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Director, Idaho State Museum

Organization: Idaho State Historical Society
Date Posted: 7/31/2017
Date Needed: 8/20/2017
City: Boise
Location: Idaho
Country: United States
Primary Category: Administration
Type of Position: Full-Time
Education Requirement: Master's
Experience Requirement: > 10 years

Description & Details



In order to foster a meaningful exploration of Idaho’s history, the Idaho State Historical Society is renovating and expanding the Idaho State Museum and developing world-class exhibitions and programs to inspire learning and invite an engaged discussion of Idaho’s past and its impact today. 


The agency is currently searching for a dynamic and experienced professional to provide visionary and progressive leadership as the Idaho State Museum Director.  The successful candidate will oversee the launch of the newest state museum in the country, implement and evaluate the museum business plan, develop new statewide and on-site programming, and engage new audiences.


Authorized in 1939 by the Idaho Legislature, the original Museum was completed in 1950.  The Museum was the first in Idaho and one of the first western museums to be accredited by the American Association of Museums in 1972. The Idaho State Museum serves the entire population of the state as well as thousands of visitors to Idaho. Over 100,000 visitors, tourists, and students are anticipated to experience the Museum once it reopens in summer of 2018.  


The intended outcomes of the new Idaho State Museum include:

  • The repair and replacement of aging infrastructure that dates to the Museum’s opening in 1950 in order to enhance visitor experience and collections care;
  • The expansion of the Museum to respond to public demand for educational programs and events, feature more artifacts from the Museum’s permanent collection, and increase capacity to feature special traveling exhibitions;
  • The realization of a level of national excellence with exhibits that will inspire Idahoans’ sense of pride in our state and serve an essential educational role for students of all ages.


This investment provides the following impact for Idaho and its citizens:

  • Creating an essential resource for education and life-long learning for the state;
  • Contributing to the economic vitality of our state by growing Idaho’s cultural infrastructure and tourism;
  • Deepening Idahoans’ connections to our roots and build a statewide sense of community;
  • Empowering Idahoans’ and giving context that Idaho history provides for their present and future lives.


The director serves on the leadership team of the Idaho State Historical Society and reports to its executive director. They will be responsible for leading and managing the operation, programming, collections and staff of the Idaho State Museum and the Capitol Curation program.  This includes oversight in the areas of strategic planning, staffing, business and operations management, museology, and promotion of the sites.


The qualified candidate will demonstrate experience and ability within the following areas:


  • Leadership: Ability to provide strong and capable leadership in managing change, to recommend, develop and implement policy and programs, and to manage professional staff and partners.
  • Strategic vision: Ability to conceptualize and define viable and innovative strategies to address problems and opportunities. Ability to align strategic plans with department goals in order to position the department, and agency effectively to anticipate trends, events, and appropriate organizational direction.
  • Administration: Administrative experience including site supervision, policymaking, personnel supervision, working with volunteers and interaction with related industry groups. A good knowledge of public relations and fundraising/donor relations.
  • Cultural Resource Management:  Working knowledge of collections management, interpretive techniques, research, and visitor and educational services.  Experience in and knowledge of current trends in the profession.  


The minimum qualifications for the position are as follows:


  • Master’s Degree or higher in Museum Studies, Museum Leadership or a related leadership/management field such as History Administration, Public Administration or Cultural Resource Management.

  • Experience managing museum operations; developing and/or monitoring budgets; building and maintaining long-term relationships with fundraising constituents; supervising staff

  • Demonstrated leadership in applying/advancing national standards and innovative thinking within museum operations.


Please follow link for application information:


Idaho State Historical Society

The Idaho State Historical Society, an executive branch agency, has gathered the state’s history since 1881 and is the steward for State historical resources including over 250,000 objects, 100,000 prehistoric specimens 130,000 feet of government records, 30,000 rolls of microfilm, 500,000 photographs, 5,000 films and videos, 3,100 oral histories, 32,000 maps, 25,000 books and periodicals and 60 historic structures. The Idaho State Historical Society is an integral education institution which teaches historical literacy, manages essential public records, and fulfills legal requirements of federal historic preservation laws giving Idaho voice to federal decision making. The Idaho State Historical Society illuminates our state’s future and helps people of all ages explore and appreciate Idaho’s rich past and learn more about themselves.

How to Apply / Contact

Applications must be submitted through online system.


Please follow link for application information:


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