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Director of Curatorial Affairs

Smithsonian National Postal Museum
Washington, DC

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum is seeking a creative and accomplished storyteller to play a leadership role in reimagining our Museum experience.

The Museum’s vision is to become the world’s greatest philatelic resource and house the definitive collection of American Postal History. We will prioritize the increase and diffusion of knowledge through our research, scholarship, exhibits, and education programs and lead the Smithsonian in becoming the most welcoming and accessible museum.

The new DCA is a key catalyst in the delivery of this vision. They will be responsible for leading the curatorial team in developing and exploring the Museum’s collections, the second largest collection of artifacts in the Smithsonian. They will lead research into the collection, ensuring that the museum collects, catalogs, and brings forth stories relevant to the diverse audiences and scholars we attract.

The National Postal Museum has the rare opportunity to redesign 25,000 square feet of exhibit space over the next decade while expanding its online presence. Through this work, the Museum will engage enthusiasts and the public in new historical perspectives through the unique lens of the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material.

The Director of Curatorial Affairs (DCA) leads, advocates for, and sets the direction of a curatorial team that conducts research, interprets objects, develops exhibits, and publishes and presents work of scholarly and general interest. The Museum is working in new ways, and the DCA must lead, motivate, and innovate in making the Museum’s content available to our worldwide audience. The DCA works closely alongside the Exhibitions, Collections, Visitor Services, and Education teams to develop compelling content and stories in everything we produce. They also work with the Marketing and Development teams to ensure the successful funding and delivery of programs and initiatives.

The Curatorial team’s work makes the rich history in the Museum’s collection available to scholars, philatelists, collectors, and visitors from around the world. Specifically, the DCA:

  • Advises the Museum Director and Deputy Director on making the Museum’s work continually relevant and accessible to 21st-century audiences.
  • Works closely with counterparts in Collections, Education, and Exhibits to ensure curatorial contributions to collaborative efforts.
  • Represents the Museum and its work through meetings, presentations, and publications to Smithsonian and external stakeholders.
  • Engages members of the Council of Philatelists and Museum Advisory Council to ensure they remain informed and enthusiastic about the curatorial program.
  • Conducts research of scholarly and general interest using the collections to explore American history, postal history, communications, philately, or other relevant topics.
  • Provides leadership in refining the Museum’s collections, including establishing long-term goals and strategies for accession and deaccession.

The DCA is a Trust Position at the IS-13 or IS-14 level; the anticipated hiring range is $115k – 140k.

DRiWaterstone is leading this search for the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. For more information and to apply, please visit: