Deputy Director for Collections & Research and Chief Innovation Officer, Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Job Summary

The Position and Opportunity

With the ROM poised for continued growth and innovation, this is an exciting time to be joining the Executive Leadership Team. The organization is committed to a strategy of investing in exceptional talent at the senior level, with the goal of fully integrating strategic, collections, financial, operational and programmatic planning.
The Deputy Director for Collections & Research and Chief Innovation Officer (DDC&R/CIO) is one of the most essential leaders at the ROM. The DDC&R/CIO is a senior partner to the CEO and plays a critical museum-wide role in helping to develop the strategic direction of the institution, in furthering innovation and creativity, in promoting transdisciplinary thinking, and in positioning the ROM as a global thought leader.
The DDC&R/CIO directly oversees the staff and budgets of the curatorial, collections, library, and conservation divisions, encompassing the Art & Culture Department, the Natural History Department and Collections Management, and oversees the museum-wide research, scholarly publishing, and innovation endeavours. Additionally, the DDC&R/CIO partners closely with the Deputy Director for Engagement on gallery master planning and on the development of the special exhibition program and plays a key collaborative role on interpretive development and design.
Reporting to the Director & CEO, the DDC&R/CIO is a senior member of the executive leadership team and contributes to the overall direction-setting and strategic planning of the ROM.

Job Requirements and Responsibilities


 As Deputy Director for Collections & Research, the DDC&R/CIO is responsible for managing and overseeing the Curatorial Division (Art & Culture, Natural History) which includes curators, technicians, librarians, collections managers, registrars, and conservators (92 total staff and a budget of about $11 million CAD). The DDC&R provides leadership, vision, strategic direction, and financial oversight for the Curatorial Division.
 As CIO, the DDC&R/CIO is responsible for promoting innovation, thought leadership, creativity and transdisciplinary practice across the Museum, which includes developing – in collaboration with appropriate senior colleagues – best practices for: scouting relevant trends, challenges, opportunities, talent and partnerships; generating, testing, and advancing ideas; and facilitating and sustaining staff skills related to collaboration and teamwork.
 Works in close partnership with the Deputy Director for Engagement on the development of the special exhibition program and on gallery master planning and plays a key collaborative role on interpretive development and design.
 Works closely with the Deputy Director for Museum Operations & COO in supporting the day-to-day implementation of the 10-Year Strategic Plan.

 Leads the Curatorial team in a direction that helps the ROM be widely recognized as Canada’s leading museum and as one of the foremost cultural institutions in the world.
 Strengthens and secures the ROM’s curatorial capacity to fulfill the Museum’s Strategic Direction and its mission to build and share global collections, create knowledge, inspire learning, encourage gathering, and spark exchange on topics within the intersecting worlds of art, culture, and nature.
 Responsible for the administration, coordination, and successful implementation of all strategic and operational aspects of curatorial affairs, including direct supervisory oversight of both art & culture and natural history curators.
 Oversees Collections Management and the development, stewardship, conservation and protection of the ROM’s encyclopedic collection of objects and library holdings.
 Oversees the Vice President for Art & Culture, Vice President for Natural History, Head Librarian, Head Registrar, and Head Conservator to develop, oversee and approve departmental budgets, delegating responsibilities to these leaders, as appropriate. Develops strategy and implements plans for multi-year budgetary activities.
 Leads the effort to acquire new works of art, artifacts, specimens and collections of the highest calibre through gift and purchase, and supports curators to do the same.
 In partnership with the Director & CEO and the ROM Governors, plays a central role in fundraising efforts including cultivating, stewarding and soliciting donors for museum-wide and curatorial/collections initiatives.
 Promotes groundbreaking research and chairs the ROM’s publications committee; encourages the publishing of ROM research and scholarship nationally and internationally across many different types of publishing vehicles.
 Builds and maintains key curatorial relationships regionally, nationally and internationally that benefit the ROM’s reputation and promote international recognition of ROM curatorial staff and research. This includes participation in international conferences and committees.
 Builds a positive, productive working relationship with the Royal Ontario Museum Curatorial Association (ROMCA – the union) and helps oversee the ROM/ROMCA relationship on behalf of executive leadership with the goal of further strengthening curatorial capacity.
 Collaborates with other Museum departments on developing and implementing public programming for the benefit of museum audiences.
 Actively participates in engagement with ROM trustees including regular written and oral presentations, the development of Board agendas and materials, and attendance at trustee meetings.

