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Museum Director
New Hanover County in Wilmington, North Carolina
Date Posted 04/07/2021
Admin-Museum & Arts Administration
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

New Hanover County is seeking a Museum Director to lead the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science and steward the next phase of the museum’s growth. This leadership position will build on the museum’s century of service to the community and be a part of a dynamic, professional county organization that is looking to position the museum as a model for modern in-person and virtual museum experiences. The Director will provide dynamic leadership that continues to position the Museum as an essential player in the educational and cultural life of the community. The successful candidate will be a strategic planner, innovator, team builder, collaborator, and respected professional.

Reporting to an Assistant County Manager, the museum director is responsible for leadership and vision, overall operations, and day-to-day management of the museum. This position directs and evaluates the work of 21 staff members; prepares and administers a $1.5 million county budget and $1.4 million in non-profit funds; directs the museum’s strategic plan and policies, as well as intellectual and programmatic direction in accordance with its mission; conducts oversight and maintenance of facilities; manages board relations and resources donated from the private sector; and communicates the museum’s activities to the Board of Commissioners, county management, staff, and the public. Work is also performed in collaboration with an advisory board (appointed by the Board of County Commissioners) and a 501(c) (3) board of directors.

About New Hanover County

At fewer than 200 square miles and located on the North Carolina Coast, New Hanover is the 2nd smallest of the 100 North Carolina counties, but one of the most densely populated. With 235,000 citizens, it has become the center of rapid urbanization in the southeast region of North Carolina. In addition to being a great place to live, New Hanover County is a great place to do business. New Hanover County is committed to progressive public policy, superior service, courteous contact, judicious exercise of authority, and sound fiscal management to meet the needs and concerns of our citizens today and tomorrow.

New Hanover County operates under a governing board/manager form of government where policy setting is the responsibility of the Board and policy execution is the responsibility of the Board appointed County Manager. To serve the citizens of this progressive, regional urban center, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners adopted a county-wide strategic plan, where its backdrop is framed by these vision and mission statements and a set of shared values that govern how the Board and staff make decisions. These shared values are professionalism, integrity, innovation, stewardship, and accountability.

About Cape Fear Museum

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science (CFM) is an AAM-accredited museum and became a Smithsonian Affiliate in 2018. The Museum has been a department of New Hanover County since 1977 and its founding collection dates to 1898. Cape Fear Museum’s mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret objects relating to the history, science, and cultures of the Lower Cape Fear. CFM strives to educate and serve the community with a vision to be welcoming, engaging and meaningful to all and participates in the national initiative, Museums for All.

The Museum building is approximately 40,000 square feet with 50% dedicated to public use – exhibits, classrooms, lobby, and amenities. The collection consists of more than 56,000 artifacts with approximately 1,000 objects on long term display. The 6,000 square foot exhibition, Cape Fear Stories, provides an overview of the region's history, cultures, and related science from prehistory through the end of the 20th century utilizing artifacts, interactives, and vignettes to highlight a wide range of events from the development of the naval stores industry to the 1898 Coup D’état. Children and adults explore STEM concepts in Space Place and the ecosystems of the Cape Fear area in the Discovery Gallery. Changing exhibits rotate several times per year. Current traveling exhibits include H2O Today and One Half of the People: Advancing Equality for Women. In 2015, the Museum transformed a parking lot into a community park that features interactive exhibits, native plant gardens and educational programs.

Visitors enjoy workshops, lectures, and performances in CFM’s Williston Auditorium, which seats up to 120 adults. Within the auditorium, an exhibit honors local African American graduates of Williston High School. The Museum hosts a number of family and school events each year including Star Party and the National History Day regional competition. Evening programs tailored to adult audiences include What’s Brewing in Science and Museum After Dark. Educators provide curriculum-based, hands-on school fieldtrips to approximately 18,000 students annually. PreK programs are provided on-site and at local community centers. With the successful transition to online platforms in 2020, constituents can now experience many programs, events and exhibits virtually.

Minimum Qualifications

Master’s Degree in Museum Administration, Business Administration, or a related field and 7 years of business leadership experience in a non-profit cultural organization (museum leadership experience preferred) that includes generating revenue, growing audiences and supporters, and maintaining community relationships; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Good driving record.


  • Valid NC Driver License

Other Information

Application Deadline

This position is open until filled; however, the initial screening of applications received will begin Thursday, April 22, 2021.


The current salary range for this position is $76,381 - $129,847.

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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