Chief Learning Officer

Texas, United States
Salary Not specified
Jul 22, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Chief Learning Officer

C-Suite level leader of Education, Community Engagement and Visitor Experience


Purpose Statement:  The Perot Museum is committed to wholly redefining its approach to museum education and is seeking a Chief Learning Officer to lead the effort. The Perot’s new CLO will bring both the strategic intent and the entrepreneurial thinking needed to define the Museum’s future role - and its responsibility - for providing access to STEM education to the widest possible audience.


The Perot Museum seeks to have a long-term state-wide impact on STEM education in Texas and to re-imagine the ways that schools and school districts engage with the Museum.  Beyond the development of a new way of working with the formal education sector, the CLO will lead the Museum’s outreach into its community, anticipating the changing needs of its rapidly evolving demographics, and will re-imagine the way the Museum defines and considers visitor engagement both on and off site.  A significant emphasis of this effort will be focused on the Museum’s tangible contributions to STEM workforce development.


The CLO, working as part of an exceptionally strong and visionary senior team, will drive these strategic initiatives and act as their executive thought-leader.  The position is C-Suite level, reporting directly to the CEO, with peers in the roles of CFO, COO, CDO and Chief of Staff, and will have responsibility for facilitating the Engagement Committee of the Board.


Responsibilities will be flexible but include:

  • Lead the overall strategic vision and execution for all Museum Education Programs, including:
    • School and teacher partnerships and programs - with a goal of positioning the Perot Museum as the premiere STEM-education provider for the state of Texas and as a national leader in the field of informal science education
    • Community engagement - including the Museum’s Tech Truck and Community Partners programs
    • Public programs - including all facilitated demonstrations, activity labs, and guest engagement delivered by staff as well as volunteers
    • Out-of-school-time programs - including camps, birthday parties, early-childhood programs, and other to-be-developed program opportunities
    • Science Communication programs - including efforts focused on premiere areas of Perot Museum expertise (paleontology, human evolution, and gems/minerals)
    • Digital Education and Engagement – including reach to teachers, students, families and special interest education groups
    • Education Collections - with the goal of redefining how the collection can serve education and exhibit programs and interface with the scientific collections/holdings of the Museum
    • Customer service and guest-facing principles – including the development of a vision and strategy for providing best-in-class guest engagement
  • Assess the Perot Museum’s existing Education Program portfolio and, where necessary, streamline, re-focus, and develop that portfolio according to strategic priorities: Create business models to support and grow programming through earned and contributed revenue in coordination with CDO and CFO.
  • Define an organizational structure that will allow for the delivery of the above and recruit new staff or mentor existing staff to deliver on these promises.
  • Oversee the creation, revision, and implementation of high-quality standards for staff and volunteer training, program development, and customer service.
  • Supervise direct reports to inspire, develop, and guide a large and diverse team of full-time and part-time educators, volunteers, and gallery experience staff.
  • Prioritize opportunities to integrate STEM into all education program experiences; include issues and voices relevant to the Perot Museum’s evolving regional community; foster the ongoing work to move the Museum from a mono-lingual to a bilingual (English/Spanish) organization and to one that welcomes multi-ethnic audiences.
  • Lead staff in the work of planning, initiating, and delivering programs for a broad and diverse cross section of the Dallas community.
  • Build and reinforce a positive, productive, healthy, and fun work culture at all levels, prioritizing teamwork, innovation, delivery, and collaboration.
  • Work closely with colleagues to create cohesive, high-quality, and relevant exhibit experiences.
  • Lead the Board Committee on Engagement and identify ways to best utilize the skills and relationships these Board members bring to the Museum.
  • Assist in fundraising, Board engagement, financial monitoring, and other C-Suite duties as needed.

 Critical Leadership Skills include:

  • Entrepreneurial spirit that identifies and seizes relevant opportunities.
  • Sound operational and business acumen with ability to create and adapt successful structures, models, and systems.
  • Strategic decision-making and forward-looking curiosity.
  • Dedication to both internal and external community and collaboration.
  • Excellence in building positive and productive relationships at all levels.
  • Flexibility; ability to creatively adapt to and lead in an environment of rapid change.
  • Deep working knowledge of informal science education theory and practice.

 Background and Experience required:

  • Dedicated passion for STEM and informal science education.
  • Substantial experience working at a senior-level position within an organization dedicated to an educational mission.
  • Successful leadership of a large and complex business unit (preferred experience: oversight of staff of 50+ and budget responsibility of $5MM+).
  • Deep knowledge of working with diverse communities in a city with a large and diverse population base.
  • Demonstrated creative ability to develop, lead and deliver earned revenue programs within an educational framework.
  • Experience working to garner grants and contributed revenues and successfully delivering on the promises of those.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of working within a nonprofit enterprise; experience working with a sophisticated Board of Trustees.
  • Previous experience working with or for museums is highly desired, especially if that experience includes working with natural history content/collections and interactive exhibits.


Candidate CVs may be submitted online @


The Perot Museum of Nature and Science – Institutional Background

In 1936, the Dallas Museum of Natural History was established in the historic Fair Park district as part of the Texas Centennial and was one of the first natural history museums in the region. Seventy years later, the museum merged with two other Dallas museums – the Science Place and the Dallas Children’s Museum – to create the Museum of Nature and Science at Fair Park. In 2008, the Museum’s Board announced the Pritzker Prize Laureate Thom Mayne would design a new facility for the Museum at Victory Park in Dallas. When the children of Ross and Margot Perot announced a $50-million gift in honor of their parents, the Museum was renamed the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. After surpassing a $185 million fundraising goal more than a year ahead of schedule, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science opened on December 1, 2012.


The mission of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is to inspire minds through nature and science. Focusing on its collection-based research, exhibits and educational programs (both on an off-site), the Museum is dedicated to instilling and advancing an understanding of the natural and manmade world in children, families, students, teachers and lifelong learners in the City of Dallas and throughout North Texas. The 180,000 square-foot museum features five floors of public space with 11 exhibit halls including a children’s museum complete with outdoor play space.


Pre-COVID-19, the Museum operated on a $25MM budget with 300 staff and 1,600 volunteers. A shut-down related Reduction-in-Force which went into effect 01 July 2020, has reduced staffing numbers to just over 120.  The Museum has retained an endowment of $24MM and just over $19MM in cash and board designated funds. It reaches just over 1.2 million people a year with 250,000 of those served offsite through outreach and TECH Truck programming.


STEM Education

The Perot Museum is a critical partner to school systems throughout the state and region. The Museum provides youth the opportunity to explore new ideas through tangible, interactive exhibits, through which they study everything from dinosaurs to DNA. Programming includes tactile exploration areas, discovery stations, workshops, demonstrations, lectures and symposia, field trips, labs, a teacher development center, after-school and summer classes, clubs, and more. Online activities, interactive media and online education programs extend the reach of the Perot Museum. The Museum serves over 230,000 school students annually. 


An alarming 79% of 12th graders in the U.S. are not proficient in science. The Museum provides the resources needed to improve these outcomes for students and enable our young generations maintain a competitive edge in the world. The Perot Museum is a place where families can learn together, and individuals can take a break from their daily routines to ponder the vast mysteries of science. Visitors can wander, either to get lost or to find their way, as they discover something new and fascinating. 

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