Necessary Knowledge & Skills

Preferred Experience and Skills

Candidates should be broadly skilled, sophisticated museum professionals with 7+ years’ experience as a senior leader (Director, Deputy Director, Chief Curator, Chief Scientist, or similar) and 15 years’ total professional experience at a museum with large collections and an international outlook; and experience that includes:

• Demonstrated track record of high-level accomplishment in curatorial activities including exhibitions and collection interpretation, research, scholarship and publishing, collections building and care, and fundraising.

• Ph.D. preferred in a relevant field or the equivalent, demonstrated through extensive professional accomplishment. M.A. is a minimum requirement.

• Demonstrated commitment to innovation and creativity.

• Commitment to thinking outside traditional disciplinary boundaries and to encouraging transdisciplinary activity across art, culture, and nature.

• A track record of commitment to the public mission of the museum and for breaking down barriers between curatorial activity and public engagement.

• A natural leader who is highly articulate and a strong communicator with proven managerial, problem-solving and planning capabilities.

• Ability to cultivate strong relationships with trustees, donors and colleagues.

• Advanced knowledge of current “best practices” in the museum field, as well as the intellectual curiosity, creativity and enthusiasm for learning about emerging museum, leadership, and innovation practices and how to bring them to the ROM in constructive ways.

• Demonstrated success in supervising curators to work together to enhance creativity and achieve shared institutional objectives.

• Ability to foster trust, collaboration, teamwork, and initiative-taking; capacity to manage up, down and sideways, as well as the flexibility to manage through change.

• Understanding of, and sensitivity to, diverse communities.

• Holds an earned place of respect among other top museum professionals in the curatorial field and beyond.

• Experience with museum expansions, architectural design, and gallery planning is an asset.

• Experience working in a unionized or professional association environment is an asset.

• Leadership Skills: In a museum where the Executive Leadership Team partners to develop integrated strategic, programmatic and operational plans, has the temperament and training to bring rigour and creativity to inform problem solving and priority-setting. Be sufficiently confident to articulate a point of view, engage in iterative discussions, and revise plans where the evidence is to the contrary. Serve as a role model, coach, and mentor with the ability to attract, develop, and retain excellent talent.

• Relationship Building/Influencing Skills: As a critical member of the Executive Leadership Team in a museum that values collaboration, the DDC&R/CIO must build rapport and establish credibility with a wide range of stakeholders across the institution as well as externally. Must be accessible and create opportunities for discussion, debate and exploration of important issues. Solicit input, listen well and synthesize information. Communicate complicated information clearly to a range of audiences. Possess the talents, experience and “soft skills” needed to achieve trusted adviser status across the ROM community.

How to Apply
To apply in confidence, email 1) a letter expressing interest in this particular position and giving brief examples of past related experience; 2) a curriculum vitae or résumé; 3) names of three references with contact information. However, no references will be contacted without written permission. Submit application by July 19, 2021 to retained search firm: Marilyn Hoffman or Connie Rosemont, Museum Search & Reference, For additional information visit:

The ROM will begin reviewing applications in June 2021; the posting will continue until the position is filled. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply for this international search. However, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. Short-listed candidates subsequently may be asked to provide publication or work samples.

Equal Opportunity
The ROM is committed to fair and accessible employment practice and considers equity, diversity, and inclusivity to be foundational to its institutional success. The ROM seeks to foster a workplace that reflects the communities it serves and welcomes applications from women, racialized persons/BIPOC, Indigenous/Aboriginal People of North America, LGBTQ2S+, and people with disabilities. Upon request, suitable accommodations are available under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA, 2005) to applicants invited to an interview.

Salary (Exact Amount or Range:) $251,883 CAD – $296,333 CAD

Contact Name: Marilyn Hoffman
Contact Email:
Website Link:
Application Deadline: 07/19/2021

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