The Deputy Director works closely in concert with the Director and senior management of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (CHSDM) to conduct all aspects of the Museum’s mission. The Deputy also serves as principal advisor to the Director on long and short-range planning and allocation of Museum resources. This position also works closely with the Director as a liaison to the CHSDM Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, and to all other Committees at CHSDM and the Smithsonian.


Works closely with the Director in the overall planning, direction, and management of the Museum’s comprehensive calendar of programs and schedule of operations. This position also serves as principal advisor to the Director on long and short-range planning and allocation of Museum resources. Collaborates with the Director in the development or modification of policies and plans for the Museum and decisions regarding program direction and emphasis. Develops or adapts procedures and controls to give the greatest support for program operations consistent with legislation, regulations, and policy requirements of the Smithsonian and other funding agencies.

Performs the full range of supervisory responsibilities, including assignment and review of work, performance management, leave administration, employee development, and resolution of employee/labor relations issues. Ensures adherence to the principles of equal employment opportunity. Supports diversity in hiring practices, training and development and daily supervision. Supervises assigned staff in the areas of financial management and administration, human resources, revenue generation, physical plant and safety, security, custodial, visitor operations, IT and customer relationship management, exhibitions management and production, and registrar functions.

Responsible to the Director for the financial execution of the budget of the Museum in relation to actual expenditures and prepares and submits to the Director timely performance reports. Works with the Director in the formulation and presentation of the Museum’s annual operating budgets. Sets or recommends priorities for annual budget call and with Director of Advancement sets annual fundraising goals to inform the preparation of annual budgets. Develops and issues operating plans, procedures, and instructions. Explores and develops collaborative relationships with external business partners, when appropriate and initiates or negotiates contractual agreements as required.

Together with the Director, the Director of Advancement, and the Director’s Office team, the Deputy Director coordinates the activities of the CHSDM Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee; working closely with the Board, and various other committees to develop a strategic plan and broad operating objectives and policies. These activities include overseeing preparations for Board meetings; including drafting agendas and ensuring that all logistical arrangements have been made. Represents the Director as needed.

Additionally, the Deputy Director along with the Director, oversees and assists in the coordination, communication, and planning processes of all other museum departments, including Communications and Marketing; Digital; Cross-Platform Publishing; Curatorial, Learning and Audience Engagement; and Advancement.

Ensures compliance with all Smithsonian policies and directives. Also ensures coordination with central Smithsonian offices, including the Office of the General Counsel, and the Office of Government Relations regarding congressional relations, the Board of Regent, personnel, contracting, accounting, management and budget, facilities services, sponsored projects, and others. Works with Director to alert the Office of the Under Secretary for Museums and Culture of any issues, anomalies or concerns that may affect the proper functioning and reputation of CHSDM and/or the Smithsonian.

Responsible for administrative program oversight of all departments within CHSDM. Furnishes policy guidance and direction to subordinate supervisors and ensures that they fulfill their supervisory responsibilities effectively. Serves as principal advisor to the Director and other senior management officials on all aspects of human resources management and equal opportunity. Advises the Director and other department directors and team leads on appropriateness of proposed individual personnel actions and appropriate courses of action to resolve personnel management issues or concerns. Keeps apprised of disciplinary or other personnel matters and takes appropriate action.

In the absence of the Director, serves as Acting Museum Director as designated, assuming full authority and responsibility for the overall management of the Museum. Represents the Director as necessary at both internal and external meetings and events. The Director may delegate authority to commit Museum resources or make decisions affecting Museum operations.


Applicants must clearly demonstrate the necessary level of managerial and leadership skills and competence to perform successfully in this position. This includes a degree in an applicable subject matter field, or a combination of education and appropriate experience that provides knowledge comparable to that normally acquired through successful completion of a four-year course of study in an applicable subject matter field.

In addition, applicants must have one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-15 level. Specialized experience is defined as the demonstrated leadership skills in managing the financial and administrative functions of a museum or cultural organization.

The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrated leadership and familiarity with museum management, including management of functions such as financial operations, budget, procurement, personnel, equal employment, facility and safety operations and public engagement.

  2. Leadership experience at the managerial level that includes goal setting, planning and implementing programs, establishing metrics and reporting protocols, and fostering institutional morale.

  3. Skill in executive level budgeting and resource management, including managing relationships across large, multi-tiered organizations.

  4. Skill in leading and managing a multi-disciplined and culturally diverse workforce, including fostering teamwork and high morale; attracting, retaining and motivating employees; and implementing EEO/Affirmative Action policies and programs.


Additional information

The position receives general supervision from the Director, who provides broad guidance in terms of overall policy, program objectives, and delegated authority. Within this framework, the incumbent plans and fulfills responsibilities with a high degree of independence. Major policy questions or controversial issues are discussed with the Director for decision or guidance. On a regular basis, the incumbent informs the Director of all significant program activities and potential problems. Performance is evaluated in terms of overall effectiveness in achieving program goals.

This position has been reviewed to determine the level of POSITION SENSITIVITY. Based on the nature of the work, the position has been determined to be Public Trust / HIGH RISK. This designation will require (1) a pre-employment Security Agency Check (SAC) for the prospective incumbent; and (2) a subsequent comprehensive background investigation and favorable adjudication to continue in the position.

The Smithsonian Institution does not discriminate against any employee or any applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, membership in an employee organization or other non-merit factors.

The Smithsonian provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need an accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the contact person listed in this announcement. The decision on granting a reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Relocation expenses will not be paid.


You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

The qualifications listed in this document will be used along with your resume, and your responses to the questions posed in the electronic application process to determine the candidates who will move forward in the evaluation process. When crafting your responses to the questions, please provide concise, detailed information on your background and experience.

USD $141,022 – USD $220,000 /ANNUALLY



CLOSING DATE: Saturday, 9/30/2023

Suleyka Lozins
Phone 202-633-6334
Fax 200-633-6401