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7 Apr 2023

Full-Time Director, Guest Operations

California Academy of Sciences – Posted by Calacademy San Francisco, California, United States

Job Description

About the Opportunity
We’re looking for a people-leader that is excited to lead the guest-facing teams in welcoming the public into our world class museum that is the showcase for our global mission of regeneration of the natural world.

Organizational Culture
Join a team dedicated to the Academy’s mission, vision and values! Currently, the Academy has a new strategic plan including three initiatives – Hope for ReefsThriving California, and Islands 2030 – that leverage biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement to regenerate fragile ecosystems around the world. Learn more at https://www.calacademy.org/about-us/major-initiatives.

We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission. The mission of the California Academy of Sciences is to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. The Academy is looking for candidates who do great work, and we know they may come from a number of different backgrounds and experiences. We encourage you to apply even if you do not believe you meet every one of the qualifications for the position.

This position is based in San Francisco, California and Please do not apply if you are not able to work onsite. Candidates are required to have up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination, including receiving a booster shot, as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions in accordance with applicable laws. Individuals receiving a conditional offer of employment from the California Academy of Sciences will be provided the full text of the vaccination policy.

About the Guest Operations Team
The Guest Operations Team is critical to the Academy’s work in delivering our mission through our museum which is open 365 days a year.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop and coach management staff; provide feedback and professional development to the team, supporting their various stages of growth and leadership.
  • Develop staff for career advancement by setting individual and team goals, using the performance review process, cross-training, and development planning.
  • Oversee budget of $3M+, ensuring the right labor mix of full-time, part-time, and on-call staff to meet attendance forecasts while balancing budget constraints.
  • Rebuild the Academy’s strategy for a high-performing culture and provide alignment with all public-facing teams; meeting industry guest satisfaction benchmarks of 80%
  • Stay abreast on guest satisfaction, online reputation, quality assurance, and similar experiential performance metrics; address performance gaps and escalate issues.
  • Partner with the Sales and Membership teams to deliver on Academy revenue goals
  • Provide leadership to the Academy’s sales operations process to vet new products for the best experience, efficiency, and revenue.
  • Foster a culture of belonging and ensure all training and materials to reflect and support our diverse teams.
  • Lead a cross-functional Academy Operating Team that ensures coordination and alignment on best practices and Standard Operating Guidelines (SOG).
  • Oversee the in-house custodial team, contracted technical cleaning, and mailroom operations; evaluate contractors and vendors for best pricing and efficiency.
  • Serve as the primary liaison and ADA Coordinator to the Mayor’s Office on Disability; manage ADA complaint process and access programs.
  • Actively participate and represent the Academy in community events to foster long term relationships that support our access and inclusion initiatives.
  • Perform other duties as assigned


  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field or equivalent work and education.
  • 10 years of direct experience managing and leading large teams in public venues and/or cultural organizations required, minimum of 5 years managing complex teams
  • Demonstrates a high level of financial literacy and budget preparation experience
  • Displays a high level of emotional intelligence and ease with working with staff, cross-functional teams, and external customers with different identities and experiences required
  • Demonstrates a high level of organizational skill and ability to track and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment required
  • Ability to successfully navigate difficult personnel situations and diffuse incidents involving the public required
  • Uses creative problem-solving paired with logistical analysis and operational effectiveness required
  • Comfortable with using various technology including point-of-sale and interest in learning new systems. (Gsuite, Microsoft Suite, and Tessitura CRM preferred)

Physical Environment:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

  • Ability to transport 20 lbs.
  • Ability to perform repetitive motions 50% of the time
  • Ability to work around various wildlife (i.e. birds, snakes, spiders)
  • Ability to work in humid conditions
  • Ability to work in a darkened theater environment with 30 degree slope

Compensation and Benefits
Hiring range: $140,000-$150,000
Schedule: Full-Time, 40 hours per week, five days a week, and primarily on-site. Some evening, weekend, and holiday availability is required.

Starting salary will vary based on experience and relevant skills/knowledge set.
The Academy offers a total compensation package that emphasizes both base salary and comprehensive benefits.

Review of applications will be on a rolling basis and will continue until the position is filled.

Please upload your resume and complete the brief online application on our careers page.

The California Academy of Sciences will give full consideration for employment to all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to ensure that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, place of birth, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, height or weight, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.

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How to Apply

APPLICATION PROCESS: Please upload your resume and complete the brief online application on our careers page.

Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 100,000 and above.

Job expires in 25 days.

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