MOA Director and Professor

Director, Museum of Anthropology and Professor in the Faculty of Arts

The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC Canada

Feb 19, 2021

The Faculty of Arts at The University of British Columbia (UBC) – Vancouver campus invites applications for the position of Director, Museum of Anthropology, with an anticipated start date as early as July 2021. The successful candidate will hold an academic appointment concurrent with the directorship; the latter appointment is expected to be for an initial five-year term, with the possibility of reappointment upon successful review. We seek a person who can lead the Institution, building on the museum’s core values of community engagement and building relationships with Indigenous and First Nations communities.



Academic qualifications: PhD degree or appropriate degree preferred, but a combination of education and appropriate museum or cultural heritage leadership experience may be considered; however, candidates must meet the criteria for a tenured appointment at a senior professorial rank (Associate Professor or Professor), with the rank of appointment commensurate with qualifications and experience. The successful candidate must possess demonstrated leadership and administrative skills and experience including effectiveness in leading, managing, and working collaboratively with a team of professional staff; effective communication skills; and experience in fostering inclusive hiring practices and collaborative and respectful working environments. The successful candidate must also have a demonstrated commitment to progressive museum practices; strategic and innovative thinking and vision; demonstrated experience working with Indigenous communities; ability to build upon existing relationships with First Nations communities and establish and maintain successful working relationships with other First Nations and Indigenous communities; commitment to indigenization/decolonization within museums, and a commitment to developing productive relationships across the University and with communities beyond UBC at all levels. The successful candidate should have a track record of success in obtaining significant grants; ability and experience with fundraising, development, and donor stewardship; an excellent scholarly record, and a record of successful teaching and supervision of students.



Reporting to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, the Director is responsible for overseeing the long-term vision for the Museum, including managing the development of the Museum’s strategic plan for programming, staffing, facility needs, and expansion. The Director is also responsible for the management of the Museum’s professional staff and operation of the institution and works with staff committees to define the overall vision including exhibitions, acquisitions, programmes, etc. The Director is expected to lead the institution in demonstrating an ongoing commitment to indigenization/decolonization within museums and to foster a collaborative, respectful, and inclusive environment for students, staff, faculty, and community and First Nations partners. The Director oversees the Museum’s fiscal responsibilities to the University and external funders, including approving the Museum’s annual budget plans developed by the MOA Management Committee, approving research and project grants, authorizing significant expenditures, and ensuring operations and programming initiatives are undertaken within available resources and in accordance with UBC and external agencies’ policies and guidelines. The Director is also responsible for overseeing fund development and fundraising for the Museum’s operations, acquisitions, programming, research, and special projects, and works closely with UBC Development on stewardship of the Museum’s major donors and to cultivate relationships with individual donors, foundations, corporations, and government funding agencies. In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to maintain an active program of research and scholarly activity, to be engaged in teaching and supervising undergraduate and graduate students.



An executive search is being undertaken by UBC and the Faculty of Arts’ search partner Perrett Laver. Perrett Laver will support the University, the Faculty, and the Museum in identifying a diverse field of qualified candidates and in the assessment of candidates against the selection criteria. Applications should consist of a full curriculum vitae and cover letter that outlines your experience working with Indigenous communities, experience working with diverse bodies of stakeholders, and contributions or potential contributions to creating/advancing a culture of equity and inclusion.

Longlisted candidates will be asked to provide additional statements (max. 1 page each) summarizing their research/creative program and vision for contemporary museum exhibition and programming in a research-intensive University, and their experience in and approach to administrative and leadership roles. Shortlisted candidates will also be asked to provide names and contact information for at least four referees; a portfolio of their museum practice as well as a publication (maximum 10,000 words); and a statement of teaching philosophy/practice along with evidence of teaching effectiveness.


To submit an application please visit and quote reference 5008. The closing date for applications is noon PST on Wednesday March 24, 2021.  Review of applications will begin in March 2021 and will continue until the position is filled. The position is subject to final budgetary approval. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.



Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including status as a First Nation, Métis, Inuit, or Indigenous person, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, and/or age. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority. Indigenous applicants are particularly encouraged to apply.



The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. UBC-Vancouver’s Point Grey Campus is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Musqueam people, with whom UBC shares a framework Memorandum of Affiliation. For information relating to Indigenous initiatives, including UBC’s new Indigenous Strategic Plan, visit the UBC Vancouver Indigenous portal at:



The world-renowned Museum of Anthropology (MOA) is committed to promoting awareness and understanding of culturally diverse ways of knowing the world through challenging and innovative programs and through partnerships with Indigenous, local and global communities. Established in 1949, it moved to its current home in 1976. In order to develop spaces for collaborative partnerships with originating communities MOA completed a major expansion and renovation called A Partnership of Peoples in 2010. This project enhanced its physical and virtual research infrastructure as well as its public spaces. Currently the Great Hall at MOA is undergoing a fully funded, seismic upgrade which is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2022.


MOA resides on the traditional and unceded territory of the Musqueam people and works by Musqueam artists welcome visitors to the site. Since its inception, MOA has worked with Indigenous Nations to curate Indigenous cultural treasures and belongings as well as contemporary Indigenous art in a way that respects the people and cultures who created these works. MOA’s exhibitions and programs emphasize diversity and the links between art, community and the contemporary social and political context in which youth, artists and communities are communicating their cultural traditions. MOA staff mount three or four temporary exhibitions a year, as well as offer a wide range of public programs and events. Each summer, MOA operates the Native Youth Program, the longest running museum training and education program for Indigenous high school students in Canada.


MOA is also one of Canada’s largest teaching museums and hosts courses as well as offering practicums and internships for students as well as curatorial fellowships. MOA houses a worldwide collection of over 50,000 works and is particularly known for its Northwest Coast collections. While nearly half the collection is comprised of works from Asia and Oceania, other significant collections are from the Arctic, Latin America and Europe. MOA’s collection of world textiles is the largest in Western Canada, while the European ceramics collection is one of the finest in the country. MOA’s Archives house the Museum’s institutional records as well as extensive holdings from anthropologists, linguists, missionaries and other travelers.



Museum of Anthropology



Given the uncertainty caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, applicants must be prepared to conduct interviews remotely if circumstances require. A successful applicant may be asked to consider an offer containing a deadline without having been able to make an in-person visit to campus if travel and other restrictions are still in place.


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