Associate Director

At Design Museum San Francisco we believe design can change the world. Done well, it can elevate our quality of life, make businesses more competitive, and protect our environment. Design awareness, education, and expertise are more important now than ever before as design continues to impact communities, organizations, and markets around the world. Design Museum San Francisco is redefining what it means to be a museum in the 21st century — we’re online, nomadic, and accessible to all through a city-wide network of exhibitions, events, and content. Our mission: Bring the transformative power of design everywhere, to inspire a world full of creative problem solvers. Design is everywhere. So are we.  

Position Overview:

Design Museum San Francisco is seeking an Associate Director responsible for managing the museum’s presence, building strong relationships, and growing our overall impact. A successful candidate will be a multi-talented, entrepreneurial, leader with a passion for design and the ability to influence and motivate others towards achieving the museum’s vision and mission. The position is equal parts management and action — the Associate Director will plan, lead, and execute key programs across all operations including development, content, educational programming, and marketing. We’re looking for experience in design, development/sales, and program management.

Design Museum San Francisco’s Associate Director will oversee and maintain a portfolio of active and prospective partners, donors, and volunteers, as well as design and curate innovative design events and exhibitions, to ensure the mission of the museum in accomplished. The candidate will report directly to the Executive Director and work closely with the San Francisco Launch Council and Design Museum Foundation Board of Directors.


  • Recruit, manage, and motivate interns, volunteers, content contributors, and Council members
  • Co-chair the San Francisco Advisory Council to ensure local expertise and support
  • Manage day-to-day operations of Design Museum San Francisco and report status to Executive Director
  • Establish and maintain strong communication with the museum’s community in San Francisco: advisory council members, volunteers, interns, and contributors
  • Build relationships with community, civic, business, and design leaders, as well a venue owners and potential sponsors
  • Raise financial support for the museum by building and managing relationships with prospective and existing donors in all aspects of the gift cycle including: identifying, qualifying, and initiating contact; developing appropriate cultivation strategies; moving potential donors toward solicitation and closure; and maintaining donor stewardship
  • Ensure that San Francisco fundraising targets are met, and that all efforts are effective and measurable
  • Direct press and media relations to ensure effective marketing of museum programs
  • Manage field marketing efforts around San Francisco
  • Develop and execute programs like events and exhibitions, and manage outreach strategy
  • Design and curate innovative programming to fulfill the mission of Design Museum San Francisco
  • Develop program definitions, budgets, and schedules to support and direct vibrant  programming
  • Lead project teams to develop and launch existing and new programs
  • Communicate program status, and delegate tasks to interns, volunteers, and Advisory Council members
  • Work with guest curators and program advisors to develop content
  • Graphic design and copywriting for publishing marketing and programmatic content


  • Bachelor’s Degree in design, business, arts administration, communications, marketing, or in a relevant field
  • 3+ years relevant professional experience — including 1+ years program management experience
  • Ability to assess priorities, manage multiple projects simultaneously, and work well under pressure
  • Entrepreneurial, able to usher other people’s and other organization’s resources to our cause
  • Outgoing, energetic, self-motivated, and passionate about design and education
  • Strong interpersonal skills, able to interact and sell professionally
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills: able to speak publicly, give presentations about the museum, and negotiate with funders
  • Self-starter with a strong work ethic and attention to detail — able to contribute under uncertainty, lead and work collaboratively with other professionals
  • Hard worker, very organized, with a desire to help this startup grow — adaptable to changing situations and circumstances


  • Starting Salary Range: $40-60k
  • Benefits: Health/Dental/Vision Insurance, PTO, and we work from home on Mondays!

Job Conditions:

  • Some evening and weekend work may be required
  • Some domestic travel may be required
  • Valid driver’s license required with clean driving record — a personal vehicle is not required
  • Ability to stand for extended periods of time and lift at least 25lbs

To Apply:

  • To apply send a cover letter, resume, and a link to a short video (max 4 minutes) to
  • In your video please address the following:
    • Introduce yourself, tell us about you.
    • Why do you want this job? And tell us why you’d be great at it.
    • Tell us about some of your relevant past experience.
    • If you could have one super power, what would it be?
    • Tell us about your most recent halloween costume.