The San Diego Automotive Museum is seeking a new Executive Director!

San Diego Automotive Museum Executive Director

Reports to Board of Directors

Full time Exempt Salaried


                                   About the San Diego Automotive Museum

The San Diego Automotive Museum tells the story of the social and technological past, present, and future of the automobile through its outstanding collections, award winning exhibitions, and educational programs. The museum opened in 1988 in historic Balboa Park. Today the museum stands as a living tribute to the automobile and what it has meant to our culture. We call it Cars and Society.


The San Diego Automotive Museum is a non-profit tax-exempt corporation established in 1988 in a historic building designed by noted architect Richard Requa for the 1935 Pacific Exposition in Balboa Park, San Diego.  The museum owns an impressive collection of over 60 cars and 40 motorcycles from the US, Great Britain, Europe and Japan in its permanent collection.  Vehicles not on display are stored in the museum’s near by storage and maintenance facility.  Special displays often feature privately owned vehicles on loan to the museum from private collectors.


The museum offers specialty exhibits that highlight a certain style, design, era or manufacturer.  These exhibits change every three or four months.  Examples include special marques such as Porsche and Ferrari and specialty vehicles such as “Lowriders of Southern California” and “Glorious Rat Rods-Diamonds in the Rust.”


The museum’s research library is one of the largest and most comprehensive collections on the West Coast.  The collection includes hundreds of books, magazines, and auto-related materials such as advertising pamphlets, repair manuals, photos, movies and more.  The library is open to the public and is staffed by volunteers.


The museum has been a community partner for more than 20 years with a Balboa Park Program that brings over 6,000 5th grade students to the museum throughout the year.  The museum also provides educational summer programs for scout troops, YMCA camps, and other specialty programs.  The museum attracts over 100,000 visitors a year from around the world.


Job Description

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for SDAM Nonprofit’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission.  She or he will initially develop deep knowledge of field, core programs, operations, and business plans.  Key duties include fundraising, marketing, and community outreach. 


Leadership and Management:

  • Ensure ongoing local program excellence, and evaluation: consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications; recommend timeline and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals.
  • Actively engage and energize SDAM Nonprofit staff and volunteers, board members and partnering organizations, and funders.
  • Support a strong Board of Directors; serve as ex-officio of each committee; seek and build board involvement with strategic direction for both ongoing local operations as well as for the national recognition.
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain SDAM Nonprofit’s high-performance staff and volunteers
  • Ensure effective systems to track museum progress, and regularly evaluate program components, so as to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board, funders, and other constituents.

Fundraising and Communications:

  • Expand local revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing program operations
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications- from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger brand.
  • Use external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities

Planning and New Business:

  • Design and complete the strategic business planning process for program expansion
  • Begin to build partnerships in new markets, establishing relationships with the funders, and political and community leaders.
  • Be an external local and national presence that publishes and communicates program results with an emphasis on the successes of the local program as a model for regional and national replication.


The ED will be thoroughly committed to SDAM Nonprofit’s mission.  All candidates should have proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience.

Specific requirements include:

  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience (minimum 5 years experience nonprofit management experience or equivalent)
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, delegate, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships
  • Marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience desired
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • Passion, idealism, integrity, transparency, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed


Salary Range $55,000 - $70,000

How to Apply

Please email your resume and cover letter expanding on why are the best candidate for this position to  or  mail it to 2080 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101. Screening of applications will begin November 15, 2019 and continue until the position is filled.  That said, submission of application materials before November 15 is recommended to assure consideration in the first round of application screenings.

No phone calls or walk-ins, please.

We will contact only those individuals whose qualifications match the position.


Thank you for your interest.


POSITION:           Museum Store Associate      

REPORTS TO:     Museum Store Manager

STATUS:               PT, Hourly, Non-exempt

HOURS:                Hours vary between 15-25 per week; weekend availability required and some evenings

REPORTS TO:     Museum Store Manager


The Museum Store Associate is the face of the museum. This position is the liaison between the public and the Museum’s exhibitions. The Associate must be able to communicate in positive and engaging ways visitors and potential visitors. This position provides exceptional customer service to enhance the visitor experience. The associate is responsible for merchandise sales, ticket and membership sales. A professional demeanor is expected at all times, with strong work ethic, high energy and enthusiasm.


  • Maintain an orderly admission desk area, ensuring all paperwork is in order, brochure racks filled and that the area is clean and organized.
  • Sell admission tickets, store merchandise and memberships and handle cash and credit card transactions.
  • Provide information to visitors about the museum, exhibitions and programs, answer questions and provide brochures and handouts.
  • Provide a brief oral orientation of the museum to visitors and groups as needed.
  • Promote and sell Museum memberships.
  • Appropriately greet special guests/contractors and ensure they are welcomed and routed according to the nature of their visit.
  • Answer phone calls within 3 rings, providing visitor information and routing callers to appropriate extension; take messaged as needed.
  • Learn about Balboa Park amenities, other museum offerings, etc. to answer visitor inquiries
  • Maintain a safe and clean working environment.
  • Maintain a positive attitude and show respect to all customers, visitors and staff members.
  • Be familiar with merchandise and be able to answer customers’ questions about items in inventory.
  • Performs opening and closing store duties: receive, tag and display merchandise, organize store and storeroom
  • Work Special Events and Exhibit Change as requested.

Special Events: This area of the position reports to the Facilities Manager. Special Events require evening and night hours. Duties include: help move vehicles, set up tables and chairs, secure and maintain safe environment during event as well as clean event space and any other tasks as needed.

Exhibit Change: This area of the position reports to Creative Director, Education Director and or Facilities Manager. Exhibit Change requires morning, evening and night hours. Duties include: help with moving vehicles, remove and install graphics, creatively arrange memorabilia in display cases, cleaning of oil spills and other tasks as needed. The ability to climb ladders use power drills, electric staplers and other tools as needed.




Strong interpersonal skills and pleasant telephone manner

Ability to multitask, problem-solve and maintain a pleasant manner in a busy environment

Professionalism in demander and presentation

Flexibility and ability to maintain calm in stressful situations

Ability to work independently as well as part of a larger team

Energy and initiative

Weekend hours and some evening hours required

The ability to sit, reach, bend, stoop, walk, stand, climb stairs and ladders as required to perform all functions of the job and lift (or assist in lifting) objects 40lbs. on a regular basis.


Interest and proficiency in a second language other than English

POS experience a plus


High-school diploma or equivalent.

How to apply:

Please email resume and references to the store manager.   

No phone calls or walk-ins.

We will contact only those individuals whose qualifications match the position.