Director of Museum Planning

  • Chicago, IL
  • Full-time

Company Description

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public interest and education in architecture and design. As the 6th largest cultural institution in the City of Chicago, CAF presents a comprehensive program of tours, exhibitions, lectures, special events, and adult and youth education activities, all designed to enhance the public’s awareness and appreciation of Chicago’s outstanding architectural legacy.

Job Description

This role is responsible for overseeing the process of development, design, fabrication and installation of exhibits and public spaces for architecture center expansion. This position will interact with architects, designers, contractors, staff and stakeholders to be an advocate for CAF’s mission and ensure seamless design construction.

The successful candidate must have strong project management skills, keeping sight of the “big picture” while managing many levels of detail, with the goal of creating a world-class architecture center that provides an unrivaled visitor experience.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop a deep understanding of the CAF’s mission, vision, values and strategic plan, appreciating the depth and breadth of the organization’s capabilities; convey that insight in concepts, presentations and materials.
  • Work with Senior Leadership and the Board to develop execution plans to create and deliver products and services.
  • Manage the overall architecture center project, including budget, business negotiations, and  relationships with consultants, including architects, project management firms, exhibition designers, etc.
  • Ensure that sufficient budget and resources exist to deliver a world-class architecture center that is a model of its kind, and ensure that costs are controlled while maintaining the highest quality final product and visitor experience. Ensure that the schedule for exhibit development synchronizes with the schedule for the architecture.
  • Serve as primary liaison between project team and architecture center staff to ensure that staff members are aware of and engaged in development of the architecture center.
  • Serve as primary liaison between architects and project team to ensure integration of exhibits into architecture.
  • Participate in the development of an operating plan for the architecture center.
  • Participate in any other events relating to the architecture center, including the organization of public support, and relationships throughout the city that will affect the future programming and operations of the center.
  • Establish and actively direct the development and maintenance of the project plan; manage deadlines, conduct status meetings with key stakeholders, and coordinate with project teams and vendors as necessary.
  • Work with the VP of Education and Experiences and the Senior Director of Program Strategy to oversee the management of development, design, fabrication and installation of exhibits and public spaces.
  • Work with the Development team to ensure a smooth process incorporating fundraising and exhibit development.
  • Collaborate with Marketing and Communications staff on communication strategy.


  • Minimum of 7-10 years recent project management experience in a leadership capacity, with a track record of successfully completing large, complex projects.
  • Extensive knowledge of principles and practices of project management and contract administration.
  • Ability to plan, organize and administer complex activities and to analyze complex administrative problems and develop alternative strategies.
  • Skill and experience as a tough negotiator with conflict resolution experience.
  • Strong knowledge and experience with budget management and cost control for capital projects.
  • Ability to act as a good ambassador who is comfortable dealing at the most senior levels in the public and private sectors, and can build relationships with a wide range of people/organizations.
  • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with a variety of representatives of designers, specialized technical trades and contractors, CAF staff and CAF leadership.
  • An intelligent and creative problem solver, with the vision and common sense to see possibilities and opportunities while managing day-to-day details.
  • Excellent skills in written and oral communication, with the ability to independently develop and produce documents, reports and PowerPoint presentations.
  • Technical knowledge of blueprints, specifications and construction methods.
  • Technical skills to utilize project management scheduling software, Excel and other Project related software required for managing complex projects.
  • Knowledge of non-profit governance, operations and funding structures and the related challenges.

Additional Information

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.