THE OPPORTUNITY: This position is a rare opportunity for an entrepreneurial communications executive to capitalize on emerging media technologies and platforms to develop and deepen new audience relationships and build, shape and lead a strategic communications program for one of the world’s most fascinating, highly-regarded, well-known and multifaceted scientific, education and cultural institutions.
BACKGROUND: The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is one of the world’s preeminent scientific and cultural institutions. AMNH oversees one of the largest and most important natural history collections on Earth—more than 30 million specimens and cultural artifacts collected over more than a century of scientific research.
AMNH is dedicated both to acquiring scientific knowledge and to sharing that information with the broadest audience possible. The Museum has an extensive regional and global footprint and one of the largest and most diverse audiences of any cultural institution in the country. The AMNH website, online collections and databases, digital library, exhibition-related websites, interactive curricular materials for students and teachers, and other online resources currently attract five million unique visitors per year—a number that is anticipated to increase sharply as the Museum develops a comprehensive digital strategy over the next few years.
AMNH is home to the Rose Center for Earth and Space, which for the past ten years has been the cornerstone of cutting-edge research in astrophysics, and brilliantly showcases the intersection between science and education using sophisticated digital technology, innovative interactive installations, and stunning visualizations to bring emerging research to the public. In 2006, the Museum launched the Richard Gilder Graduate School, substantially expanding the depth of its scientific and education missions and becoming one of the only museums in the world authorized to grant its own PhD.
PRIMARY FUNCTION: The Senior Director of Communications will develop and implement a dynamic, state-of-the-art communications and public relations program that successfully leverages both new and traditional media. Focusing primarily on media relations, the Senior Director will maximize opportunities in both traditional and new media to elevate the profile of AMNH, its mission, collections, exhibitions and programs locally, nationally and internationally.
The Senior Director reports to the Vice President of Communications and Marketing, and will establish a comprehensive strategic vision for the department and develop integrated communications strategies that embrace AMNH and its core missions of science and education. Reporting to the Senior Director is a professional media relations team and support staff.
IDEAL QUALIFICATIONS: Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred; broad functional experience in public relations and/or media relations in a major, complex institution; experience with new digital media platforms/techniques; able to creatively integrate new & traditional media; experience positioning an institution within a highly competitive marketplace; established portfolio of relationships in the media—general news, science and/or education/cultural arts; crisis management experience; strong management and mentoring skills; exceptional writing and editing ability; exceptional judgment and maturity; collaborative, inclusive style; savvy about NYC cultural, business & social communities; intellectual curiosity; creative and entrepreneurial.
Compensation is competitive and commensurate with experience and accomplishments. A complete position specification is available upon request. Kindly direct all inquiries to Howe-Lewis (212) 697-5000; do not contact the AMNH. Nominations and applications will be considered in confidence and should be sent via e-mail to:
Or apply online at www.howe-lewis.com/assignments.html