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Director of Engagement & Cambridge Science Festival

Reporting to the Director of the Museum, the Director of Engagement and the Cambridge Science Festival leads all of the museum’s work in educational and public programming, with particular reference to the greatly expanded opportunities for such programming provided by the new MIT Museum in Kendall Square. S/he/they will have immediate responsibility for year-round programmatic activities in the museum, for outreach activities including the annual Cambridge Science Festival, and for a number of national and global programming initiatives.

Internally, as part of the senior management team, the successful candidate will manage and lead the work of four program teams and will work closely with colleagues in other key areas (e.g., Collections, Exhibitions) in the framing and delivery of the museum’s strategic plans. Externally, the successful candidate will work closely with colleagues across MIT, stakeholders in Cambridge, and with other institutions in North America and overseas in the development of the larger field of public engagement with science and technology.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities (Essential Functions)

  • Responsible for overall vision, strategic design, development, implementation, and evaluation of audience engagement and learning experiences, both informal and formal, including the range of new education and programs opportunities offered at the Museum’s new location in Kendall Square.
  • Lead a staff of 18 individuals across four teams: Education and Public Programs, Cambridge Science Festival, Science Festival Alliance, and Nord Anglia Collaboration.
  • Working with team managers, review and approve annual workplans and milestones; integrate the skills and expertise of the four separate teams; oversee and manage the ownership of key external relationships across the four teams.
  • Manage individual and team performance by setting clear workplans and metrics of success, identify opportunities for growth, development, and promotion.
  • Build on the museum’s unique strengths as a programming organization, to sustain existing and develop new forms of face-to-face and remote (e.g., online) engagement tailored to the needs of key target audiences.
  • Leverage the museum’s position as MIT’s lead outreach organization, by working collaboratively with: MIT faculty, researchers, students and staff; other educational and community organizations in Cambridge and the Greater Boston Metropolitan Area; and other science engagement professionals nationally and internationally.
  • Exploit the potential of the museum to act as a locus for the improvement of best practices in science engagement nationally and internationally, e.g., by developing a portfolio of experimental practice, and offering development opportunities to science engagement professionals.
  • Set and manage annual project schedules, integrate processes, organize and lead meetings, and communicate with staff, collaborators, and internal and external stakeholders.
  • Assess resources needed to support and deliver the Cambridge Science Festival, Science Festival Alliance, Nord Anglia Collaboration, and fee-based programs and services, and manage team leads as they develop and implement the operating plan and budget for these activities, including expenses and revenues.
  • Proactively support efforts to raise funding and sponsorships by drafting text and providing materials and presentations.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to provide timely content for marketing, communications, and promotional strategies for engagement programs.
  • Be a member of the Museum’s Management Committee, contributing actively to policy-making and strategic planning.
  • Represent the museum’s engagement activities, as needed, to colleagues in the Museum, across the Institute and in the wider community, through networking, attendance at meetings, conferences, and local business organization meetings, and where relevant through presentations and publications.
  • Other duties as needed or required, including those at a lower level.

Supervision Received

Reports to the Director of the Museum and meets with senior management team regularly.

Supervision Exercised

Currently, this position directly supervises the Education and Public Programs team, and the leads of the Cambridge Science Festival, Science Festival Alliance and Nord Anglia Collaboration teams. The Museum is open to creating an Education and Public Programs team lead role as needed. Participates in the hiring and development of staff, and conducts annual performance reviews.

Qualifications & Skills


  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant professional experience. Demonstrated record of successfully creating and implementing original engagement activities designed for the MIT Museum’s key target audiences (middle and high-school students; general adult audiences; Cambridge residents; and MIT community members). Experience in developing and implementing programs to reach and engage new and diverse audiences. Expertise in program evaluation. Excellent budget preparation and management skills. Experience in drafting text and providing materials and presentations to support grant writing and fundraising.
  • Master’s degree in a relevant subject area.
  • Excellent interpersonal and managerial skills and the ability to build teams and to work collaboratively, as evidenced in successful management of staff and/or volunteers in the delivery of engagement activities in previous professional positions.
  • Excellent planning skills, as evidenced in the ability to organize and schedule staff for 7 days-a-week service delivery. Experience in building departmental systems and workflows.
  • Highly organized with strong attention to detail; able to manage multiple projects, prioritize duties and meet deadlines, and able to perform well in a changing work environment, as the Museum adapts to program delivery in the new facility in Kendall Square.
  • Demonstrated portfolio of programming with community partners and engagement with civic officials.
  • Ability to network with MIT faculty, researchers & students, and with Cambridge-based organizations, in support of creative programming in the MIT Museum.
  • A strategic grasp of the challenges and opportunities in the wider field of science engagement in the U.S. and internationally, and a vision for the distinctive role of the MIT Museum – locally, regionally, nationally, globally – in this field.
  • Highly developed presentation and public speaking skills.
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends.


  • A doctorate in a relevant subject area.
  • Experience with daytime, evening and outdoor programs, festivals, and a wide array of small, medium, and large-scale activities.
  • A portfolio of relevant publications and/or conference presentations; an interest in experimental public programming and in on-line informal learning.

To apply, visit the MIT Human Resources Site. This role is a pay scale 11.