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Home > Careers > Chief Curator
Chief Curator
Chief Curator

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is one of America’s leading historic, cultural and educational institutions.  As an educational and cultural not-for-profit institution centered on the aircraft carrier Intrepid, a National Historic Landmark, the Museum is dedicated to promoting the awareness and understanding of history, science and service through its collections, exhibitions and programming.  Opened in 1982, the Museum has welcomed more than 10 million visitors and currently welcomes almost one million visitors annually.  The Museum's mission is "to honor our heroes, educate the public and inspire our youth."  The Museum pursues this mission through a dynamic and enriching exhibition environment recounting human stories behind the machinery on display; a credible, innovative, and engaging education program supplementing classroom academic learning in history and science; and extensive public programs honoring the men and women who selflessly serve our country and inspire our youth.

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum seeks a Chief Curator.  The Chief Curator plays a critical role in the continuing growth and development of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. As a member of senior management at the VP level, the Chief Curator, working in conjunction with the Chief Educator, is responsible for the strategic vision and implementation of exhibitions and acquisition and deaccession of collections at the Museum.  This position is responsible for all curatorial and exhibition related areas of the Museum, including exhibition plans and concepts, exhibit records, collections, research, and artifact preservation, and restoration of ship spaces, in accordance with Museum policies.  He or she will continually analyze and develop new and existing exhibits in order to advance the mission of the Museum and remain relevant. 

In order to build external support and secure resources for the department’s initiatives and programs, this position must work closely with the Institutional Advancement Department to identify and secure grants and partnerships.  

The Chief Curator should have expertise or awareness of one or more of the following areas: twentieth-century American history and leadership, world history, aeronautics and space history and/or history of technology.  He or she should have direct knowledge and experience overseeing an established collections and exhibitions team.  This person will be required to assess the Museum’s programming and exhibits and produce a 5-10 year strategic growth plan in both areas.  He or she must be able to work effectively with both the curatorial team and the education team to develop a long-range vision and direction for the institution in terms of exhibits and collection-related activities.

He or she must be an effective manager and team member who can work in a dynamic and collaborative environment. As a senior team member, he or she must understand how each area of the Museum interrelates with the other areas and the importance of this collaboration to the overall success of the Museum. Additionally, he or she must know how to manage budgets, be conversant with current technologies, be comfortable in public presentations, and serve as a spokesperson for the Museum.

The essential duties include but are not limited to:

  • Assess, organize, and improve efficiencies of Intrepid’s exhibits and curatorial department and staff.
  • Continually work to assure that the Museum’s exhibits and exhibit-related activities are consistent with the mission and expected quality of the Museum, including strategic planning of temporary exhibits, collections and related space.
  • Keep Intrepid relevant yet “on story.”
  • In conjunction with senior leadership of the museum, create a five to ten year plan document that will outline the steps needed to take the museum to the next level of its institutional growth in terms of audience expansion and funding for collections, exhibitions, and related activities.
  • Facilitate and spearhead potential partnerships with exhibition-related institutions and organizations.
  • Working closely with Institutional Advancement Department SVP and team to secure grants and other sources of funds for continuation and expansion of exhibits mission, renovation and preservation. Work to assure that the Exhibits plans are secured with adequate funding and resources through public and private sources of funding.
  • Establish annual goals and budget for Exhibits department in coordination with the President.
  • Oversee the maintenance and implementation of systems to maintain accurate records of collections, donations, and historically relevant information, providing support for the museum's exhibits and publications; conservation of collection; preservation and restoration of aircraft and Intrepid’s historic spaces.
  • Responsible for creation of all permanent and temporary exhibits to support relevant programming.
  • Obtain, develop, and organize new collections to expand and improve exhibits and educational and research facilities.
  • Negotiate with administrators of other institutions and agencies to obtain exchange of artifact and exhibit loans.
  • Coordinate with appropriate departments, especially Operations, for aircraft, exhibit, and artifact transportation and placement, as well as exhibition installations.
  • Maintain industry wide relationships to ensure best practice and keep current with new trends.
  • Work with special curator to strategically align Intrepid departmental projects with Shuttle projects and initiatives.
  • Perform other duties as required by the President

The ideal candidate will possess Master's Degree (M.A. or M.S.) or equivalent graduate degree; and ten years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of museum-related exhibitions and collections experience. Ability to read, analyze, and interpret the most complex documents.  Preferable knowledge of and/or interest in American and world history, history of technology, and other aspects of history, including military, naval, aeronautics, and space history. The candidate should have experience with programming as it relates to funding and grants; strong existing relationships with museum and cultural institutions and organizations, and funding sources in government and foundation, and private philanthropic world that support museums.  The candidate will have the ability to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints; ability to write speeches and articles using original or innovative techniques or style.  The ideal candidate will be able to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors, as well as able to communicate and present as needed to the Museum Trustees and other elected City, State and Federal officials.

For consideration e-mail resume with salary requirements to: resume@intrepidmuseum.org.

Be sure to include the title of the position you are interested in and your salary requirements.


Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is an equal opportunity employer.