Chief Operating Officer

The Phillips Collection

Washington, DC

Work Location: Hybrid: remote & office


  • Full Time
  • Washington, DC (Remote)
  • Work Location: Hybrid: remote & office
  • Academic
  • $160,000.00
  • $180,000.00

Website The Phillips Collection


Renowned internationally for the world-class excellence of its permanent collection, exhibitions, education, and community programs, The Phillips Collection has, for more than a century, existed as a jewel in the cultural landscape of DC. The Phillips benefits society by warmly welcoming and bringing people together in its intimate galleries to learn, discover, and to be inspired by the joy, beauty, and power of art. Today it seeks a COO who will work side-by-side with the Vradenburg Director & CEO to advance the museum’s mission. Candidates should be inclusive-minded, action-oriented, flexible, an outstanding communicator, and have an innovative approach to operational management. They should have the ability to lead and build the capabilities of a driven, bright, diverse team, and have the personal qualities of passion, humility, integrity, a positive attitude, and the ability to self-direct.

Directs the museum’s operations with a focus on efficiency, coordinating interdepartmental collaboration, cultivating teamwork, and leading change management. Responsible for direct supervision of facilities, security, HR, and IT departments and consultants, with room to grow professionally and take on increased responsibilities. Fully understands the museum’s financial management strategies and operations and works closely with the CFO, supporting and advising them and the CEO on decision-making. Acts as staff liaison for the Board of Trustee’s Building and Grounds committee. Is a member of the Senior Leadership Team and reports to the Vradenburg Director & CEO. Direct reports include the Director of Human Resources, Chief Engineer/Head of Facilities, Security Operations Manager, and information technology consultants or Head of IT, as appropriate.

Serves as the leader of the organization’s day-to-day operations.
Provides a strong day-to-day leadership presence for all staff.
Mentoring, informal coaching, collegial leadership support; visible, approachable sounding board/resource for all staff
Supports CEO and enables them to focus on developing strategies for achieving excellence in programming and for securing the resources to implement the strategic plan and advance the mission.
Change leadership and management: Identifies best practices and improves internal systems throughout the organization with an eye toward future needs and budget realities.
Works in close partnership with CFO to maximize financial management efficiencies and ensure institutional financial health.
Supervises and provides excellent management, guidance, and support for operational direct reports, including the Director of Human Resources, Chief Engineer/Head of Facilities, Security Operations Manager, and information technology consultants or Head of IT, always encouraging innovation and excellence.
Facilitates the Phillips’s continued growth and advancement of its mission by stewarding and being the staff champion of the strategic plan.


Direct Reports

Provide excellent management for operational direct reports, encouraging innovation and excellence.
Consult with and advise Chief Engineer/Head of Facilities in day-to-day maintenance and repair of the Phillips physical space, indoors and out.
Advise on capital projects and new purchases.
Consult with and advise the Security Operations Manager to ensure that the Phillips is prepared for emergency situations with clear policies and procedures that comply with legal regulations and protect the art, staff, and guests.
Supervise and support Security Operations Manager to enable museum assistants (security/guest relations; approximately six full-time and 75 part-time) to deliver superior experience for museum guests while ensuring the safety of all stakeholders on site and protecting the museum’s art and property.
Supervise and support the Director of Human Resources, who stewards an excellent program of talent management for about 75 full-time and 115 part-time employees.

Strategic Plan

Play a leadership role in institutional strategy discussions and develop appropriate strategies to make progress on strategic plan, as well as developing and monitoring metrics for measuring success. Partners in and supports data collection and analysis of results.
Champion of the strategic plan for all stakeholders, including staff and board leadership.
Lead institutional effort to create, implement, and advance facilities master plan, as indicated by the strategic plan.

Institution-wide Processes and Efficiency

Develop policies and programs that foster good internal communications.
Work closely with curatorial, program, marketing, education, advancement, and guest services staff to build efficiencies, promote coordination and collaboration.
Monitor, evaluate, and improve staff efficiency by defining, measuring, analyzing, and improving processes within and across departments throughout the organization.
In consultation with the Senior Leadership Team, identifies and implements information technologies throughout the organization that improve internal operations.
Be a change agent and lead change where necessary.
Work with the Senior Leadership Team to strengthen diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion at the Phillips among all stakeholders.

Contractual and Legal Management

Work closely with CFO and/or oversee contractual relationships, including security and R&M vendors, IT and cyber security vendors, insurance policies, etc., as well as communications with General Counsel.

Board of Trustees support

As an institution leader, nurtures key relationships with trustee leadership and is the staff liaison for the Board of Trustee’s Building and Grounds Committee, and other Board committees as assigned.
Provide input on meeting agendas for Board of Trustees and the Trustees’ Executive Committee meetings.
Assist with preparation of Board and Executive Committee presentations as needed.

Must believe in the core values of the Phillips and be driven by the mission; have leadership skills that demonstrate both knowledge and accountability; be inclusive-minded, action-oriented, entrepreneurial, flexible, and have an innovative approach to operational management; have the ability to lead and build the capabilities of a driven, bright, diverse team with the personal qualities of passion, humility, integrity, a positive attitude, and the ability to self-direct; be an excellent and clear communicator in both writing and speaking. Managing a “values-driven” organization will be highly prized.

Dedicated years of broad-based senior management experience at an organization with revenues of at least $5 million.
A track record of achievement or capacity for both managing operations and leading change management.
Proficiency and experience in developing analytics and metrics that support and measure progress on strategic initiatives.
Understands and appreciates the value of diversity in implementing the strategic plan and advancing the mission, and in how it can impact day-to-day operations.
Work history to include all or some combination of contract development and review, negotiations, staff management, engagement with Boards or senior officers, financial responsibility, and creative problem-solving.
Capacity to develop, motivate, supervise, support, and coach staff who have highly specialized knowledge in their areas of responsibility.
Self-confidence, presence, and sense of fairness sufficient to work effectively with a broad spectrum of stakeholders.
Strong knowledge of and experience with building and managing budgets, financial management, and strategic financial thinking.
Sound understanding of informational technologies and digital strategies that could benefit the museum.
Collaborative, consultative style that supports introducing and implementing change.
Strong written and verbal communication skills.
Work background at a museum or other nonprofit organization is desirable, but not required.
An MBA or equivalent prior work experience.

Please include a cover letter with your application. The closing date for this position is July 26, 2024.

The Phillips Collection is an equal-opportunity employer, and we value diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic disposition or carrier status, marital status, veteran status, personal appearance, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, or any other category protected under applicable federal, state, or local law.

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