President & CEO

Website Madison Children's Museum

Position Summary

The President & CEO will provide strategic leadership, champion a positive culture, and oversee all museum programs, services, and operations with a focus on creating a sustainable environment for learning through creative play. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the President & CEO will monitor and manage the organization’s financial health, guide advocacy efforts, and build on MCM’s vital relationships with the community. The President & CEO will also serve as the primary external voice and face of the organization and will be the lead for both operational and programmatic fundraising. This individual will invigorate earned revenue growth by increasing attendance and memberships and building capacity for new revenue streams. The President & CEO will possess a strong understanding and practice of ADEI as well as a deep commitment to environmental sustainability, and will continue to enhance these values within the institution. They will define, develop, and implement priorities that advance the organization’s mission and strategic goals while ensuring board engagement and team alignment with those priorities. The President & CEO will build an organizational culture of teamwork, accountability, and collegiality characterized by creativity, open communication, and strategic fiscal management.


Roles and Responsibilities

Leadership and Strategic Vision

·        Advance MCM’s strategic plan, ensuring the goals and outcomes are consistent with the mission, vision, and values, by providing visionary, collaborative, and forward-thinking leadership.

·        Employ knowledge and experience to undo systemic barriers to participation and belonging in cultural organizations, increasing the sense of welcome and belonging at all museum activities for all participants.

·        Foster an environment that embraces ADEI through respect, collaboration, intentionality, and anti-racism in the arts.

·        Create and maintain strong ties with community decision-makers, government officials, the media, business executives, and other arts leaders to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

·        Advocate for children, families, the arts and arts education by serving as a visible leader and key spokesperson in the local and national early learning, arts and culture communities.

·        Build upon MCM’s visibility and positive brand to ensure the organization is properly resourced to achieve its goals.

·        Embrace other leadership and strategic vision responsibilities, as needed.


Contributed and Earned Revenue Enhancement

·        Serve as the organization’s primary development liaison, increasing revenue diversification and inspiring individual and foundation donors, corporate sponsorship opportunities, government grants, and special campaigns.

·        Identify and establish relationships with key funders and donors to nurture existing relationships and develop new sources of funding.

·        Ensure the successful completion of the current $3 million capital campaign by partnering with the Director of Development and the board and take the lead on future campaigns and expansion projects.

·        Cultivate ongoing government support from City of Madison, the state of Wisconsin, and the federal government, elevating the positive impacts of MCM on the larger community and throughout the region.

·        Enhance and guide a marketing and communication strategy that maximizes memberships, admissions, rental revenues, and other earned revenue opportunities.

·        Embrace other contributed and earned revenue enhancement responsibilities, as needed.


Program Vibrancy and Community Engagement

·        Champion and grow the museum’s local and national partnerships, innovations, and initiatives in collaboration with MCM’s VP of Education and Community Engagement and VP of Exhibits, Facilities and Strategic Initiatives.

·        Stay abreast of current research and trends in museums, particularly those for children, early childhood learning, and the continuum of cognitive, emotional, and social development in both formal and informal learning environments.

·        Affirm MCM’s role in the ecosystem of a vital regional early learning and arts community with multiple constituents and develop relationships that enhance the goals of that larger community.

·        Connect with teachers, principals, and superintendents to understand state and national education requirements and policies to ensure that MCM complements those standards.

·        Enhance MCM’s presence and increase impact in the community by actively engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders through public speaking, attendance at community events, and participating in community initiatives on all levels.

·        Communicate MCM’s mission to multiple audiences and develop and guide the implementation of effective strategies to expand participation.

·        Advocate for children, families, informal education, museums, and the arts at the local, state, and national level.

·        Embrace other program vibrancy and community engagement responsibilities, as needed.


Financial Resiliency and Board Governance

·        Develop and oversee the organizational budget, managing expenses and income to ensure financial stability and growth.

·        Create earned and contributed revenue forecasting models and analysis and make recommendations to support decision-making about MCM’s finances.

·        Monitor and report financial performance to the board in collaboration with the finance committee to support timely decision-making.

·        Communicate financial position and forecasts to staff and funders, so that they fully understand why financial decisions are made and how resources are allocated.

