Executive Director

Reports to the President of the Board of Directors

Mission: Our mission is to advance the appreciation of Chinese American culture through exhibitions, education, and research and to preserve the past, present, and future of Chinese Americans primarily in the Midwest.


The Chinatown Museum Foundation (CMF), which governs the Chinese American Museum of Chicago, was founded in 2002 to create a museum that reflects the history, experiences, and cultures of the individuals, families, and organizations that have shaped Midwestern Chinese American society. The resulting Chinese American Museum of Chicago – Raymond B. and Jean T. Lee Center (CAMOC) opened its doors in 2005 and serves ca. 6,000 visitors annually through a series of public programs, exhibitions, community events, and collaborative programs and has an annual budget of $400K.

The Executive Director will manage the operations, fundraising, and programming of the organization. The Executive Director will collaborate with the Board of Directors to develop plans for increasing revenue, fiscal sustainability, programs and exhibits, community engagement and representation, and communications. The Executive Director is expected to raise the profile of the Museum within Chicago and across the Chinese American communities in the Midwest, increase revenue and membership, and build on the substantial public interest in Chinese and Chinese American cultures. There will be an evaluation after six months.  

Regular workdays are Tuesday through Saturday with the expectation the Executive Director will participate in community events or programs in the evenings or on weekends as necessary.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide dynamic leadership and administration of the Chinese American Museum of Chicago, including development and implementation of policies governing operations, programs, and fundraising
  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors on a sustainability plan for the Museum that grows and diversifies its income base through a combination of individual, corporate, and foundation contributions, membership, sponsorships, and earned revenue from programs and the Museum store
  • Manage all operational aspects of CAMOC and its facility, including budgets, financial transactions, building maintenance, IT, and staffing (2 to 5 direct reports)
  • Within 24 months, develop a 3-5 year actionable plan with measurable goals and evaluation measures for operational sustainability, programs and exhibitions, community engagement, communications, and Board development
  • Work with the Board of Directors to secure and execute proposals that build the capacity and visibility of the Museum
  • Oversee program, collections, and exhibit development that reflect and contribute to the Museum’s mission and the communities it represents
  • Strengthen relationships with and broaden representation of the Chinese American communities in Chicago and throughout the Midwest by establishing new and leveraging existing partnerships
  • Connect with the museum and civic community in Chicago, across the Chinese American Museum network in the US, and with museums abroad for innovative partnerships that bring new attention and resources to the Museum
  • Build a more robust membership program and establish a volunteer program that bolsters the Museum’s capacity
  • Evaluate the programmatic and operational impact of the Museum and report regularly to the Board and its committees
  • Maintain an excellent working relationship with the Board, while also building Board capacity and engagement


  • 3+ years of progressive leadership experience in Museum or community-based organizations, including experience supervising staff, developing budgets, and program management
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising and working with diverse funding sources, including earned revenue
  • Strong experience with marketing and public relations required
  • Grant writing experience and management with foundation and corporate grants
  • Demonstrated success in building an organizational network, establishing strong community connections, and community leadership; strong connections with the press and elected officials a plus
  • Strong project management skills including budget and information management, grant implementation and reporting, and program evaluation
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills, including written and verbal, and ability to work as part of and to lead a team
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively while managing multiple tasks, meeting deadlines, and operating in a dynamic, fast-paced environment
  • Experience working directly with a Board of Directors, including Board development
  • Self-motivated and willing to work in a flexible, non-structured environment
  • Familiarity with Chinese American cultures and communities in Chicago, the Midwest, and beyond
  • Fluency in written and spoken Mandarin and/or Cantonese strongly preferred
  • BA in relevant field (such as Nonprofit Management, Asian American History, Museum Studies) required, MA or MBA strongly preferred

The Chinatown Museum Foundation is a non-profit organization with IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.

The Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Send cover letter and CV/resume to office@ccamuseum.org