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Public Programs Manager

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About the Academy

The Academy of Natural Sciences was founded in 1812 for "the encouragement and cultivation of the sciences". Since then, it has sponsored global expeditions, conducted pioneering environmental and systematics research, and amassed remarkable collections containing more than 18 million specimens from around the world and a peerless library and archive. Since 2011 its academic enterprise has been further strengthened through its affiliation with nearby Drexel University – a leading private non-profit research institution that focusses on innovation and entrepreneurship and provides a unique cooperative education program for its undergraduate and graduate degree students.

Today the Academy is one of the most important natural science institutions in the world. However, the world is changing fast and the Academy – directed by its Strategic Plan 2019-24 - is changing with it. Over the next five years the Academy will become a “force for nature” and advance its mission: “to understand the natural world and inspire everyone to care for it”. In so doing the Academy will build on its fundamental belief that diversity and inclusion generates better ideas, inspires creativity, and is essential to building a positive workplace so that in time it can become an institution that is of, by and for all Philadelphians.

Job Summary

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is seeking a passionate, creative, and experienced creator of public programs to lead the development and management of programs for intergenerational audiences with a special focus on adult offerings. Reporting to the Senior Director for Creative Development and Partnerships and working in alignment and collaboration with colleagues developing public offerings within the Experiences and Engagement and Community Learning Divisions as well as other internal and external partners, the Public Programs Manager produces and presents a wide range of public experiences. Drawing upon an interdisciplinary approach they will research, conceptualize, develop, and facilitate a dynamic range of programs on and offsite including public conversation forums, evening events, film festivals, workshops, field excursions and more.

The ideal candidate should be a natural leader with some management experience, and a creative yet organized style of working. They should be passionate about the importance of instilling a sense of wonder, and curiosity for the natural world among the Academy’s diverse publics. They should be equally compelled by the importance of co-creation and developing dynamic forums to discuss the most challenging environmental issues of our time—climate change, biodiversity loss, etcetera—in the full complexity of their cultural, social, and political dimensions. The Manager will develop compelling programs with external partners and represent the Academy to public audiences so should have a natural ability to collaborate, as well as to facilitate public conversations.

The Public Programs Manager reports to the Senior Director of Creative Development and Partnerships in the Experience and Engagement Division.

Essential Functions
  • Producing and presenting an annual suite of public programs including an evening series and the Academy Town Square series.
  • Developing and presenting program series tied to exhibition themes.
  • Co-producing festivals and other events with Experience and Engagement and Community Learning colleagues.
  • Working with Marketing and Communications in the timely delivery of creative briefs and program descriptions; as well as to develop publicity, press and social media posts; and to represent programs to the press and media.
  • Contributing research and writing to grant proposals.
  • Developing contracts and agreements with external program partners.
  • Developing and maintaining the annual public programs budget.
  • Creating reports and analysis on programs.
  • Working effectively with internal partners to deliver programs successfully.
  • Recruiting, training, and supervising staff, interns, volunteers, Drexel co-ops, and contracted specialists.
  • Representing the museum in a professional manner, locally and regionally, and making appropriate contributions to the field.
  • Demonstrating outstanding program facilitation and engaging visitor interaction.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s Degree in the Arts, Sciences, History of Science, Film, Environmental Journalism, or Ecology preferred.
  • 3-5 years of experience developing public programs in informal public learning environments, or the equivalent work experience, preferably with a focus on natural science, ecology, or the environment and in in-person and virtual settings.
  • 2 years of experience managing others, preferably in cultural organizations.
  • Demonstrated planning skills in the delivery of programs for the public
  • Highly collaborative and experienced in working on project teams as well as with Marketing and Communication teams
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • History contributing to grant writing
  • Ability to interact the public professionally and work well with people of all ages and abilities
  • Experienced in public speaking and facilitation with outstanding communication skills
  • Demonstrated experience in training others to facilitate programs
  • Demonstrated experience in recruiting and hiring full time, and part time, and to deliver programs, and the training and management of those teams
  • Dependable; reliable attendance, including some nights and weekends and flexibility to work some special events
  • Organized and able to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Computer skills including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Experience or ability to learn specialized reporting software
  • Available evenings and weekends
Preferred Qualifications
  • Master’s degree preferred
  • Strong background and/or interest in the natural sciences
Physical Demands
  • Typically sitting at a desk/table
  • Typically standing, walking
  • Lifting demands ≤ 25lbs
  • Typically bending, crouching, stooping

Center City- Philadelphia, PA

Additional Information

This position is classified as Exempt with a salary grade of J. For more information regarding Drexel’s Professional Staff salary structure,

Special Instructions to the Applicant

Please make sure you upload your CV/resume and cover letter when submitting your application.

Review of applicants will begin once a suitable candidate pool is identified.

Advertised:Nov 28 2022 Eastern Standard Time
Applications close:Jan 7 2023 Eastern Standard Time

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