·        Partner with the Nominating and Governance Committee to expand, diversify, and manage the board by ensuring that members are engaged according to their skills, interests, and the needs of the organization.

·        Share information with board members regularly and serve as a liaison between board committees and staff.

·        Embrace other financial resiliency and board governance responsibilities, as needed.


Organizational Stability and Resiliency

·        Oversee all daily operations of MCM, including programs and personnel, to ensure the organization operates effectively and efficiently.

·        Elevate and activate MCM’s commitment to AEDI to attract and retain staff and board members from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.

·        Demonstrate a commitment to MCM’s core values and proven strengths in the areas of design, creativity, and environmental sustainability.

·        Anticipate the organization’s dynamic needs and invest in staff development to continuously advance skills and deliver on MCM’s mission.

·        Maintain active assessment and management of risks facing the organization and develop mitigation plans to offset potential negative impacts.

·        Amplify and advance MCM’s positive culture and work environment, where all departments are equitably valued, and staff of all gender identities, ethnicities, and backgrounds are valued and feel appreciated.

·        Demonstrate a genuine curiosity and interest in all aspects of the organization so that all parts of the institution are fully understood and valued.

·        Galvanize an experienced staff, fostering collaboration and teamwork.

·        Embrace other organizational stability and resiliency responsibilities, as needed.


Traits and Characteristics

The President & CEO will be a dynamic, creative, and altruistic leader who values teamwork and collaboration and is passionate about uplifting all communities. They will be people-oriented and comfortable engaging a wide range of stakeholders and networking across sectors and groups, including donors, government, education, and grass-roots community members. A sound decision-maker, the President & CEO will be versatile and resourceful with the ability to anticipate and solve complex challenges. They will lead with diplomacy and authenticity, remaining sensitive and responsive to the needs of others. The President & CEO will be transparent with constituents, including the board, staff, artists, patrons, and external stakeholders.


Other key competencies include:

·        Leadership and Goal Orientation – The capacity to organize, inspire, and influence people to believe in a vision, creating a sense of common purpose centered on the well-being and growth of MCM’s staff, patrons, and community, and setting and attaining goals established to advance MCM’s profile.

·        Flexibility and Resiliency – The dexterity to quickly adjust to changing circumstances in the industry and environment with the flexibility to remain optimistic in the face of setbacks and challenges.

·        Stakeholder Focus – The sensitivity and insightfulness to anticipate, meet, and frequently exceed parent, patron, teacher, and other stakeholder needs, wants, and expectations.

·        Decision Making and Problem Solving – The ability to analyze and diagnose all aspects of a situation and make consistently sound and timely decisions.

·        Diplomacy and Understanding Others – The clarity to demonstrate emotional intelligence and sensitivity when handling challenging issues, communicating, building rapport, and relating well to others.



Qualified candidates will have proven success in arts administration, education, nonprofit, business, or related fields. Expertise in community engagement, fiscal oversight, fundraising, operations, board and staff management, marketing, strategic planning, and program development is needed. Demonstrated success in advancing AEDI strategies is essential. Experience building effective and productive partnerships with a board of directors and staff is strongly desired. A deep interest in and understanding of child development and early childhood education is important. A demonstrable connection and passion for the power of discovery learning and creative play is deeply appreciated. Prior visibility as a public spokesperson who has represented an organization to a diverse range of stakeholders is desired. A track record of managing and motivating a strong unified team through a visionary, collaborative, and forward-thinking leadership style is highly valued.


Compensation and Benefits

MCM offers competitive compensation, with a salary range expected to be between $160,000 and $180,000 with a generous benefits package that includes medical, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance; a 401(k) retirement plan with a 2% match in contributions after two months of employment; free MCM membership with reciprocal benefits at thousands of museums nationwide, and generous paid time-off and holidays.


Application and Inquiries

To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please visit


For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:


Jenna Deja, Vice President

201 West Lake Street, Suite 133

Chicago, IL 60606-1803

Tel       (888) 234.4236 Ext. 227



Madison Children’s Museum is an Affirmative Action Plan/Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant because of sex, age, race, color, religion, marital or student status, disability/handicap, national origin or ancestry, income level or source of income, arrest, or conviction record, less than honorable discharge, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or political beliefs.

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