Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Senior Communications Officer, Interpretation & Visitor Engagement

The Discovery Center recently completed a two-year refresh project and our team is redefining how we do our work as it relates to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. Our programs and exhibits continue to showcase and amplify new and unheard voices as we tie local issues to our global priorities. We work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation regional offices and program staff as well as local partners to collaborate on programs and in-gallery experiences.

Our guiding belief is that all individuals have the capacity to create positive change and contribute to improving lives. To that end, our overarching objectives are:

  • Provide opportunities for individuals to experience a progression of engagement from awareness to action.
  • Maximize awareness for building opportunities through diverse experiences and programs that educate, inspire, and motivate audiences.
  • Ensure high quality engagement experiences across all channels – physical and virtual to educate, inspire, and motivate audiences.
  • Our target audience, although not exclusively is middle school, high school and young adults.

Leadership & Culture

Our culture shapes our choices about what we do and how we do it. We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment can do extraordinary things. We expect foundation employees to intentionally and consistently embody our four agreements; show respect, offer trust, be transparent, and create energy.

Position Summary

As a member of the Discovery Center (DC) leadership team, the Senior Communications Officer, Interpretation & Visitor Engagement develops, manages and evaluates the DC’s new interpretive plan, and pedagogy for the comprehensive visitor experience at the Center. This includes leading strategies around education, interpretive programming, youth, school and educator programs, and temporary and permanent exhibits; both physical and digital.

You will be responsible to ensure all staff and interns are equipped with the tools, resources and methodology so that they can effectively implement this strategy to meet our engagement and experience objectives. This position works closely and collaboratively with the Senior Communications Officer for Visitor Services and Engagement and the Senior Communications Officer for Marketing and Community Partnerships. This position has one direct report staff, a Communication Officer for Schools, Education and Youth Engagement, who is responsible for all youth and educator programming.

Core Responsibilities

You will provide strategic oversight vision and methodology for interpretation and messaging throughout the Discovery Center as it relates to all exhibit programs, youth and educator programs, and tours. Additionally, you will be responsible for the following:

  • Create vision, strategy, methodology and practice around interpretive and engagement practices across exhibits, programs, tours, visitor experience, and community engagement.
  • In coordination with the Sr. Visitor Services & Engagement Officer and Sr. Marketing and Community Partnerships Officer develop a breadth of engagement opportunities with local partners and communities.
  • Manage the dedicated staff for youth programs, school, educator outreach and tour development and implementation.
  • Contract and budget management responsibility.
  • Cultivate and maintain meaningful partnerships and programming with schools, school districts, youth focused organizations, and numerous community stakeholders to sustain innovative audience development and outreach on local, regional and national levels.
  • Develop and implement strategy with your staff and the Sr. Marketing staff that includes outreach to educational professionals, schools, youth development organizations and.
  • Build and manage partnerships with community stakeholders such as cultural institutions, community groups, government agencies.
  • In partnership with Marketing and Communications team, develop marketing strategies for youth and educator programs designed to achieve maximum reach and educational impact.
  • Develop and oversee all tour and youth program evaluations.
  • Conceptualize and oversee Youth Ambassador & Youth Programming
  • Develop and implement strategy for the Youth Ambassador Program and other youth engagement programming with your staff
  • Provide oversight and strategic management of the public programming for youth; including the Teen Action Fair and possible upcoming youth summit. Work collaboratively with the Community Programs and Partnerships staff to compliment audience alignment and scaffolding experiences
  • Oversee Curatorial and Content Strategy Development and Exhibit Management
  • Strategy development and implementation for all physical and digital platforms; connecting in-gallery and digital experiences.
  • Manage team for temporary exhibit concept development and implementation.
  • Partner with extended team, guest curators, and outside vendors/contractors for the management of all exhibits and improvements including traveling exhibits and long-term exhibit improvements.
  • Foundation Engagement & Representation
  • Represent the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with a set of partners including both public and private entities, media, grantees, local schools, universities and other partners.
  • Work with Communications and Community Relations teams to ensure smooth engagement across the foundation with local organizations.
  • Maintain relationships with the foundation’s program strategy teams to build network of staff engagement contacts for supporting education outreach and programs.
  • Occasionally represent the foundation at external events.

Position reports to the Deputy Director Foundation Discovery Center.

Core Knowledge & Skills

In this unique and newly created role, we seek an inventive and experienced leader who understands how to create and execute innovative learning experiences and can work collaboratively across teams.

  • Knowledge and experience with cutting-edge strategies and tools for engagement with content.
  • Knowledge of current learning theories in youth development, learning styles and visitor engagement methods.
  • Experience in visitor research for museum audiences.
  • Proven ability to effectively communicate with a broad audience through the creation of public-facing, accessible materials; including demonstrating an awareness of design approaches and strategies to make content accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Lived experience in countries where the foundation works is a plus.
  • Experience using storytelling and other narrative methods for engagement is a plus.
  • Ability to communicate concepts to diverse audiences; including designers and exhibit fabricators in order to effectively execute a vision for an exhibit.
  • Knowledge of digital education resources, experience writing curriculum and program evaluation methods.
  • Knowledge of exhibit content development and design, education theory and practice; with an emphasis on emerging trends in visitor experience.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; including writing and editing for voice and tone.
  • Strong project management skills; including meeting facilitation, presentation skills and time management skills; including ability to manage large workload, set priorities and meet deadlines while maintaining efficiency.
  • Ability to lead complex project budgets effectively with positive institutional ROI; including development of budgets, scopes of work, RFPs and contracts for exhibit fabrication projects.
  • Manage fabrication project teams including exhibit fabricators, designers, contractors and vendors.
  • Ability to think creatively and strategically; as demonstrated by implemented ideas and/or approaches.
  • Ability to critically evaluate statistics and data related to tracking and managing constituents with an aim to improve partnerships, promotional outreach and audience engagement.
  • Build and maintain collaborative, positive and productive relationships across organizations as well as with partners and vendors.
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Advanced computer skills related to database and spreadsheet tracking (e.g. survey data, Google Analytics, audience statistics, etc.). Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and familiarity with exhibit design software.

Education & Experience

  • Experience leading and management teams with a high standard of excellence and accountability.
  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 15 years’ experience providing senior-level museum, educational and programmatic leadership (e.g. exhibits, educational programming, teaching and/or informal education, arts/non-profit administration, museum administration) or other related field or equivalent work experience.
  • Minimum of eight years’ experience in program design, evaluation and curriculum development preferred.
  • Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.

All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve the mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to:

* Race
* Color
* Age
* Religion
* Pregnancy
* Sex
* Sexual Orientation
* Disability
* Gender Identity
* Gender Expression
* National Origin