Executive Director (San Diego, CA, USA)

By Paid Job Ads posted 10-29-2019 15:36


The Balboa Art Conservation Center (BACC)
seeks an Executive Director, a strong leader with the imagination and ambition to innovate, engage new audiences and clients and drive a renewed level of activity.


ABOUT THE BACC (bacc.org)
The Balboa Art Conservation Center (BACC) is a private nonprofit corporation located in San Diego, California, operating an art conservation center that serves museums, cultural organizations, and private collectors in the western United States. It provides museum-quality conservation treatments, investigative technical imaging and analysis, and preservation services for works of art, cultural objects, and historic artifacts for its dozen member institutions and the public. In accordance with the American Institute for Conservation's (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice, the BACC’s conservators—all with advanced degrees—offer a rigorous, scientific and artistically-sensitive approach to the preservation, examination, and treatment of cultural heritage objects. Founded by the venerable Monuments Man George Stout, and celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2020, the BACC is the region's premier independent conservation facility.

The BACC is located in the heart of San Diego’s beautiful and historic Balboa Park. The Park is home to a campus of cultural institutions such as the San Diego Museum of Art, the Timken Museum of Art, and the San Diego History Center. The Center's services cover a wide spectrum including the formulation and implementation of conservation treatments for paintings, frames and paper artifacts; technical examinations using infrared reflectography, x-radiography, x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and other analytical and diagnostic techniques; preventive conservation assistance; and environmental, general and collection-specific surveys. The Center also has a post-graduate fellowship program in paintings and paper conservation funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This working environment emphasizes an atmosphere of learning, collegiality, and cooperation. Alumni of this program have gone on to work around the world at such institutions as the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Getty Museum and Conservation Institute, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Princely Collections of Lichtenstein, the National Museum of Denmark, and the Centre de Conservation du Quebec, among others.

The BACC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation and exists to serve the art conservation and preservation needs of its twelve (currently) member institutions: nonprofit charitable, scientific or educational organizations that own or have custody of works of art or other objects of cultural interest. They pay annual dues, a substantial portion of which is credit towards future or ongoing conservation work while receiving a discounted rate for any services provided. The Center can undertake a certain amount of outside work.

The BACC has a Board of Trustees (Board) with most governmental decisions undertaken by an active and supportive executive committee. The Board is made up of staff members from member institutions, independent scholars and curators, and members of the general public of various backgrounds, all with serious interest in promoting and preserving high-quality art conservation.

The Executive Director is responsible for the administrative management of the Center, overseeing the operations and programs guided by the organization’s strategic plan. Other key duties include business development and fundraising for the continued financial health of the Center, marketing, and community outreach. The position reports directly to the Board.

Upon the retirement of current Executive Director and Chief Conservator of Paper Janet Ruggles, after a distinguished 35 years of service, the new executive director will lead an outstanding staff of conservators and have the opportunity to make new hires. The position will remain open until filled with initial applications to reach the search committee by October 31. It is hoped the successful applicant can begin early in 2020. The position comes with excellent benefits and a salary that is commensurate with experience.


  • Lead colleagues on the staff to fulfill the BACC’s mission of providing high-quality conservation services to its clients.
  • Develop a vision and a strategy to position the BACC as the major independent regional resource for art conservation.
  • Supervise, support, retain and recruit a highly qualified professional staff; delegate responsibilities and authority appropriately; hold all staff accountable for personal and collective performance, providing direction and sustaining morale.
  • Strengthen key partnerships with member institutions and actively solicit new member institutions.
  • Establish a major presence in the art and broader cultural community with a personal presence at events at member institutions and potential member institutions.
  • Actively lead and help develop a vigorous and multifaceted fundraising operation that builds financial security for the work of the BACC in particular and enthusiasm for art conservation in general.
  • Steward the fiscal integrity of the BACC, by developing the annual budget from drafting to Board approval, working with the Center’s accountants to provide accurate quarterly financial statements, and operating within the approved budget, ensuring maximum resource utilization, and maintenance of the organization in a positive financial position. Responsible for signing all notes, agreements, and other instruments made and entered into and on behalf of the organization.
  • Work with staff and institutional clients to develop and generate programs, both locally with community outreach, and regionally, about conservation treatments and issues, in order to establish an enthusiasm for art conservation and to facilitate new work from private clients associated with the institutional client.
  • Generate strategic planning with the help of the Board.
  • Attend all committee meetings, providing relevant information for them to perform their delegated tasks.


  • Knowledge of and experience with art and cultural object conservation and preservation, with an appreciation for the ethical issues of conservation.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; master's degree preferred. Preference will be given to applicants with advanced degrees in art conservation or preservation of cultural materials, or in arts management.
  • Five or more years of senior management experience, with expertise in budget preparation and management, analysis, decision-making, and reporting.
  • Understanding of a revenue-earning (fee for service) business model, with the associated financial reporting implications.
  • Understanding of not-for-profit management in an organization with considerable earned income.
  • Strong leadership and organizational abilities including staff oversight, planning and delegating in the context of a collaborative work environment, program development and task facilitation.
  • Ability to convey a vision of the BACC strategic future to staff, board, volunteers, and donors.
  • Knowledge of fundraising strategies and donor relations unique to non-profit sector and this unique entity.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to interface with and engage diverse volunteer and donor groups, as well as fellow professional staff of local and regional cultural organizations, Balboa Park institutions, and other interest groups.
  • Capacity to work collaboratively to develop relationships—both academic and otherwise—with local and regional institutions of higher education.
  • Understanding of the legacy and history of the BACC with an interest in increasing its visibility regionally, nationally and internationally.

The Board consists of between 15 and 30 trustees (currently 18) and exercises its governance and oversight role for the organization, while working with the executive director to develop the resources necessary for the successful operation of the organization. The Board is driven by an executive committee consisting of the Board president, vice-president, treasurer and secretary, the chairs of any standing committees, and any other trustees deemed appropriate (such as an immediate past president). The members of the Board understand the difference between management, oversight and governance. They will work in partnership with the executive director to develop the plan for raising sustaining resources and to secure such funding.

Applicants should send a cover letter of no more than two pages, a CV, and a list of a minimum of three references and their titles (contact information will be requested if necessary) to: edsearch@bacc.org. Nominations are also welcome. Search will remain open until filled.