Cleveland Museum of Art seeks a Chief Learning Officer.

The Cleveland Museum of Art was founded in 1913 “for the benefit of all the people forever.”  We strive to help the broadest possible audience understand and engage with the world’s great art while honoring the highest aesthetic, intellectual, and professional standards.

We are proud to be one of the world’s most distinguished comprehensive art museums and one of northeastern Ohio’s principal civic and cultural institutions.

Our Vision: To be a global leader among museums.

Our Promise: The Cleveland Museum of Art offers dynamic experiences that illuminate the power and enduring relevance of art in today’s global society. The museum builds, preserves, studies, and shares its outstanding collections of art from all periods and parts of the world, generating new scholarship and understanding, while serving as a social and intellectual hub for its community.

Founding: The museum opened on June 6, 1916, after many years of planning. Its creation was made possible by Cleveland industrialists Hinman B. Hurlbut, John Huntington, and Horace Kelley, all of whom bequeathed money specifically for an art museum, as well as by Jeptha H. Wade II, whose Wade Park property was donated for the site. The endowments established by these founders continue to support the museum. The original neoclassic building of white Georgian marble was designed by the Cleveland firm of Hubbell & Benes and was constructed at a cost of $1.25 million. Located north of the Wade Lagoon, it forms the focus of the city’s Fine Arts Garden.

Charting the Course for the Next Century: William M. Griswold was named the ninth director of the museum in May 2014. Under Griswold’s leadership the museum celebrated its centennial in 2016 with a wide variety of community events and outstanding special exhibitions, and successfully concluded an ambitious capital campaign that raised funds for a historic renovation and expansion worthy of its extraordinary collection. In 2017, the Board of Trustees extended Griswold’s contract through 2024.

In 2017, Griswold worked with board members, staff, and volunteers to craft the museum’s strategic plan, “Making Art Matter: A Strategic Framework for Our Second Century,” charting the museum’s direction as it embarks upon its second century.  In 2022, Griswold, the Board of Trustees, and staff refreshed the 2017 Strategic Plan, creating additional objectives and measures of success.  The refreshed Plan, entitled “For the Benefit of All the People” is the comprehensive direction for the museum in the next five years.

The Opportunity: The Cleveland Museum of Art seeks a strategic, proactive, and thoughtful Chief Learning Officer (CLO) with clear mission orientation and commitment. This is a tremendously exciting time for the Museum with a clear strategic plan and direction with institutional support and opportunity to leverage and build upon all educational initiatives, community engagement, and programs.

Position Summary and Responsibilities:
The Chief Learning Officer creates and implements a coordinated strategy for access, interpretation, and learning that engages broad and diverse audiences with the museum’s global collections, from in-gallery to online, and establishes and executes the structures, programs, and processes to support that strategy.  Deeply knowledgeable and passionate about art and education, the Chief Learning Officer serves as an articulate spokesperson for the value of robust educational programming at the museum, in the community, and online.

The Chief Learning Officer is responsible for providing leadership and oversight for all public and academic engagement and outreach. Alignment with the CMA’s Visitor Experience model is key to ensure all feel welcomed and included at the museum.  This includes Academic Affairs, Collection and Exhibition Programs, Community Arts, Docents, Family and Teen Engagement, Interpretation, School, and Teacher Programs, as well as the museum’s Education Art Collection.  The Chief Learning Officer maintains multiple lines of communication within the museum and with the full range of the museum’s audiences and establishes priorities for the division in keeping with the museum’s mission, strategic plan, budget, assists in fundraising activities, and prepares the budget for the division.

As a member of the executive management team, the Chief Learning Officer works with the Director/CEO and other executive staff to implement plans established with the Board of Trustees, participates in discussions concerning institutional priorities, general policies and management issues, assists in the preparation of the institution’s budget and takes on special assignments as appropriate.

Additional responsibilities include advising and supporting the Director and serving as a strategic partner to other members of the Executive Team, providing information and guidance, as required, and helping to ensure that the museum’s short-and long-term programmatic and financial goals are effectively met.  The Chief Learning Officer meets regularly with the Director to identify, review, and determine the appropriate balance among the institutional priorities, providing input regarding key challenges and advancing solutions that impact the museum’s capacity to implement its strategic plan.

Key Responsibilities:
The Chief Learning Officer will hold responsibility for the leadership, strategic execution, and administrative management of all educational initiatives, programs, and strategies.

Specific responsibilities will include, but not be limited to the following:

  • As an executive team member, participate in the development and implementation of an institutional strategic plan, long-range budgeting, various inter-museum committees, and other initiatives.
  • Assure effective management of staff resources within assigned departments including organizational planning and development, hiring, employment, training, communication, compensation planning, and performance evaluation in order to attract, retain, and reward quality individuals who understand and help to achieve the overall mission of the museum and to manage related activities in a manner that will promote personal, professional, and growth opportunities financial opportunities for employees.
  • Be a visible leader in the community to increase and deepen participation of diverse audiences in museum activities. Ensure community access to CMA through outreach and collaborative programs. Forge ongoing and lively relationships with individuals, groups, and institutions that will extend museum services to a wider community. Staff the Education Advisory Committee.
  • Work with Public and Academic Engagement staff to translate a programmatic and interpretive vision for the institution into yearly goals and activities, and establish current and long-range objectives, plans, policies, and assessments. Hold regular staff and supervisor meetings to foster internal communication and to ensure that staff members work toward achievement of institutional and division-wide goals, as well as individual goals.
  • Work closely with staff across the museum to develop creative programming that supports the museum’s and the division’s goals and objectives. CMA favors cross-divisional collaboration and teamwork among its various leaders and departments over silo thinking. Close collaboration, especially with the Deputy Director and Chief Curator Officer and Chief Digital Information Officer’s departments is essential for maintaining CMA’s reputation for leadership in museum-based education and interpretive programming.
  • Collaborate with appropriate departments to create content for the CMA website and magazine. Work with the Marketing department to ensure adequate promotion of programs. Participate in the review and assessment of communications and marketing efforts.
  • Prepare and monitor the division budget; proactively collaborate with the Finance department to implement responsible program cost controls and ensure that departmental spending remains aligned with the organization’s overall financial strategy. Identify and pursue opportunities for increased revenue through programs and resources.
  • With staff, review and, as necessary, revise the division’s work with CMA’s docents, who are at the forefront of providing in-gallery experiences for visitors of all ages, ensuring that the docent program functions efficiently and that the content presented responds to visitor needs.
  • Actively strengthen the Joint Program in Art History with Case Western Reserve University by developing and maintaining productive relationship with university staff.
  • Form a strong and productive relationship with the Chief Philanthropy Officer and collaborate on fundraising initiatives related to public and academic engagement. This includes identifying potential sources of program funding and participation in funding discussions with private, foundation, school, and government funders.
  • Attend internal and external meetings; prepare regular status reports on Public and Academic Engagement programming, and work with the Research and Evaluation department to determine metrics of impact and visitor satisfaction.
  • Maintain an active role in the museum community through publications, lectures, travel, attendance at national and international conferences, and communication with colleagues in the field. Travel to professional meetings or other institutions to view exhibitions and installations that may be coming to the museum.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by or on behalf of the Director.

Professional Experience & Qualifications: The successful candidate will bring strategic vision and passion for educational impact and reach. The CLO must be a positive leader, capable people manager, and skilled administrator with a keen and proven ability to translate plan into action through a broader range of educational initiatives.

The CLO must be a culture builder, stellar communicator, strategic thinker, and relationship builder with ability to articulate an inclusive vision that others are excited to embrace and follow. The candidate must have extensive experience managing staff, volunteers, budgets, and program plans.  As a member of the Executive Team, the CLO is responsible for developing and maintaining active and productive relationships with the Director, the rest of the Executive Team, the staff, the Board of Trustees, and friends of the CMA, and for being a highly visible presence both within the museum and throughout the community.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of education best-practices across various disciplines (not just the visual arts), and an ability to implement a broad range of educational tools and methods, including research in learning theory, program evaluation, and visitor studies, as well as the application and use of technology to engage, communicate, and attract audiences.
  • A track record of acting on innovation and experimentation that drives engaging and refreshing experiences consistent with a knowledge economy and a continuous learning philosophy.
  • Demonstrated ability in the successful development and maintenance of a wide variety of community partnerships and a commitment to diversity in programs and to developing and nurturing diverse audiences.
  • Recognized expertise in organizational management, capacity to inspire staff, responsibly delegate tasks, and ensure a collaborative working environment, and ability to make strategic and qualitative judgments.
  • Proven ability to manage multiple projects and tasks with agility, thoroughness, and good humor, and to establish credibility with the Director/CEO, board members, colleagues, visitors, volunteers, donors, local government and public school officials, and the community leaders.
  • Substantial knowledge and skills in managing large budgets and providing leadership for strategic-planning initiatives.

Other Responsibilities:

  • Upholds the highest professional standards of their field and always acts in a manner that is consistent with the best interests of the museum, protecting and enhancing its reputation and standing.
  • Adheres to the museum’s code of ethics and avoids any real or perceived conflicts of interest.
  • Shows respect for co-workers and visitors and an understanding of and appreciation for the diversity of the museum’s staff, volunteers, and audiences.
  • Aspires to excellence in all aspects of his/her work and serves as a model for others.
  • Maintains confidentiality.
  • Adheres to all CMA protocols, procedures, rules, and policies.

Additional Qualifications:

  • Proven leadership, problem-solving, and planning capabilities, along with a minimum of 10-15 years professional experience in education, non-profit or arts and culture sector.
  • At least 10 years of progressive experience in a management role.
  • A dynamic and collaborative mentor who inspires trust and respect among board members, staff, and the community.
  • Energy, drive, and passion for continuous improvement in regard to team building and organizational leadership.


  • Advanced degree (Ph.D. preferred) in art history, art education, or non-profit administration.

Salary range: $175,000 - $215,000

Job classification: Full-time

To apply: Interested and qualified candidates are welcome to submit a resume and cover letter to: [email protected]. For more information, visit

The CMA recognizes that the museum is greatly enriched by the diversity of its staff and visitors; among the goals of our DEI plan is to recruit, mentor, and retain employees with diverse backgrounds and perspectives to ensure the CMA’s position as a global leader among museums. The CMA is an equal opportunity employer with a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, marital status or any other legally protected status.  Members of all underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. This position will provide an opportunity for an emerging art historian with a diverse background to participate in curatorial work in the setting of an encyclopedic art museum.

Posted: September 27, 2023

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