Rotunda and its 95-foot wide by 65-foot-high glass dome is an architectural wonder more than twice the width of the State of Michigan’s Capitol dome and just one foot shy of the width of the U.S. Capitol dome.  The Rotunda’s floor contains our Ring of Genealogy, a 37-foot terrazzo tile creation by artist Hubert Massey surrounded by bronze nameplates of prominent African Americans in history.  The Museum facility houses the General Motors Theater, a 317-seat facility for live performances, film, and presentations.  The Wright serves over half a million people annually through its exhibitions, programs, and events.

The state-of-the-art, 125,000 square-foot facility that the museum currently occupies in Detroit, Michigan’s thriving Midtown, serves as a cultural beacon for the City of Detroit, the US, and globally. The Museum champions the stories of African Americans and offers a space for rigorous contemplation for visitors of all backgrounds. Detroit was named in the Top 50 of Time Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places of 2022: Extraordinary Destinations to Explore.

Our mission is to open minds and change lives through the exploration and celebration of African American history and culture.

Our vision is of a world in which the adversity and achievement of African American history inspires everyone toward greater understanding, acceptance, and unity!

We offer a competitive employment package including salary, benefits, relocation assistance and employee engagement opportunities. The Wright Museum is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applicants without regard to ethnicity, gender identity, age, or sexual orientation.

General Summary of Duties:

In partnership with the President and CEO, establish short and long-range vision, general operating plans, and annual goals, objectives, and priorities for all the Museum’s exhibition, public programs and educational activities.  As a member of the Museum’s Executive Management Team, the Senior Vice President of Exhibitions & Programs reports to the President & CEO and will serve as a key ambassador for the Museum as it relates to all its public facing programs and services.

Essential Duties of the Position:

  • Serve as a member of the President’s senior management team.
  • In collaboration with the President & CEO, establish the Museum as a visionary and innovative creator of cultural and historical programs focused on the African American experience.
  • In collaboration with the President & CEO, spearhead the Museum’s efforts to provide its programs and services to a growing online constituency.
  • Think holistically about strategic programming initiatives to make informed choices about program creation and enhancements.
  • Lead and collaborate with Museum colleagues in the Curatorial, Exhibition Design, Education, Public Programs, and other departments to create impactful learning experiences for all visitors and stakeholders.
  • Provide a supportive and outcomes-driven environment for direct reports that include the Directors of Collections & Exhibitions, Design and Fabrication, and Learning & Engagement.
  • In collaboration with the President & CEO, spearhead initiatives to engage diverse communities within the City of Detroit, across the nation, and around the world.
  • Further develop, build upon, and manage partnerships with external entities—including cultural institutions, educational professionals, community groups, thought leaders, and government agencies.
  • Monitor and measure the success and impact of exhibitions and program initiatives.
  • Work collaboratively with the Senior Vice President of for Institutional Advancement to develop and implement marketing strategies for the Museum’s programs to achieve maximum reach and impact.
  • Strategically align programs with the Museum’s Mission, new Strategic Plan, and broader organizational priorities.
  • Educate, inspire, and engage a broad range of audiences through a variety of programmatic formats and platforms.
  • Establish annual goals, objectives, and priorities with each team of direct reports.
  • Collaborate with the Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement to identify and apply for funding opportunities from individual, government, foundation, and corporate sources.
  • Work closely with the Vice President of Organizational Development, and direct reports to manage program budgets.
  • Maximize earned income from programs while preserving their aesthetic and educational integrity.
  • Other duties as assigned

Required Education and Experience:

  • A bachelor’s degree in African American Studies, Museum Studies or a related field or the equivalent background derived from work experience. An advanced degree such as an MFA or PHD degree is preferred
  • Demonstrated experience of at least (10) ten years of educational or programmatic leadership in a senior role.
  • A strong track record of providing creative leadership to design and deliver impactful public programming and community building experiences to fulfill and amplify the Museum’s mission.
  • Successful background in leading highly successful teams and maximizing the potential of team members to achieve division goals.
  • Knowledge of best practices in program design, evaluation, and curriculum development.
  • Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to establish rapport and cultivate relationships across all levels of the organization
  • Leads and manages teams with empathy, a high standard of excellence, accountability, and inclusivity, allowing for consensus building and recognition of teamwork.
  • The ability to work closely with the President & CEO to offer creative, yet practical ideas to achieve the strategic direction of the Museum with a deep understanding and commitment to the institutional vision the President puts forward.

Salary: $140,000-$150,000

How to apply:

Applications will only be accepted via our website thewright.org/jobs. Interested candidates must submit (1) a resume or CV and (2) a cover letter with salary requirements. Applications will be considered incomplete without the required submissions. Please no phone calls.

To apply for this job please visit www.thewright.org.