Senior Curator

Position Purpose

The Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) seeks an ambitious and inspiring Senior Curator who is drawn to the exciting work of building and implementing new and innovative exhibition strategies for a 29-year-old institution that is in a new phase of growth and programmatic expansion. The candidate should be entrepreneurial-minded, with enthusiasm and ability to reach ambitious goals while creatively applying problem-solving skills and techniques As a Jewish institution seeking to engage the broader public, the CJM is looking for a candidate  whose intellectual passions transcend  boundaries; someone able to mine the richness of cultural specificity while  reaching beyond traditional patterns and expectations.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Senior Curator will supervise the curatorial and exhibitions staff, guest curators, and consultants. S/he will work with the Executive Director and curatorial team to finalize the annual exhibition schedule and then manage and implement the exhibition program. In addition, the Senior Curator will prepare and oversee budgets and fiscal management of all aspects of the exhibitions program. S/he must have the highest museum standards of integrity and scholarship, must be outgoing, self-starting, well-organized, tactful, detail-oriented, innovative, and capable of working under pressure and meeting multiple deadlines. The Senior Curator will be required to work collaboratively with senior and subordinate staff, Trustees, donors, and volunteers.

Essential Job Responsibilities

  • Leads the CJM’s efforts to strategically identify and propose exhibitions to Executive Director and senior team. 
  • Acts as the Museum’s advocate, building mutually beneficial relationships with local, national, and international cultural communities.
  • Organizes exhibitions, collaborates with other institutions to mount exhibitions, works with guest curators on developing exhibitions, recommends and manages traveling exhibitions, and works with artists on commissions.
  • Oversees installation designs, working collaboratively with CJM staff and outside contractors.
  • Authors exhibition text and catalogs and supervises curatorial production of publications and didactic materials related to the exhibition program.
  • Collaborates with senior management in establishing strategic long-range programmatic and institutional goals.
  • Works collaboratively with other CJM departments to maximize the public exposure and impact of the Museum and its exhibitions. 
  • Leads CJM-wide project teams.
  • Works with Education Department to develop interpretive programs and materials to make exhibitions relevant to adult, teen, school and family audiences.
  • Collaborates with development staff on fund-raising efforts for exhibition programs; develops and maintains relationships with a broad group of collectors, donors, dealers, and scholars.
  • Supervises the curatorial and exhibitions staff, guest curators, and consultants.
  • Negotiates and administers exhibition, artist, and consultant contracts.
  • Prepares and manages budgets for the curatorial and exhibitions departments.

Minimum Qualifications

  • B.A. or B.S. degree required; graduate degree preferred.
  • Minimum seven (7) years experience managing related museum functions in accordance with museum standards.
  • Experience in leading the development and implementation of innovative and dynamic exhibitions.
  • Experience in creating business and pro-forma budget plans.
  • Demonstrated success with fundraising for exhibitions.
  • Ability to think strategically and execute tactically, at the highest level of excellence.
  • Ability to prioritize and achieve goals, meet deadlines, and work independently while showing initiative with a high degree of accuracy and excellence.
  • Outstanding planning and organizational abilities, excellent writing and oral skills including public speaking.
  • Intellectual depth, moral integrity, creativity, and a sense of humor are vital; a talent for highly collaborative teamwork a must.
  • Demonstrated success in leadership and collaboration with other museum professionals and in establishing and implementing policies and procedures to achieve objectives.
  • Solid knowledge of museum best practices, particularly with respect to fine art or cultural heritage exhibitions.

Physical requirements

  • Extensive reading and writing skills via computer; ability to follow written and oral instructions and procedures.
  • Excellent manual dexterity, visual and hearing acuity.
  • Ability to work nights and weekends at events.
  • Intermittent physical activity including walking, extended standing at events, twisting, sitting, bending, stooping and occasional lifting of up to 15 lbs.


A competitive compensation and benefits package will be discussed in detail with qualified and seriously interested candidates.

Application Process

Send Cover Letter including salary requirements and resume to:

Senior Curator Search
The Contemporary Jewish Museum
736 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Fax: 415.655.7815
Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
No phone calls please.

Application deadline: Open until filled

The Contemporary Jewish Museum is an equal opportunity employer.


736 Mission Street (btwn. 3rd and 4th Streets), San Francisco, CA 94103 | Hours: Daily 11am–5pm, Thursdays 11am–8pm, Closed Wednesdays | 415.655.7800 |