Department:               Education

Reports To:                 Executive Director

Classification:             Full Time, Exempt

Position Summary

The Director of Learning & Engagement is a key member of the Senior Leadership Team and manages a dedicated team creating and implementing multi-faceted programs centered on ‘Art and Empathy’, exploring intersections between art, science, technology, and community. The Director of Learning and Engagement also leads the Museum’s DEI&A (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility) initiatives.  The Director brings leadership, vision, and strategic thinking to all aspects of the institution’s educational activities. 

Working closely with the Education Managers, the Director of Learning and Engagement will further develop and promote the Museum’s Art and Empathy strategy for education, and guide its use of the Museum Art School, Library, and possible new spaces for Museum education.

The Director of Learning and Engagement collaborates with the Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs, Curators, and Education Managers to create educational content for the galleries, public programs and workshops.  The Director of Learning and Engagement also collaborates with the Senior Leadership Team to advance short and long-term goals of the Museum, and works closely with the Executive Director and the Board of Trustees to promote the unique resources of the institution.

This colleague works cooperatively and creatively with all museum departments as well as with regional partners, ensuring that the overall institutional goals are maintained, programs are effectively conceived and promoted, and that departmental staff are supported.  Interpretation, technology initiatives, audience outreach, model docent practice, program evaluation, and proven ability to conceptualize innovative public programs are essential components of this role.

As the Museum’s primary educational liaison, the Director of Learning & Engagement will help cultivate relationships with potential donors, as well as with members of the San Diego/Tijuana community, schools, colleges, universities, and cultural institutions.

The ideal candidate should be creative, proactive, and enthusiastic about developing experiences that explore the ability of art to create enriching experiences for participants of all ages and cultural backgrounds.  Additionally, the ideal candidate should hold an interest in working with youth, families, and adults in ways that embrace their interest in art and cultivate empathetic connections between life and art.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Mentor and provide leadership, vision, and strategic direction for Education Managers, Docent Manager and Education team.
  • Represent the Museum at DEI&A meetings and oversee the Museum’s DEI&A strategy.
  • Together with Deputy Director, Curators, and Education Mangers, develop ideas for on-site programs, public workshops, and gallery experiences that encourage empathetic interaction with the permanent collection and special exhibitions. 
  • Create and promote multi-cultural educational content that reflects the diversity of the Museum’s collection and community.
  • Supervise the development of hands-on art explorations, arts based-projects, activity based gallery tours, and collaborations with community visual artists.
  • Collaborate with the Docent Manager to create themes for docent tours, training, and collaborative programs in the galleries.
  • Oversee educational content for the Museum app and website.
  • Liaise with the Museum’s Development team to explore funding opportunities.
  • Draft and monitor the annual education budget.
  • Chair Education department meetings; organize and attend meetings of the Board of Trustees’ Education Committee.
  • Make public presentations promoting the Museum’s Art and Empathy strategy; communicate effectively with the press. 
  • Provide engaging tours of the collection for multiple audiences.
  • Evaluate all exhibition materials, working collaboratively with the curatorial department, with the goal of bringing clarity, accessibility, and excitement to these interpretive tools while preserving the curatorial perspective.
  • Direct the research and development of application of new technologies in educational programming, including interactive multimedia and web-based educational resources.
  • Manage the creation of innovative interactive displays and installation of educational materials in the galleries.
  • Review the policies and practices of all Museum educational programs and ensure they are of the highest quality.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.


  • Advanced degree in education, art history, museum studies, visual arts, or related field.
  • Minimum 7 years experience in museum education; minimum 5 years management experience.
  • Extensive knowledge of art history and educational theory.
  • Proven track record in DEI&A initiatives.
  • Working knowledge of professional museum standards and practices, with a focus on public education initiatives, community engagement, and interpretation.
  • Successful track record of innovative museum education programming.
  • Demonstrated awareness of current museum educational practices and theory and other issues in the field.
  • Excellent writing, public speaking and communication skills.
  • Strong interactive teaching and teacher-training skills.
  • Familiarity with local, state and national learning standards and the ability to connect those standards to museum learning.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Multi-lingual ability preferred (Spanish a plus).
  • Some fundraising experience preferred.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and internet based research.
  • Ability to prioritize and multi-task; think creatively and strategically.
  • Experience managing budgets. 
  • Training in CPR recommended.
  • Some weekend and evening hours required.

Physical Demands

  • 50% time spent sitting at the computer.
  • Some carrying and lifting up to 25 pounds.
  • Daily walking required to the Museum, which included stairs.
  • 25% international travel required.

Working Environment

  • Noise fluctuates between quiet and moderately noisy.

Salary Range: $90,000 to $110,000 annually

If interested, please submit cover letter, resume, and either a one page lesson plan or a writing sample to, or mail to: The San Diego Museum of Art, Attention: Human Resources, P.O. Box 122107, San Diego, CA 92112.

The San Diego Museum of Art is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in the hiring of personnel on the basis of sex, race, religion, color, national origin, disability, protected medical condition, marital status, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, ancestry, military or veteran status, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.