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Job Opening: Executive Director

Job Opening: Executive Director

Reports to: Board of Directors

Status: Full-time, exempt; some weekends and evenings required

Location: Springfield, IL

Application Deadline: Open until filled

Position availability date: Immediately

Salary Range: $80,000 - $90,000; Salary commensurate with experience.

The Organization

The Kidzeum of Health and Science opened in historic downtown Springfield, Illinois in July 2018 after years in the making. Its mission is to create experiences of learning and discovery through play for children of all backgrounds and abilities.  Kidzeum is committed to nurturing health and wellness, promoting science education and developing environmental and global awareness through innovative programs and exhibits. Learn more at

Kidzeum has been closed to the public since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and state regulations. During this closure, Kidzeum has continued to serve the public in other ways, such as providing science kits to families in need and Super Hero Kits to encourage children to wear masks and practice other healthy behaviors. Kidzeum received substantial COVID-19 relief funding through federal and state programs, providing the opportunity to weather the pandemic and pursue exciting new partnership opportunities. Kidzeum is now developing plans to reopen later this year when it is safe to do so.

Kidzeum is engaged with Springfield School District 186 to develop an exciting new partnership for a multi-week STEM/STEAM immersive program for elementary school students to be launched in fall 2021 and continue throughout the school year. This could be transformational as the Kidzeum becomes a site for school-based education during the school day/school year, contributing to the STEM education pipeline. This is a pivotal time for Kidzeum and an opportunity for a new leader to work with the Board of Directors to transition a start-up children’s museum into a vital community asset.

In 2019 Kidzeum had seven full-time staff and additional part-time and seasonal staff; $775,000 in total revenue and 42,000 visitors. 

Position Overview

Kidzeum is looking for an experienced, energetic and dynamic individual to lead the organization at this pivotal time. The Executive Director is the face of the Kidzeum to the community and is responsible for developing and maintaining positive relationships with community leaders, educational institutions, local and state elected officials, donors, local businesses, not-for-profit organizations, members and visitors.  Fundraising is a priority responsibility of the Executive Director, in collaboration with the Board of Directors, as is developing partnerships with other community organizations and agencies. 

The Executive Director has overall responsibility for staff supervision, planning, financial management, program management, marketing, and community relations for this not-for-profit organization, subject to Board oversight. The Executive Director will work closely with the Board to develop and implement the strategic plan, ensure appropriate policies are in place and provide leadership and support for the staff and volunteers.

The Executive Director has responsibility for rebuilding the staff following the COVID-19 shut-down and leads the management team which includes the Assistant Museum Director, Director of Learning and Public Programs and other part-time staff. 

Major Duties and Responsibilities

Key responsibilities include overseeing and managing all aspects of the Museum’s operations, exhibits,  and education programming; ensuring a welcoming atmosphere for guests;  leading Kidzeum’s fundraising for both operations and future capital campaigns; representing Kidzeum to the community; establishing and nurturing key collaborations with local and regional partners, in particular, Springfield School District 186; hiring staff, driving the development of innovative new programming; capitalizing on education outreach opportunities; and developing and executing a long-term strategic plan for the Museum.

Candidate Qualifications

  • The ideal candidate will have demonstrated leadership experience, strong interpersonal communications skills, experience in fundraising, and be a creative, self-directed, energetic team player.
  • Significant and successful experience in fundraising (both for operations and as part of a capital campaign), including securing major gifts, corporate and foundation support and grants from diverse sources.
  • Financial savvy; knowledge and ability to read and understand financial statements.
  • Experience leading a team in a collaborative work environment and building collaborative relationships with other organizations. Must have a commitment to diversity and inclusion and be able to work with individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds, economic status and/or abilities.
  • Knowledge of not-for-profit management and best practices, strategic planning and experience working with a board of directors. Experience with membership programs is highly desirable.
  • Ability to serve as an effective spokesperson for the organization and represent a positive image of Kidzeum to the community.
  • Previous leadership or management experience and a minimum of five years of progressively responsible senior-level experience in a comparable organization.
  • Experience in early childhood education, museum education and management, or equivalent, including experience in an informal learning environment is a plus.
  • A bachelor’s degree is required and a master's degree is preferred in a field related to the duties of this position.  
  • Experience leading an organization during a transition, turn-around or period of growth is highly desirable.

Application Process: Please send your resume, cover letter and contact information for three (3) references to:
Electronic applications only. Position is open until filled.

Kidzeum is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Additionally, we strive to make the Kidzeum community – staff, visitor base, programs, and exhibitions – representative of the diversity of the city of Springfield and Central Illinois, and to carry forth the spirit of access, inclusion, and equity in all we do. If you need an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at:

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KIDZEUM OF HEALTH AND SCIENCE 412 E. Adams St, Springfield, Illinois 62701