NW Film Center Director

Website nwfilmcenter NW Film Center

Watch. Learn. Make

The NW Film Center Director will bring innovative perspective, artistic leadership, management experience, strategic insight, significant fundraising capabilities, and operational skill to the NW Film Center.  Reporting to the Director of the Portland Art Museum, the Director is responsible for the overall profile, growth and operation of the Film Center, including exhibitions, education, regional filmmakers’ support, and financial development.  In partnership with PAM’s Director, board and staff as well as the Film Center staff and members, the Director will evaluate the landscape to define a vision that will grow and steward the NW Film Center, a place where individuals from a range of backgrounds find and cultivate their personal voices as storytellers and image makers, and audiences explore our region and the world through film.  This Director position comes as the result of the longtime leader’s retirement and offers broad strategic, artistic, operational, outreach and fundraising opportunities for the NWFC and its constituents along with the ability to explore further synergies and collaborations with the Museum’s curatorial, education, development and marketing departments, among others.

The Director’s primary responsibilities include:


  • Overall Management:  Lead staff within a matrixed organizational structure that includes a primary reporting relationship to PAM’s Director.  Current direct reports include the Education, Programming and Development leaders within a fairly flat internal structure.  This role is tasked to evaluate, define, and shape the staff structure to meet the vision and strategic direction of NWFC.  Collaborate closely with the PAM’s CFO and HR Director to ensure a high functioning administrative partnership.  Continue to develop an organizational culture that supports transparent communications, staff growth and development, and accountability to budget and goals while encouraging creative, organic, purposeful work.  Mentor staff and delegate.  Adopt the equity framework jointly developed between PAM and NW Film Center.
  • Fundraising & Donor Development:  Identify and implement funding strategies regionally and nationally and in collaboration with the PAM development efforts.  Build upon existing donor relationships and cultivate new donors, including individuals, community partners, foundations, and corporations.  Assess and develop support for capital and facility needs.  Lead Film Committee, a subcommittee of the PAM board of trustees.
  • Program Oversight:  Provide wise, knowledgeable artistic direction that reflects NWFC’s reputation and mission.  Oversee the work of the Senior Leadership Team to implement the programming while maintaining fidelity to the mission.  Create an environment and the resources that support programming of key events (film festivals, etc.), educational excellence, and the makers community. Ensure programmatic evaluation and relevance.
  • Marketing & Communications:  Establish and elevate brand identity in the community and storytelling strategies.  Serve as primary spokesperson and provide strategic direction for special events and media efforts as appropriate.
  • General Operations:  Provide active leadership in all operational areas, including human resources, facilities/capital assets management, purchasing, budgeting and working effectively with PAM’s leaders and staff.  Ensure compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and rules as well as organizational standards and policies.

Profile of the Successful Candidate


The successful candidate will possess experience and broad knowledge of the independent media arts field- including artists, program development, organizations and funders- and grasp the issues and forces impacting the film arts community.  Specifically, the successful candidate will:


  • Possess a minimum of five years of working at the executive level in a nonprofit arts or media organization with a budget in the $1-2 million or above range; demonstrated knowledge and experience in nonprofit fiscal management
  • Show evidence of results-oriented management skills and leadership traits that inspire and motivate all stakeholders, including staff, donors, members and collaborative partners
  • Bring prior fundraising or development experience, with a proven track record at the local, regional, and national levels as well as expanding a donor base, especially with individuals
  • Utilize excellent writing and communication skills as well as superior interpersonal and presentation skills

More specifically, the NW Film Center seeks a professional who has:


  • A vision and the experience to formulate the strategy that stakes out the NW Film Center’s role in advancing PNW artists and independent film’s growth and dynamism in the cultural landscape
  • The demonstrated experience to build collaborative and productive relationships with a focus on internal and external cultures of transparency and trust
  • Management skills that include listening, team building, mentoring, coaching, problem solving in an inclusive manner, and bringing along those affected by a decision-making process
  • Pragmatism and a strong commitment to the pursuit of ideas and solutions that may be new to the organization or larger sector; adaptability to the evolving sector conditions and the business opportunities it may present to the NW Film Center
  • An externally facing approach that enhances resources for the broad mission that includes programming, education and an expansion of artistic support and new technology investments
  • The experience to critically assess innovation opportunities and their impact on the organization’s capacity and sustainability as well as the larger film community
  • A seasoned blend of judgment, wisdom and discretion in cultivating and managing relationships in the community and with PAM leadership, including current and potential board members
  • The sensitivity and business savvy to advocate and lead the NWFC as well as be part of the PAM team, especially as the institution embarks on a projected $75 million capital and $25 million endowment campaign, which impacts the Center’s primary exhibition venue

Start Timeframe

We seek to have someone in place by early March, 2019.


Compensation and Scope

This position offers a competitive salary, commensurate with experience; excellent benefits available.  Regular travel is necessary to represent the organization in the international, national, regional and local film, arts and education communities, communicating the Center’s mission and advancing its programs of interest.  The NW Film Center is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity of all types.


To Apply

All applications are held in strict confidence.  The application process requires two steps:

Please submit credentials and a cover letter of interest via email to Melissa Ulum (Melissa@MSSsearch.com), Managing Partner of MS&S Search.  If you have questions, please contact at (503) 244-2124 direct line or (503) 730-7615 mobile;

Apply online visit: https://pamcareers.hyrell.com and follow the link to create a profile. Please contact hr@pam.org with questions.

To be considered, applications should be received no later than 5 pm PST on November 21, 2018.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the position will remain open until filled.


At MS&S Search, we know that a richly diverse mix of professionals makes organizations more effective.  Using that guiding principle, we make diversity a hallmark of our firm and all our search engagements.  Learn more about MS&S Search http://www.msssearch.com/.

To apply for this job please visit pamcareers.hyrell.com.