Director of Visitor Experiences -- Historic Ford Estates

Department: Visitor Experience Department
Salary Grade: 7
Reports To: President
Status: Exempt
Date: August, 2017


The Director of Visitor Experience (Director) is responsible for developing and coordinating strategy and implementation for all programming relevant to the Historic Ford Estates’ (Edsel & Eleanor Ford House and Fair Lane, the Home of Clara and Henry Ford) visitor experience and audience development. This position plays a key role in supporting the Estates’ commitment to creating visitor-centered experiences that transform the ways our audiences connect with our collections and the Ford Family story, the work of our staff and researchers, and the world around us now and during the period of significance for the two estates. The Director identifies desired outcomes, strengthens existing programs and events, and implements new initiatives to meet those goals. Oversight includes the Estates’ public programs, school curricular-focused programs, community outreach efforts, and exhibition programs. The Director is responsible for strategic experience planning and development related to the new Visitor Center building at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, as well as developing programming for re-opening of Fair Lane. This position functions as a departmental manager, providing budgetary/personnel oversight, representing the Historic Ford Estates in the community, and participating on senior management committees.


The Director of Visitor Experience will design, develop, and implement strategies for evaluating the impact of lifelong learning programs and for expanding external partnerships that are regional and global in scope.  S/he works closely and collaboratively across the Estates’ divisions (Historic Resources, Communications, Philanthropic Endeavors, and Operations) and departments (Landscape, Material Culture/Collections, Archives/Research, Facilities, and Retail). The Director is responsible for strategic development and implementation of a strong set of mission-based educational and public programs for all audience levels – from public history to scholarly.  S/he serves on the collaborative exhibit development team (with the Director of Material Culture and the Archives & Research Manager) and serves as primary visionary for exhibits, immersive media-based experiences, and other signature experiences.  S/he ensures experiences that move, empower, delight, amaze, inspire, and welcome visitors.

The Director of Visitor Experience is an effective negotiator and strong consensus builder inside and outside the Estates with a proven track record of team-work and community collaboration.  S/he will be proficient in crafting and managing budgets, incorporating audience data analytics, developing  strategic and results-driven programming that includes distance learning, expanding community and classroom outreach initiatives, developing educator programs and curriculum including a variety of public programs for all ages and different learning skills and styles to successfully engage a broad range of diverse community stakeholders representing local, regional, national and international interests.

The Director of Visitor Experience will be a visionary who is recognized as a compelling leader in the museum or history field of education and public programming, and who possesses a keen interest in developing robust programs that are well-planned, grounded, and ensure the Historic Ford Estates serve effectively as an advocate for innovation in museum education and community engagement. 


  • Master Degree in Museum Education, Education, Museum Studies, American History, Public History, or American Studies is required.
  • A minimum of 10 years paid museum experience with five years demonstrated experience in departmental management and successful educational program development and implementation is required.
  • Outstanding interpersonal, public speaking, and writing skills.
  • Ability to multitask and meet deadlines in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Knowledge of current learning and evaluative theories and practices.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and collaboratively with other staff, visitors, volunteers, peers, and community representatives.
  • Experience in exhibition development.
  • Experience in writing and administering grants is desirable.


Submit resume with salary history to

Posted on the MMA website 9/20.

 The Michigan Museums Association is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721

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