California Science Center

Deputy Director, Exhibits

California Science Center
Los Angeles, CA
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Mission Statement

We aspire to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone by creating fun, memorable experiences, because we value science as an indispensable tool for understanding our world, accessibility and inclusiveness, and enriching people's lives.

Core Values

  Science as an indispensable tool to understand our world

  • Relate exhibits to science and everyday life
  • Illustrate the nature and process of science
  • Emphasize science as sensemaking in exhibits and programs

  Accessibility and inclusiveness

  • Maintain free admission policy
  • Reach out to and engage all communities
  • Maintain a welcoming environment for all staff and guests

  Enriching people’s lives

  • Provide opportunities for lifelong science learning

About the California Science Center

A national and international leader in science education and informal learning, the California Science Center incorporates a dynamic museum with free general admission, robust educational programming including a professional development center for educators, and a neighborhood K-5 elementary school, to improve public understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). With an average of over 2 million guests each year, including an average of 300,000 visiting school or youth groups, the California Science Center now ranks among the ten most-visited museums in North America and the most-visited museum in the United States outside of New York and Washington, D.C.

The California Science Center is advancing one of the most transformative museum projects in the nation, which will build an iconic destination for Los Angeles and inspire a new generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers. Construction is underway to build the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, the permanent home for the Space Shuttle Endeavour, long-envisioned in Phase III of the Science Center’s 30-year Master Plan. The Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will dramatically expand the footprint and impact of the California Science Center, adding 200,000 square feet to the existing 600,000 sq. ft. facility. It will include three multi-level galleries –Aviation, Space and Shuttle – spanning four floors and covering 100,000 square feet of exhibit space. It will also house a new Special Exhibits Gallery and an Events Center that will host the California Science Center's exciting lineup of popular changing exhibitions, which has previously included the Western Hemisphere premiere of Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies and the world premiere of King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh.

The California Science Center is located in Exposition Park, the crossroads of the Los Angeles community, just south of downtown and across the street from the University of Southern California. The surrounding community offers a diverse cultural experience, classic architecture, park-like grounds, world-class museums, cafés, entertainment and more.

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Under the direction of the President & Chief Executive Officer, the Deputy Director, Exhibits (DDE), is responsible for high level of authority over all related aspects of existing and new exhibits. As a key member of the Science Center’s executive leadership team, the DDE reviews, updates, and implements policies related to the design, development, fabrication, and evaluation of all the museum’s exhibits. The DDE actively participates in strategic and long-term planning and provides leadership to drive the mission forward. Supervising a team of 26, with direct reports to include five Curators, the Exhibitions Technical Director, and the Director of Special Exhibits.

Exhibits in development include the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center which will nearly double the California Science Center’s educational exhibit areas with an impressive artifact collection of aircraft and spacecraft, integrated with hands-on exhibits to encourage guests of all ages to investigate scientific and engineering principles of atmospheric flight and the exploration of the universe. It will also provide a fitting permanent home for Endeavour, one of only three remaining flown space shuttle orbiters and the only one of these national treasures on the West Coast. Endeavour’s awe-inspiring ‘ready-to-launch’ 20-story vertical configuration, complete with solid rocket boosters and an external tank, will be the world’s only display of an authentic space shuttle system.

In addition to the Air and Space Center, the Science Center has numerous other existing and future exhibit projects in different phases of development, including: 

  • 17,000 Sq. ft. Science in Sports exhibit.
  • 26,000 Sq. ft. Life Gallery focusing on humans and other living organisms.
  • Southeast Asian Rainforest addition to Ecosystems exhibit.
  • 25,000 Sq. ft. Technology/Engineering exhibition.
  • Hosting traveling exhibits, such as in the past, King Tut exhibit and BodyWorlds.
  • Developing and promoting our traveling exhibits, such as Dogs! A Science Tail, and Goosebumps: The Science of Fear.

The DDE performs the following essential duties:

Exhibit Development

  • Direct the design, development, management of installation, and timelines of all exhibit projects, implementing appropriate policies and procedures to continuously improve the efficiency and effectiveness of exhibits, such as staying current with new technologies and practices in the field, and the overall guest experience.
  • Develop and execute policies which support the educational goals, programs, and mission of the institution, prioritizing accessibility, scientific accuracy, relevance, fiscal stewardship, and project timelines.
  • Represent the museum during selection, negotiations and collaborations with consultants, contractors, designers, architects’ fabricators, and engineers to successfully meet project goals and timelines.
  • Audit exhibit components regularly to ensure the final product is in line with the organization’s accessibility, educational messaging, and design standards; also ensure that exhibits appropriately address sensitive and potentially controversial issues.
  • Further Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) goals, by ensuring objectives are reflected in the values of the team and design of exhibits.
  • Represent the organization during negotiations for the international exhibit loan of foreign governments national cultural heritage (i.e., Minister of Culture, Minister of Antiquities).
  • Ensure that all collections are safeguarded consistent with accreditation standards and loan agreements. 

Organizational and Executive Leadership

  • Manage the Exhibit Development Department, directly supervising curatorial managers and providing high-level direction to design staff to ensure that projects meet the organization’s, vision, mission, and standards.
  • Report directly to, act on behalf of, and collaborate with the President & Chief Executive Officer to provide organizational leadership, create policy, and direct strategic planning efforts for the Science Center to meet vision, mission, and goals.
  • Represent the Science Center’s Executive Leadership Team at Board meetings and Educational Exhibits and Programs Committee meetings.
  • Review and analyze policies outside of exhibit design scope such as construction policies, plans, and timelines, to ensure that those policies are consistent with and meet the needs of exhibit development design and standards.
  • As a subject matter expert on matters related to exhibition production, artifact movement and storage, and related scheduling, collaborate with department heads across the Science Center to plan strategically to meet the future needs of the Science Center and its audiences, organizational goals, and fulfillment of the Science Center’s core mission.
  • Foster communication and collaboration between Exhibit Development Department curatorial teams and other interdepartmental units, such as Exhibit Maintenance, Security, Operations, Guest Services, Education, Communications, and Development to communicate relevant exhibition and collection policy updates and changes, as needed.
  • Represent management in negotiations with labor unions, as needed.

Fiscal Administration

  • Manage exhibition projects with budgets totaling more than $85 million, including ensuring fiscal stewardship and oversight of grant/award implementation and reporting for exhibit projects in various stages of development.
  • Collaborate with Development Department to initiate, support, or contribute to the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gift prospects and donors to leverage the State’s financial investment and maximize future exhibit funding from corporations, foundations, governmental grants, and individual philanthropists.
  • Exercise authority regarding exhibit development contracts with vendors and independent contractors.
  • Participate as a subject matter expert in the composition of budget change proposal requests and annual reports, as needed. 

External Affairs

  • Exemplify and model the Science Center’s core values, serving as an effective ambassador and spokesperson to stakeholders, the public, and the media.
  • Initiate and/or maintain strategic partnerships with peer organizations and institutions to advocate for the Science Center’s program nationally and internationally, such as other science centers, museums, zoos and aquariums, and local, state, and federal government agencies.
  • Evaluate educational messaging that may be used to represent the Science Center in print and media to ensure credibility with the media, the scientific community, and other key contacts and to preserve the Museum’s reputation as a trusted source and partner in providing a superior science education.


The DDE will be an innovative and collaborative leader who is committed to and enthusiastic about providing science education to all. The successful candidate will have proven success in exhibit design and development at a leading museum. With strong conceptual and analytical abilities, the DDE must be a strategic thinker and able to analyze problems, measure performance, evaluate results, and identify alternative solutions. In addition, the candidate identified should have solid technical, organizational, and administrative skills, with keen attention to detail. The DDE should be goal-oriented, well-disciplined, and a servant leader who can create systems and procedures and be able to implement them effectively. This position requires the ability to analyze contracts to arrive at mission-appropriate solutions. The individual must be able to adapt to a fast-paced environment and thrive in a project-oriented workplace while managing a team.

The DDE should have outstanding interpersonal skills and be a transparent, effective, and persuasive communicator, both verbally and in writing. The DDE must operate with a collaborative work model. The individual should therefore be diplomatic yet decisive, showing solid listening skills and considering input from various constituencies before making decisions. The ability to earn the trust and confidence of colleagues at all levels inside and outside the organization is essential. The DDE will be responsible for leading and directing staff, fostering teamwork, and effectively collaborating with other stakeholders.


The DDE will be a seasoned leader with at least 10-15 years of broad experience in exhibit development and execution of projects. The preferred candidate will have at least five years of experience in a senior leadership position managing exhibits, curators, and budgets for a complex organization. The successful candidate should have an appreciation for developing communication and experience with exhibits for all to comprehend. Experience working in curatorial, education, or exhibit development will be preferred. Candidates with experience working in museums, zoos, aquariums, theme parks, and design firms will be considered.


A Ph.D. is preferred. Candidates with relevant work experience will be considered.


The DDE will be an employee of the State of California. The annual salary range is $152,386-173,015. Health and other state benefit information can be found on the CalHR website and the CalPERS website.

This is a full-time exempt position with the expectation of regular in-person work during the week and availability for evening and weekend projects.

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