University of Washington - Seattle, WA4.2

As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For a complete description of our benefits for this position, please visit our website, click here.
As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a “Great College to Work For” for five consecutive years.

The New Burke Museum will open in fall 2019. Inside the museum, 15,000 square feet of new permanent exhibits explore topics including deep time, the natural world, the people and cultures of Washington State and cutting-edge science.

The Burke’s collections connect the past, present, and future. They give us a way to trace history, provide a spark for stories and ideas, and connect people to each other and to their environment. Today, they are hidden behind walls; inaccessible to the very people they are intended to serve. The collections are severely compressed in spaces that lack the environmental controls needed to properly care for fragile, invaluable objects.

The New Burke visitor experience centers on removing the barriers that have traditionally separated the public side of the museum (the exhibits) from its working side (the collections storerooms, labs, and other workspaces). Removing these barriers enables us to be less about “show and tell”—although storytelling is still part of who we are—and more about “experience and do.” Every visit to the New Burke is different because every day brings new work. In addition, because we are doing this work right out in the open, everyone can experience it and join in.

Our Burke Museum has an outstanding opportunity for an ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF VISITOR EXPERIENCE.


The Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture seeks a customer-serving leader, with in-depth knowledge of museum visitors and their expectations, to perform a central role in supporting the museum’s commitment to creating visitor-centered experiences that transform the ways our audiences connect with our unique collections, the work of our staff and researchers, and the world around us. This position will guide the Visitor Experience team and lead the charge to ensure a positive visitor experience, excellent customer service, and highly effective logistics for visitor participation in exhibitions, programs, and public events across the new Burke Museum.

This position has three primary responsibilities:
Establish a Visitor Experience strategy to define the Museum’s sales and service approach. Working closely with the Director of Interpretation, develop operational and training plan to ensure a high quality of service and a high level of visitor satisfaction across all aspects of the visitor life cycle.

Guided by the Visitor Experience Strategy, manage and coordinate functions performed by visitor services, museum store, public programs and membership teams to create an excellent and streamlined experience for all visitors and maximize the revenue potential of these programs.

Ensures optimization of essential POS and revenue tracking technology (Patron Manager/Salesforce) to monitor and achieve key performance indicators attributed to revenue growth and visitor satisfaction.


Reporting to the Director of Interpretation & Visitor Experience, this position will:

Visitor Engagement

  • Implement operational plan to ensure a high quality of service and a high level of visitor satisfaction through oversight of all aspects of the visitor life cycle at the museum, including customer service philosophy, general and event admissions coordination, public amenities, visitor safety, store, museum information and membership.
  • Collaborate with the other department leaders to ensure safety and security protocols, interpretive messages, and event/offering logistics are coordinated across departments.
  • Conduct research and engagement efforts with targeted growth audiences to develop strategic program offerings.
  • Provide operational support to staff for on-site, museum-hosted events; attend event-planning meetings as needed.
  • Work closely with special events, operations, programs staff to coordinate museum-hosted event logistics.
Management & Training

  • Lead Visitor Experience department in development of membership, visitor experience and public programming goals and strategies.
  • Supervise and streamline the operations and training of three frontline teams: Visitor Experience (formerly visitor services), Public Programs and Membership; coordinate with other department leaders to integrate security, safety, access, exhibit maintenance and interpretive plans.
  • Work closely with events and facilities staff to manage museum-hosted events, with a lens towards streamlining operations and effective use of staffing resources.
  • Provide ongoing coaching and feedback to department managers and team. Support additional recruiting, hiring, supervision, and performance management as needed.
  • Coordinate optimization of Patron Manager POS system to capture and report KPI and defined museum operations.
Administration, Budgeting & Evaluation

  • Works closely with colleagues throughout the institution to help identify and measure key performance indicators to drive revenue growth, admissions, membership and visitor satisfaction.
  • Develop and maintain sales strategies to meet or exceed annual projections.
  • Communicate in a highly productive and effective way with all staff on all visitor-related issues and events, including leading and participating in regular interdepartmental planning meetings.
  • Facilitate regular department meetings to work on calendaring, reservations systems structures and processes, formulation and/or adjusting best business practices.
  • Assist in development and monitoring of department budgets; coordinates with Fiscal department to ensure that accounting processes are maintained.
  • Measure and evaluate initiatives in guest relations and membership, spanning a range of needs from safety and effective operations to inspiring deeper engagement reporting to Executive Team.

  • Provide leadership and guidance to the institution to improve the visitor experience
  • Successfully and passionately, represent the Burke Museum and mission to the community.
  • Develop and implement tools and metrics to evaluate success of tasks and projects connected to this position.
  • Be a capable and enthusiastic collaborator with a wide range of individuals and across a wide range of disciplines.
  • Clearly communicate ideas verbally and visually through meetings, reports, presentations, renderings, etc.
  • Embody generosity, creativity, and common sense in working closely with all museum constituent groups.
  • Uphold the institution’s commitment to equitable and inclusive practice

  • Bachelor’s degree in museum studies, education, design, or one of the subject areas aligned with the Burke Museum’s mission.
  • Five years of leadership or project management experience in a museum and/or customer facing capacity.
  • Strong engagement with and knowledge of visitor service principles, practices, and procedures; arts/leisure audiences; and cultural practices and/or museums.
  • Exceptional communication skills, in both public-facing and internal meetings, presentations, and discussions, including demonstrated skill in presenting information and facilitating positive dialogue.
  • Able to inspire and support a team of peers with tact and grace—motivating, guiding, and making difficult decisions when it is necessary.
  • Demonstrated strength in managing time, completing tasks, and being proactive, accountable, and adaptable in dynamic and creative setting and multifaceted role with competing demands on attention and frequently changing and conflicting priorities and deadlines.
  • Excellent organizational abilities, analytical skills, and attention to detail.
  • Excellent judgment, professionalism, and discretion in handling confidential and sensitive situations and matters.
  • Excellent computer skills, including in depth knowledge of ticketing point of sale software and equipment.
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.

  • Skill in managing vendors, suppliers, and contractors, including competitive bidding, negotiating pricing and contract terms, and ensuring high quality of goods and services.
  • Experience working in natural history and/or cultural institutions
  • Experience developing and implementing visitor evaluation initiatives.
  • Experience starting up new museum projects or initiatives in a museum environment.
Conditions of Employment:
  • Ability and willingness to work a flexible schedule, including weekends, evenings, and holidays as needed.