The world-renowned Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) seeks an accomplished, entrepreneurial and innovative leader to serve as the organization’s first Chief Operating Officer (COO). Reporting and serving as a key partner to the MFA’s Director, and to the rest of the Museum’s Leadership Team, the COO will provide strategic and operational leadership to advance the mission of one of the world’s most venerable and comprehensive art museums.
The MFA’s encyclopedic collection encompasses nearly 500,000 works of art, and each year the Museum welcomes more than one million visitors to experience collections from ancient Egyptian to contemporary, special exhibitions, and innovative educational programs. The Museum is a lively social destination that offers concerts, films, and lectures while also serving as an important community and learning resource for schools, families, and visitors near and far.
The COO will join the MFA as it embarks on a forward-looking strategic framework that will position the Museum to realize its vision and ambition for the future. While the Museum has enjoyed a long history of solid financial performance, the MFA, like other major museums, faces specific challenges exacerbated by the global COVID-19 health crisis. The opportunity going forward is to preserve and strengthen the MFA’s financial health by growing a strong member and visitor base while bringing innovative and financially successful strategies to the Museum’s earned revenue operations. It is in this context that the new COO will play a key role in developing and implementing a reenergized Museum with a strong strategic operational and financial footing in the years to come.
The MFA has just completed a review of its organizational structure to align its resources with its mission and vision while continuing its work in creating a Museum where all feel they are welcome and belong. As the Director assumes an ever-increasing role in strategic initiatives, external relations, and the Museum’s place in a broad and diverse community, the new COO will assume a new portfolio of responsibilities, including: Marketing Analytics/Database Marketing, Digital Strategy, Intellectual Property, Business and Revenue Development, Attendance, Member and Visitor Services, Retail, Food and Beverage Services, and Protective Services.
Priorities for the COO will include refinement and execution of a marketing analytics strategy; maximizing revenues from current activities and identifying new revenue-generating opportunities; prioritizing digital investment initiatives; ensuring the safety and security of the museum’s visitors, staff, collections, and other assets; identifying opportunities to streamline business processes with an eye toward improving customer service and cost-effectiveness; identifying and evaluating external partnership opportunities; and measuring performance across all areas of the institution to facilitate the best informed decisions possible related to the Museum’s financial, human, and physical resources.
Technology will be a key lever in the Museum’s efforts to generate new revenue and improve operational efficiencies. As such, the COO will spearhead the Museum’s digital strategy and transformation, advancing the use of technology to create the capabilities the Museum will need to support its business objectives and organizational performance in the years ahead.
The ideal candidate will bring at least 10 years of leadership experience in a complex organization; experience in a museum leadership role will be a plus. Candidates must demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit that leads to positive results and bring expertise in multiple areas in the COO portfolio along with proven ability to lead, manage, and inspire trust and confidence through a time of significant change and constrained resources. A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in a relevant field is preferred. The successful candidate will share the MFA’s deep commitment to social and racial justice and fostering a welcoming, inclusive environment combined with an appreciation for the arts and an evident commitment to advocating for the importance of cultural institutions to the life of one’s community.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist with this important search. Review of candidates will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Please direct all inquiries, nominations, and application materials, including a letter of interest and resume, in confidence to: