Santa Fe Children’s Museum is seeking an inspirational, results-driven Executive Director with a passion for educating children and an outstanding track record of fundraising for growth and sustainability, leading organizations with vision through challenging times, and engaging communities for collaborative outcome.


Organizational Overview



The mission of Santa Fe Children’s Museum (SFCM) is to inspire a lifelong passion for learning by creating educational experiences across the arts, sciences, and cultures that encourage children and communities to explore, imagine, play and grow together.


Incorporated in 1985, as the first Children’s Museum in New Mexico, SFCM is a nonprofit organization and public institution that was founded by four local educators who perceived a need for educational opportunities in Santa Fe that would be distinctly different from those provided at home or school. Convinced that experiential learning is a necessary complement to traditional education, the founders sought to create a dynamic, hands-on learning environment. In 1989, 2,000 people celebrated the opening of SFCM at its current location (1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe).



At SFCM, we believe that active, participatory learning and play are integral to a child's cognitive, social-emotional, and physical development. We maintain that children learn best when they feel nurtured and safe, have fun, are self-motivated, and search for answers to questions that they formulate themselves. Our educators incorporate core fundamentals of how children learn in all aspects of the Museum including exhibit development, building design, family programming, and staff and volunteer training. We also recognize that each child learns differently, and we intentionally develop relevant and meaningful educational experiences that engage a variety of learning styles and multiple intelligences. Our primary goal at SFCM is for children to understand themselves as learners and to have successful learning experiences.


SFCM provides a dynamic, informal educational setting comprised of high-quality exhibits, programs, and community events that inspire interactive exploration and discovery, stimulate sensory and cognitive curiosity, and encourage choice, critical thinking, and problem solving. The Museum urges children and families to learn and play together, and the exhibits engage youth to try something new, examine objects and investigate, ask questions, interact with others, make connections, see patterns and differences, think innovatively, and share experiences and stories with parents, grandparents, family members, caregivers, and teachers. By doing so, children gain a greater understanding of themselves, their community, and their environment. In particular, the Museum offers a unique outdoor education area called Earthworks - one-acre natural learning landscape staffed by environmental educators and structured to build environmental awareness and responsibility while offering a valuable understanding of our regional ecosystem and critical issues such as water conservation.


The Museum today serves 80,000 visitors annually including 10,000 school children at reduced rates and 5,000 free admissions to 25 community partner organizations.  The Museum’s 700 family memberships include 100 sponsored memberships.  While the Museum attracts a national audience, a fundamental value of our mission is to serve low-income, under-represented children and families in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico that cannot easily frequent the Museum due to socioeconomic and geographic barriers. Therefore, the Museum is a community-based institution that is client centered.  The Museum also provides one of the largest teenage youth employment, internship and volunteer programs in Santa Fe.  Roughly 65% of our clients are children; 35% are parents, grandparents, and teachers. We track ethnicity of school children; 55% are Hispanic and 10% are Native American. 50% of our teen volunteers/interns are from low-income families. The Museum is totally accessible to handicapped individuals.  The Museum’s operates with a $750K+ budget and 11 full-time and part-time staff and many seasonal interns and volunteers.



In 2010, the Museum received State and restricted private grant funds to expand the facilities - doubling the programming space and adding two classrooms.  This allowed earned income to increase significantly (30% in 2011) for example with Summer Camps, Home School Programs, and other educational programs and events.  Earned revenue currently makes up over 40% of the Museum’s revenue.


The Museum also received a significant funding from a major private foundation develop a new “MakerSpace” program in partnership with the Santa Fe Institute, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Highland University.   This development of innovative tinkering studio where youth can create their own “Do It Yourself” projects with adult mentors will enable the Museum to expand its reach and engagement of youth or older age group children.


Despite successful programs, the Santa Fe Children’s Museum has also undergone significant organizational and financial challenges over the past few years, including Executive Director, several staff, and board transitions and financial shortfall primarily due to a sharp decline in unrestricted private contributions.  In September 2012, the board and staff launched a Hometown Heroes Campaign, a two-phased campaign to first address the immediate financial gap then ultimately work toward building a sustainable model for the Museum.  The first-phase of the campaign set out a goal to raise $200K by the end of the year through broad grassroots community appeal.  With widespread community support, the Museum was able to reach its goal early in just over half the target timeframe by mid-November and is currently working on raising additional funding to strengthen its financial position.  The Museum has formed a Blue Ribbon Task Force composed of community leaders including the Mayor, City Councilors, business leaders, non-profit executives and consultants to collaborate in developing a long-term sustainable business model for the Museum.   The Museum board and leadership is also currently working on expanding the board and developing a strategic plan that will eventually incorporate the recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Task Force.    



For more information about the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, visit our website


See job announcement here

For detailed information about the position, see the attached Job Description.


To apply, send cover letter and resume to   

Please put “SFCM Executive Director Position - [Your Name]in the subject line.






Job Description


Position Title: Executive Director           

Reports To: Board of Trustees

Job Classification: Salaried - Exempt



The Executive Director will serve as the chief executive officer of the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, ensuring that the Museum thrives as a valuable asset to the community serving as an anchor institution, constantly improve its programs and services with innovation and excellence, and strengthen its financial sustainability and organizational capacity in doing so.  Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director is accountable for providing leadership and oversight and ensuring successful management in all aspects of the Museum’s programs, operations and development including the following areas:

Building on the recent developments and Hometown Heroes Campaign, the Executive Director’s immediate priorities in particular will be to:



An ideal candidate has the following experience and qualifications:



A successful candidate will have the following skills, competencies and personal attributes:





Strategic and Creative Leadership    


Fundraising and Public Relations


Financial and Operational Leadership


Organizational Leadership




The Santa Fe Children’s Museum is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity.  It is our policy to encourage and support equal employment opportunity for all employees and applicants without regard to age, sex, race, color, ancestry, religious creed, national origin, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, individual genetic information, disabled veteran or Vietnam Era Veteran Status.


SALARY: Full time exempt.  $65,000~75,000 plus benefits.  Negotiable depending on experience.  

TARGET DATE:  Between March ~ June 2013.


Application Instructions:

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Immediate/Rolling Basis.  Application prior to February 15 encouraged for priority consideration.

To apply, send cover letter and resume to   

Please put “SFCM Executive Director Position - [Your Name]” in the subject line.