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The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world's preeminent scientific and cultural institutions. Since its founding in 1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to discover, interpret and disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world and the universe through a wide-ranging program of scientific research, education and exhibition. The Museum is renowned for its exhibitions and scientific collections, which serve as a field guide to the entire planet and present a panorama of the world's cultures.

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Chief Information Officer

 

Position Chief Information Officer
Organization American Museum of Natural History
Location New York, NY
Reporting Relationship Reports to Senior Vice President & CFO
Website www.amnh.org

 

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is one of the world’s preeminent scientific and cultural institutions. Since its founding in 1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to discover, interpret and disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe through a wide-ranging program of scientific research, education and exhibitions. The Museum is renowned for its exhibitions and scientific collections, comprised of 34 million specimens and objects, which serve as a field guide to the entire planet and present a panorama of the world's cultures. 

The Museum is home to more than 200 scientists who conduct research in anthropology, vertebrate zoology, invertebrate zoology, paleontology, physical sciences, genomics, and conservation biology, as well as the Richard Gilder Graduate School, the only Ph.D. degree-granting program at a museum in the Western Hemisphere. AMNH offers a continuum of learning opportunities, from early childhood through adulthood, through its public programs, camps and workshops, and online or onsite professional development for educators.

Bringing unique resources and expertise to bear on the science (“STEM”) education crisis, the Museum leads the development of innovative programs that test and model new approaches to teacher education and student engagement, trailblazing a new role for science-rich cultural institutions. The New York State Board of Regents recently selected AMNH to pilot a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program for K-12 science teachers.

With an eye to the changing nature of learning, the Museum continues to develop offerings that use emerging technologies to engage learners as never before and to connect them to Museum’s research and collections in novel ways. Current efforts build on successful initiatives to investigate new directions, from drawing on digital tools and media in programs that uniquely engage youth, to testing out new platforms that offer global reach for Museum content.

 

THE OPPORTUNITY


 

The American Museum of Natural History is searching for a highly accomplished individual to bring a fresh perspective to an integral and critical function – Information Technology – at the Museum and to assist AMNH in fulfilling its three-part mission of Science, Education and Exhibition in both the traditional and digital worlds. The new Chief Information Officer (CIO) will assume leadership of the Information Technology team from the retiring incumbent. This IT leader will shape and direct execution of a forward-looking technology strategy, and work closely with the Museum’s Chief Digital Officer and other key senior colleagues to support an important and highly innovative and imaginative online/digital component. 

This position is mandated not only to enable, grow and support the ongoing operations of the Museum, but also to pursue operational excellence and advanced capabilities, and to create value for the diverse communities of stakeholders across the institution as well as the world’s population of scientists, educators, schools, and all onsite and online Museum visitors. The Museum supports scientific research that relies on the latest in technology, including astrophysical modeling, massive gene sequencing, sophisticated  visualizations, bioinformatics, and very large digital data matrices and collections databases. The CIO will therefore have the opportunity to make a significant impact and help the Museum succeed in fulfilling its mission and achieving its goals.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES


 

The Chief Information Officer of the Museum is responsible and accountable for the following:

  • Information Technology & Strategy: Generate and communicate an IT Strategy that is consistent and aligned with the Museum’s mission, strategy and goals; enhance IT staff awareness of AMNH’s institutional strategy and the role IT plays in achieving its mission.
  • IT Governance: Provide effective management of the Museum’s portfolio of information systems, assets, and technology projects; institute and enforce appropriate Information Technology policies, processes, systems and technology portfolio/lifecycle management, project management/PMO, development standards, and methodologies.
  • Systems:Partner with stakeholders and participate in the definition, architecture, development, implementation and support of systems which facilitate the Museum’s objectives by providing:
    • Systems that fulfill the teaching, research, computational and data storage needs of the Museum’s Scientists and Educators.
    • Systems that deliver extraordinary digital visitor experiences before, during, after, or in place of a physical trip to the Museum.
    • Efficient and secure transaction and information flow for business operations and administrative functions including ticketing and other visitor-facing services.
    • Insightful and timely “business intelligence” that facilitates decision-making to optimize the operations of the Museum and its services to all constituents.
  • Innovation: Proactively engage with IT Users across the Museum to seek opportunities to innovate computational, curatorial and educational capabilities - especially the continued adoption of Cloud‑based software and very large-scale data storage. Work closely with the Museum’s Chief Digital Officer and other key senior colleagues to create and support important and highly innovative and imaginative online/digital programs. Leverage advanced technology in support of the Museum’s digital initiatives. Utilize grants and both public and private funding sources to underwrite IT innovation.
  • Technology, Infrastructure & Telecommunications: Maintain knowledge of current and emerging technologies in computing, data storage, communications and the Cloud; identify new technology-driven initiatives to facilitate realization of AMNH objectives.
  • Operations:Direct the continuous and secure operation, administration and maintenance of the Museum’s computing, storage and networking infrastructure, including implementation and support of IT/Data Security, Privacy, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans. Manage AMNH’s network of providers and suppliers of software, hardware and services with regard to Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and other performance metrics.
  • Customer Service: Provide training and support for all Information Technology users, including a top-quality Help-Desk function.
  • Management: Hire, develop, appraise, reward, discipline and retain a highly qualified IT professional staff; motivate and mentor IT management and staff; lead by example through appropriate participation and involvement in, and oversight of IT activities. Plan and provide continuity and succession for all IT management and critical positions including the CIO.
  • Budgeting: Create the IT budget, monitor performance against the budget, and act to ensure budget compliance. Deploy the Museum’s financial resources judiciously and responsibly while simultaneously and aggressively seeking new areas for technology investment. Create cost effective partnerships and negotiate advantageous agreements with service providers and hardware and software vendors.
  • Representation: Serve as the Museum’s ambassador to external constituencies such as EDUCAUSE, NYSERNet, the NY State CIO Conference, and several less formal gatherings of CIOs and other technologists in the New York and wider not-for-profit world.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE/QUALIFICATIONS


