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Vice President of Education & Experience Development

Location: Baltimore, MD
Job Code: PD-VPED
# of openings: 1


Port Discovery Children’s Museum seeks an innovative and strategic visionary to lead the
delivery of interactive educational experiences, and to inspire
learning through play and life-long curiosity.

Be a Leader at one of the nation’s leading Children’s Museums!  Port Discovery Children’s Museum, located at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, is one of the nation’s top children’s museums.  Our mission is to connect purposeful play and learning, within our walls and beyond. Our goal is to make a positive impact on the lives of children and their families by providing innovative public exhibits and activities, offering programs that respond to community needs and serving as an alternative education resource for schools, teachers and families.  Port Discovery is a safe, invigorating, and nurturing place where children and families learn together through play.

This is an exciting new leadership position.  As a result of the strategic direction being set by the Museum and the developing Capital Campaign, this position will be a key part of the leadership team as we “Re-Imagine” Port Discovery for the next generation. Looking for a dynamic professional with excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, to help advance the Museum as a statewide and national leader in the field of informal learning, children’s museums, and early childhood education.

This Vice President of Education and Experience Development will foster a culture of learning in the museum that emphasizes interdisciplinary dialogue, imaginative use of learning and evaluation methods, creativity, and risk-taking.

The position is responsible for championing the essential role of play in early learning and developing sustainable plans to extend the Museum's early learning impact on a scale that engages thousands of children, families and educators, and ensuring the highest show quality standards. 

The Vice President shapes engagement for the Museum through the creation and evaluation of play-based learning programming for children within our permanent and traveling museum exhibits as well as learning environments in non-museum locations; educational programs onsite, in schools and in the community, and informs evaluation strategies.  This position guides, supports and works closely with three experienced and talented individuals – Port Discovery’s Curator of Innovation and Engagement, the Director of Exhibits and the Director of Guest Services and directly oversees the Education and Guest Services departments.  The Vice President will act collaboratively across departments in the design of interactive educational experiences that advance Port Discovery’s mission. The relationship between the organization’s Education and Experience Development department and the Exhibits, Development and Marketing departments is particularly important to ensure that appropriate programs that are both dynamic and relevant in content are in place to drive attendance and engagement.

The Vice President’s sampling of detailed responsibilities include:

  • Extensive knowledge in early childhood development, family engagement, community andinformal education for children via exhibits, programming and guest services.

  • Develop framework for strategic learning, connecting grant making to ongoing strategy refinement and partnership with the program teams.

  • Assist program teams in defining their logic models/theories of change, reassessing priorities and refreshing their goals and objectives as needed.

  • Identify and lead key educational initiatives with stakeholders.

  • Manage Education and Evaluation Teams:

    • Develop and continuously refresh the Museum’s educational philosophy and application of play-based learning grounded in research and ideally endorsed by academic advisors.

    • Ensure all educational activities have clearly defined developmental outcomes for children that are also communicated to parents and /adult caregivers in order to inspire the extension of play-based learning beyond the Museum experience.

    • Ensure evaluation of all learning environments and programs in meeting intended outcomes.

    • Ensure evaluation methodology incorporated appropriately throughout the museum.

    • Oversee development of public and education programs.

    • Fully assess the community need and market opportunity to sustainably grow initiatives to scale.

    • Identify, develop and execute key strategic partnerships.

  • Manage Guest Services Team:

    • Oversee initiatives of Guest Services team to ensure integration with Education and maximize talents within organization.

    • Facilitate highest show quality standards.

    • Maximize talent opportunities for Education and Guest Services staff.

  • Collaborate with Exhibits Team to embed research on play-based learning and education standards into the design of all learning environments.

  • Collaborate with Development Team to pursue funding on national and local levels, including federal grants.

Requirements / Qualifications:

  • Relevant Graduate (or Post Graduate) Degree required.

  • Extensive knowledge in early childhood development, family engagement, community and informal education for children.

  • Minimum of ten years’ experience in positions of growing leadership scope.

  • Minimum of five years strategic planning experience, including proven success in planning and developing new educational initiatives.

  • Five plus years of experience leading people and teams.

  • Active knowledge of community and educational organizations and initiatives both statewide and nationally required.

  • Comprehension and experience with formative and summative program evaluation and management required.

  • Excellent public speaking and presentation skills.

  • Computer proficiency with intermediate abilities using MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

  • Expert interpersonal skills.

Port Discovery Children’s Museum offers a generous benefits package in addition to providing you with the opportunity to make a difference in the community and in the lives of children.  If you are interested and feel you are qualified for this position, please send your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements via the link below.

Port Discovery is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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