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Director of Advancement Operations and Engagement

National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
District of Columbia, United States
$126,233.00 - $164,102.00
Closing date
Jan 27, 2023
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Come join a team of dedicated staff at an exceptional time in the Smithsonian’s history during the creation of two new Smithsonian museums. The National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women's History Museum share the experiences and perspectives of Latinos and women across history and deepen our shared understanding of what it means to be an American. These museums build on the legacy and impact of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which has helped transform the nation’s understanding of American history since its opening in 2016. Following the success of the Smithsonian’s first comprehensive capital campaign, the largest ever undertaken by a cultural organization, the Smithsonian has built a model fundraising organization. This position offers exciting opportunities for the successful candidate to make a significant impact on the future of the Smithsonian. There is no better time to join this amazing Institution.


About the Director of Advancement Operations and Engagement

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI) is seeking a Director of Advancement Operations and Engagement to provide high-level support to all front-line fundraisers on the NZCBI Advancement Team and manage all internal operations of the Advancement Team. The Director oversees and provides a variety of advancement, budget, procurement, and human resources services. The position is responsible for the management of budget planning and execution, human resources administration, data management, prospect management, gift processing, membership, events, and general department operations. The Director supervises four advancement team members. The Advancement Office is located in the heart of the Zoo, providing an opportunity to work collaboratively with animal keepers, scientists and conservationists who are world leaders in their respective fields. The position reports to the Director of Advancement.


Successful applicants will have:


  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in an advancement office, including a familiarity with prospect management, moves management, and capital campaigns.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and managing a multi-year departmental budget, including addressing fluctuating needs throughout the fiscal year.
  • Demonstrated experience in understanding and adhering to complex procurement procedures including contract and vendor management
  • Experience in managing diverse fundraising revenue streams from receipt of gift to disbursement for programmatic work ensuring compliance with all accounting procedures.
  • Experience in human resources functions including hiring, performance evaluations, and other policies and procedures involved in organizational personnel actions.
  • Demonstrated experience in providing and overseeing advancement services. Experience in a large organization with multiple levels of approval preferred.
  • Extremely high attention to detail and ability to solve problems
  • Preference for experience with managing membership programs and public-facing events.
  • Skill in written and oral communications.


About the National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute and Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute includes a 163-acre exhibition complex in the District of Columbia, within the US National Park Service's Rock Creek Park, and a 3,200-acre conservation research facility outside Front Royal, Virginia, contiguous with the Shenandoah National Park and the Appalachian Trail. The Institute’s goals include excellence in animal care, research on endangered species, and education and high-quality visitor experience. On-going renovation and upgrade of the facilities to meet the highest standards of animal care and state-of-the-art research and education requirements, with over 100 buildings, some over 100 years old, requires a major investment of funds, only some of which is provided by the Federal appropriation to Smithsonian and the Zoo. Support for public programming and research is significantly dependent upon revenue from concessions income, special events, donations, grants, and contracts.


The Smithsonian Institution is a unique complex of 21 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research centers. The Smithsonian is dedicated to its founding mission, “the increase and diffusion of knowledge” and as such we use our resources to encourage curiosity, ignite wonder and spark the joy of learning. Its exhibitions, programs, collections, and outreach touch the lives of millions of Americans every year, as well as many who visit us from abroad.


Benefits and Application Instructions

The Smithsonian Institution offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive package of benefits. This is not a federal position but has similar requirements and benefits. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter to by January 31, 2023. Please include the position title in your e-mail subject line. Resumes should include a description of your paid and non-paid work experience that is related to this job; starting and ending dates of job (month and year); and average number of hours worked per week.


Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Smithsonian Institution ensures its employees (federal and trust), applicants, and affiliated persons (interns, research associates, fellows, and volunteers) are protected from discrimination and unfair treatment in the workplace regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, gender stereotyping, pregnancy, and sexual orientation), age, disability, genetic information, marital status, parental status, or political affiliation and are free from reprisal against protected activities. In addition, other Smithsonian policy prohibits discrimination based on membership in an employee organization or other non-merit factors, and political affiliation.


The Smithsonian provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need an accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the contact person listed in this announcement. The decision on granting a reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

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