 

We seek candidates for the role of Chief Information Officer at the American Museum of Natural History who possess an outstanding record of professional experience and accomplishment, and who thrive in a team-based collaborative environment of collegiality and collaboration, and high accountability. The successful candidate must offer demonstrated ability to assume progressive responsibilities and significant senior level leadership in a highly complex research-based, educational and/or cultural institution. The CIO must be well versed in the technical aspects of software, hardware and networking, and be an established “hands-on” leader in applying technology in a mission-critical systems environment.

The Chief Information Officer will be a strategic thinker with a “can do” attitude, able to establish and deliver against expectations and priorities in an atmosphere of cost consciousness, and provide IT leadership and advocacy for the Museum. Experience in a research-based university, medical institution or other place of learning, with an emphasis on the Sciences, is highly desirable. International and multicultural experiences are similarly desired.

Equally significant qualifications include excellent leadership, team building, people judgment, talent development and mentoring, coaching and motivational skills. Candidates should also offer a proven record of strategic planning, functional transformation, change creation and management, budget and resource management, and technology acquisition and integration.

Other necessary attributes include but are not limited to professionalism, integrity, dedication, loyalty, a high energy level and strong work ethic, excellent oral, written and listening communication skills, strong interpersonal and relationship building and management skills. Excellent critical thinking, creative problem-solving and decision-making skills are also required. 

LEADERSHIP CHARACTERISTICS


 

The Chief Information Officer at the American Museum of Natural History will possess these critical leadership attributes: 

Making Complex Decisions

  • Can solve even the toughest and most complex of problems; great at gleaning meaning from whatever data is available; is a quick study of the new and different; adds personal wisdom and experience to come to the best conclusion and solution, given the situation; uses multiple problem-solving tools and techniques.

Creating the New and Different

  • Is creative, a visionary, and can manage innovation; is an effective strategist full of ideas and possibilities; sees multiple futures; has broad interests and knowledge; can both create and bring exciting ideas to market; comfortable speculating about alternative futures without all of the data.

Dealing with Trouble

  • Fearlessly takes on all issues, challenges, and people; comfortably confronts and works through conflict; delivers negative feedback and messages without hesitation; deals promptly and fairly with problem performers; lets everyone know where they stand; thrives in crises and is energized by tough challenges; not afraid to make negative decisions and take tough action; challenges the status quo.

Evaluating and Deploying People Accurately

  • Reads people accurately; can diagnose strengths, weaknesses, and potential; knows what skills are required to fill a job or role; hires the best.

Being Organizationally Savvy

  • Maneuvers well to get things done; maze bright; knows where to go to get what he/she needs; politically aware and agile; knows the right thing to do; presents views and arguments well.

Relating Skills

  • Warm, friendly, and interpersonally agile; easy to approach and talk to; relates well to all kinds of people; makes a pleasant first impression and builds solid relationships.

Managing Diverse Relationships

  • Relates well to a wide variety of diverse styles, types, and classes; open to differences; effective up, down, sideways, inside, and outside; builds diverse networks; quick to find common ground; treats differences fairly and equitably; treats everyone as a preferred customer.

EDUCATION


 

A baccalaureate degree in a relevant discipline is expected; an advanced degree is desirable. 

COMPENSATION


 

The Chief Information Officer at the American Museum of Natural History will receive a competitive compensation package and comprehensive employee benefits. Relocation assistance is available as required. 

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY


 

The American Museum of Natural History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. The Museum does not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin and veteran or disability status. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

TO APPLY:


 

Mark Polansky
Senior Partner, IT Officers Practice

200 Park Avenue, 33rd Floor
New York, NY 10166

212.984.9415

mark.polansky@kornferry.com 

 

The American Museum of Natural History does not solicit or accept applications or résumés unless it is for a specific job listed on this website.

The American Museum of Natural History is an Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action Employer. The Museum does not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin and veteran or disability status.  Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. 

Please be advised that due to the high volume of applicants, we are only able to contact those candidates whose skills and background best fit the needs of the open positions. 

Last updated: November 14, 2014

American Museum of Natural History

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