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Director | Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI)

Employment Status: Full-Time 

The Arab American National Museum (AANM) - the first and only museum in the United States devoted to Arab American history, culture and contributions - is currently seeking candidates for the high-profile position of AANM Director. This prominent position requires an inspirational leader with passion, vision and an entrepreneurial spirit, to direct this locally and nationally significant institution. The ideal candidate will have a solid understanding of both nonprofit management and arts and culture, a powerful leadership presence, exhibit confidence and enthusiasm, and have an appreciation and passion for serving the Arab American community.

AANM - one of three national institutions of ACCESS - is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and is a founding member of the Immigration and Civil Rights Network of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. By bringing the voices and faces of Arab Americans to mainstream audiences, the Museum dispels misconceptions about Arab Americans and other marginalized communities. Since opening its doors in 2005, this exceptional institution has shed light on the shared experiences of immigrants and ethnic groups, paying tribute to the diversity of our nation. If you are the charismatic, inspirational and motivational leader we are seeking, please click here to submit your application.

Job Summary: Under general direction with a high level of autonomy, uses extensive knowledge of Arab American history and skills obtained through education and experience, to visualize and develop the future of the Arab American National Museum (AANM). This job requires an inspirational leader with passion, vision and an entrepreneurial spirit for an institution with national significance. Creates strategic direction and oversees the development of tactical plans. Responsible for the financial growth and sustainability of the museum and provides high level direction for educational and programming events. Extensive contact with senior leadership of the organization, ACCESS Board of Directors, AANM National Advisory Board, donors, foundations, corporations, government agencies, individual benefactors and other philanthropic sources is required to meet goals and objectives.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Partner with Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director, and Chief Operating Officer to determine strategic direction, vision and mission of AANM and translating these things into actionable items. 

  • Accountable for building, attracting and developing a highly effective and functional team.
  • Lead and inspire the AANM staff to work collaboratively to develop and implement strategic plans that actualize the institution’s mission, vision, and core values. Lead the organization, setting vision and direction for future growth and success
  • Manage financial oversight and monitoring for the AANM, including budget discipline, timely, accurate and comprehensive development of an annual budget and its implementation
  • Develop and oversee a robust fundraising plan to ensure the financial stability and sustainability of the museum including building the endowment and its unrestricted revenue streams
  • Establish, sustain, and expand relationships with foundations, corporations, government agencies, and private donors
  • Strengthen the relationship of the AANM with local and national cultural institutions
  • Reviews performance and evaluates results achieved by subordinates
  • Coaches and mentors subordinates.
  • Lead the AANM to develop exciting and quality exhibitions and educational, cultural, and artistic programming that both serves the museum’s mission and expands and diversifies its audiences and support base
  • Work with the National Advisory Board to further the museum’s mission and reach into the community throughout the nation
  • Form strategic alliances and partnerships with other local/national museums, cultural and educational institutions, and community-based organizations to achieve the museum’s goals
  • Operates standard office equipment and uses required software applications.
  • Performs other duties and responsibilities as assigned.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Knowledge of:


  • Advanced concepts, principles and practices of business or non-profit operations and non-profit fundraising.
  • Technology resources used in managing and promoting an organization.
  • Budget management, including creating and maintaining a budget.
  • Arab American history, culture and diversity of the community.
  • Intermediate to advanced concepts, practices and procedures of new business startup techniques.
  • Community resources including other organizations and services designed to support program networks.
  • Processes, rules and regulations of various services and funding agencies surrounding the eligibility and maintenance of the services being received.

 Skill in:

  • Operating standard office equipments and using required software applications, including Microsoft Office.

 Ability to:

  • Partner with other functional areas to accomplish objectives.
  • Facilitate meetings, ensuring that all viewpoints, ideas and problems are addressed.
  • Incorporate needs, wants and goals from different business unit perspectives into a single, defined approach.
  • Attend to detail while maintaining a big picture orientation.
  • Read, interpret, analyze and apply information from current events and pending legislation.
  • Incite enthusiasm and influence, motivate and persuade others to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Interpret and apply policies and identify and recommend changes as appropriate.
  • Organize, manage and track multiple detailed tasks and assignments with frequently changing priorities in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Work independently as well as collaboratively within a team environment.
  • Handle stressful situations and provide a high level of customer service in a calm and professional manner.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships.

 Educational/Previous Experience Requirements:

  1. Minimum Degree Required: Master’s degree, PhD preferred.
  2. Required Disciplines: Arab Studies or Museum Studies or a related field


  •  At least 5 years management experience in a senior leadership position or any equivalent combination of experience, education, and/or training approved by Human Resources. Previous fundraising experience is required. Prior museum management experience is a must.


  • Licenses/Certifications Required at Date of Hire: None

Working Conditions:

Hours: Normal business hours and some additional hours are required.

Travel Required: 20 – 25%

Working Environment: Climate controlled office environment


Metro Detroit is a fascinating place to live and work, a dynamic region where a dedicated individual can enjoy an excellent quality of life amidst a unique and diverse cultural landscape.

While Detroit is known globally as the Motor City for putting the world on wheels and is credited as being the birthplace of musical movements, including Motown and techno, its impactful history is a proper prologue to the current era of innovation, creativity and drive.

The area features affordable housing; major-market amenities including world-class entertainment options and cultural institutions; abundant park systems; the proximity to the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, the majestic Great Lakes and plenty of natural beauty; a burgeoning dining scene; and major league sports franchises.

Active grassroots communities are present around coworking, technology, entrepreneurship, arts and culture, social justice and business and community development. The largest Arab American community nonprofit, ACCESS, is the parent organization of the Arab American National Museum and is a leader among regional and national nonprofits and an innovator in capacity-building, organizing and philanthropy. Arab Americans will find appealing, welcoming places to work and play, amidst a variety of urban and suburban settings. Inner-ring suburb

Dearborn – home to the Arab American National Museum and Ford World Headquarters – is also home to the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the United States and the markets, bakeries, butchers and retail outlets that serve them. The cultural diversity of the greater region’s population is similarly reflected throughout the area.

 “The good news is that Detroiters are perhaps Detroit’s greatest asset. They have never stopped innovating and caring…”

-New York Times, “Detroit: The Most Exciting City in America?”

Lonely Planet “The American comeback city” travel/cities#2

Toronto Star “Detroit is America’s Great Comeback Story” americas-great-comeback-story.html

National Geographic “6 Unexpected Cities for the Food Lover” cities-2017/

Zagat “The 26 Hottest Food Cities” (No. 13)