Director, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Washington, D.C
Jul 07, 2022
Jul 09, 2022
Executive, Director
Full Time

Provides the intellectual vision, inspiration, dynamism, and overall leadership for the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage ("CFCH" or "the Center"), its staff, its Advisory Council, and its supporters and volunteers while serving as the key communicator and the public face of CFCH to the public and media, artists and cultural communities, scholars, museums, professional organizations, donors, and government entities both domestic and international.

Provides executive leadership and direction to the staff, planning, budgeting for, and overseeing the CFCH's programs and activities which include the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, the Cultural Sustainability Program, scholarly research, media, online, educational, and outreach programs including exhibitions done in collaboration with Smithsonian and other organizations.

Provides executive leadership and direction to the staff, planning, budgeting for, and overseeing public programs and activities on behalf of the Smithsonian that may be undertaken for major national celebrations and commemorations.

Oversees the development, justification, allocation, and execution of the annual operating budget.. Works closely with Smithsonian senior officials in the management of the budget.

Plans, directs, and deeply engages in effective fundraising initiatives , including annual fundraising and fundraising for initiatives and for endowments. Works closely with the Advisory Council and with the Smithsonian Advancement Office in identifying needs, assigning priorities, and locating potential donors from private, corporate, and foundation sources.

Oversees, monitors, and pursues appropriate nonprofit business activities, working closely with the Director of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Festival concessions, shops, and other operations to assure financial success. Works with Smithsonian Enterprises and other partners, as appropriate, and in accord with Smithsonian policies.

Hires, directs, and coordinates the activities of staff. Develops and implements operating policy, standards, and procedures to assure the continued high quality of staff performance. Ensures that the CFCH adheres to Smithsonian policies and procedures.

Provides leadership for all staff, associates, fellows, and volunteers , directly supervises senior staff and coordinates supervision of all staff in a broad range of program activities, including the achievement of a diverse staff and representation of multiple perspectives in Center programs and activities.

Serves as ex-officio member of the CFCH Advisory Council, working closely with the Chair to organize annual meetings, and with the Council members on issues relevant to the Center and in concert with the Council's bylaws. Consults with the Folkways Advisory Board and participates in its meetings and deliberations. Duly and respectfully considers advice and counsel in accord with the Folkways purchase and gift agreements and bylaws. Participates with other Smithsonian advisory boards including the Smithsonian National Board, and, as appropriate, the Board of Regents.

Represents the Smithsonian at meetings and conferences with international organizations, foreign governments, federal agencies, educational institutions, research centers, professional organizations to promote and foster the Institution's folklife, ethnomusicology, vernacular studies and cultural heritage programs and issues of cultural understanding, education, sustainability and policy, and to develop programs of mutual interest for the research, documentation, representation and conservation of traditional and grassroots cultural expression, heritage, and creativity.

Works closely with Smithsonian leadership to achieve the Smithsonian's mission, improve its effectiveness, efficiency, and relevance. Encourages, explores, and develops joint programs in cooperation with other Smithsonian organizations.

Provides leadership and guidance, working with stakeholders, in defining the goals, objectives and priorities for scholarly research and for collections as well as for their presentation and use in a broad range of programs and products.

Ensures that CFCH research and resultant programs are scholarly, ethical considering disciplinary and human subjects research guidelines, participatory with communities and artists, and respectful and sensitive to the beliefs and traditions of participants.

Ensures that collections are acquired and cared for in a manner consistent with Smithsonian and Center formal agreements, policies, and guidelines.

As a scholar and/or practitioner, makes original contributions to the theory and practice of folklife, ethnomusicology, and/or ethnic, vernacular, cultural, historical, heritage, artistic fields. Publishes books, articles, or makes public presentations on the cultural expressions of communities, on theory, policy, or on the practice of public work.


Conditions of Employment

  • Pass Pre-employment Background Investigation
  • Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer

Conditions of Employment
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A. Degree in behavioral or social science or humanities or related disciplines appropriate to the position; OR

B. Combination of education and experience that provided the applicant with knowledge of one or more of the behavioral or social sciences or humanities equivalent to a major in the field, OR

C. Four years of appropriate experience that demonstrates that the applicant has acquired knowledge of one or more of the behavioral or social sciences or humanities equivalent to a major in the 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 knowledge and leadership skills as it relates to managing programs and initiatives of a large museum, cultural or educational institution, business or artistic enterprise or a similar organization as it relates to public programming and/or scholarly research concerning traditional cultural expression and community-based cultural creativity.

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

1. Knowledge of the diverse grassroots cultural traditions found in the United States and among the world's people.

2. Experience and demonstrated results in presenting the knowledge, wisdom, skill, and artistry of diverse grassroots cultural traditions through any one or more of the following: scholarly activity, print, media, digital publications, performances, public programs, exhibitions, educational materials and programs, policy forums, business, or public service activities.

3. Experience and demonstrated results in the preservation of documentary and archival collections and their increased accessibility and use for scholarship, education, artistic creativity and/or community cultural development.

4. Demonstrated track record of generating substantial revenue for operating and/or endowing cultural programs from government appropriations or allocations, and from raising funds from individuals, foundations, corporations and governmental organizations through gifts, grants, and partnerships, and/or the generation of income from the production and distribution of physical or digital products and services.

5. Demonstrated interpersonal and communications skills to build relationships and lead collaborative initiatives with both internal and external stakeholders. This includes ability to effectively persuade and influence stakeholders, build trust and credibility, and to form successful partnerships with a wide variety of constituencies (i.e., senior leadership, boards, donors, and staff) across an organization.

6. Demonstrated skills for leading and managing a multi-disciplined and culturally diverse workforce, including fostering teamwork and high morale, attracting, retaining, and mentoring staff, fellows, interns, and volunteers, and implementing EEO/Affirmative Action policies and programs.

Additional information

The incumbent is appointed by the Secretary but reports to the Under Secretary for Museums and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Within established Smithsonian policy and procedures, and broad policy guidelines established by the Under Secretary for Museums and Culture, the incumbent plans and directs all aspects of the CFCH's programs and activities. The incumbent refers major policy or controversial issues to the Under Secretary, and keeps him or her informed of major projects, policy decisions, and critical problems through written reports, regular meetings, email, and direct conversation. Work performance is appraised primarily in terms of overall effectiveness in achieving program goals and objectives.

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 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 clearance in order 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.