The Getty Research Institute (GRI) seeks nominations and applications for a creative, innovative leader to serve as the Associate Director for Research and Knowledge Creation (AD-RKC). This position is an excellent opportunity for a thoughtful and visionary individual who – in conjunction with the Director, Deputy Director, and GRI senior staff – will develop and implement research that creates transformative ideas on the history of art and global cultural heritage and conveys those ideas to wider audiences, with attention to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion, through both groundbreaking digital alongside established forms of scholarship.
With a staff of approximately 30 and an overall budget around $4 million, the AD-RKC will report to the Deputy Director of the GRI and will oversee the Institute’s overall research agenda, which includes the management of external and internal scholars, research projects, and digital initiatives.
The successful candidate may come from the fields of art history, architectural history, ethnic studies, or archaeology, academia more generally, or from a foundation, museum, or other institution focused on humanistic inquiry. This is an exceptional opportunity for an individual who is passionate about the centrality of visual culture to join the leadership team at one of the world’s premier humanities-based research institutes.
About The Getty Research Institute
Since its modest founding in 1983 as The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, the GRI has combined programs launched with their own identity, purpose, and mission. The 2020 strategic reorganization creates a unified GRI to tackle the challenges that all institutions dedicated to the arts and humanities face in the 21st century, and to become more than the sum of individual parts. The reorganization creates a structure for communication among departments, the definition of roles and responsibilities between departments, and a re-distribution of direct reports among senior managers. Through this reorganization, and under new, coordinated leadership, departments will work together on overarching institutional projects, objectives, and mission.
The GRI’s chief purpose is to contribute to Getty’s mission to advance and share the world’s visual art and cultural heritage for the benefit of all. The GRI provides intellectual leadership through its research, exhibition, and publication programs, and supports scholarship through its Scholars Program, digital resources, and the Getty Library and Special Collections, the largest art history library in the world. The GRI is, in particular, driven by three major directives: to promote discovery of materials related to art and art history; to create new knowledge based in visual culture; and to advance scholarly and public understanding of such knowledge through the dissemination of research.
For more information on the GRI, please visit: https://www.getty.edu/research.
Mary Miller is the Director of the Getty Research Institute. A longtime member of the Yale University faculty, she served as Dean of Yale College from 2008-2014 and held many University leadership roles. Named a Sterling Professor at Yale in 2008, she delivered the 59th A. W. Mellon lectures at the National Gallery of Art in 2010 and the Slade Lectures at Cambridge University in 2015; she will give the 8th OCAT lecture series in Beijing later in 2021.
For both her curatorial and scholarly work on ancient Mexico and the Maya, Dr. Miller has won national recognition, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Getty Grant. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society; in 2021 she received Yale’s Wilbur Cross Medal, the university’s highest award to its graduate alumni.
The author of many books and articles on ancient Mesoamerica and the Maya, Dr. Miller is currently leading the Pre-Hispanic Art Provenance Initiative, a collaborative initiative centered at the Getty Research Institute, to develop both comprehensive and individual provenance for the vast corpus of archaeological materials that were sold out of Mexico (and points south) to the United States and Europe, principally from 1939 onward, when the center of commerce moved to Los Angeles.
The Role of the Associate Director for Research and Knowledge Creation
Reporting to the Deputy Director of the GRI, the AD-RKC oversees Getty’s world-renowned residential Scholars Program and collaborates with senior staff across the GRI and Getty to establish high-level programs, initiatives, and engagements that advance the GRI’s mission, particularly in the production of new knowledge relevant to visual culture. As a member of the GRI’s senior leadership team, the person in this position will have an immediate and meaningful impact by developing and fostering diverse and comprehensive research platforms that result in actionable deliverables and scholarly output. The AD-RKC will have a track record of outstanding research, will be motivated to inspire others, and will be passionate about visual culture, education, and the future of digital scholarship and humanities. The AD-RKC will model best practices for incorporating leading digital technologies in humanistic research and will embrace the potential and power of data and data-driven scholarship.
For successful projects, the AD-RKC will coordinate closely with other GRI stakeholders to ensure that research deliverables are strategically planned, executed, and distributed broadly to both academic and public audiences.
The AD-RKC will represent the GRI and promote its role in both academic research and digital scholarship across the Getty and to local, national, and international audiences. In collaboration with the Director, Deputy Director, and other GRI staff, the position-holder will also develop strategic partnerships with individuals, institutions, and other organizations that allow for the effective pursuit and execution of research goals.
The following departments and sections report to the AD-RKC:
- Scholars Program. Comprises between 50 and 70 scholars in residence each year at the Getty Center, an increasing number of remote scholars, and shorter-term, non-residential scholars through the GRI’s Library Research Grant program. The Scholars Program has an annual research theme that seeks to contribute significantly to current debates in art history and visual culture, hosts weekly scholar talks, and fosters academic exchange and publication.
- Research Programs and Academic Outreach. Typically oversees around 15 internally-generated research projects at any time that include both GRI staff and external researchers. These projects host workshops and conferences, with outcomes that may include exhibitions, publications, and increasingly digital products and outcomes.
- Digital Art History Program. Fosters innovative digital humanities projects that can serve as models for the field. These include projects that incorporate computational analysis, computer vision, and other approaches at the forefront of the discipline. The Digital Art History program works closely and strategically with the GRI Research Projects and Programs and Academic Outreach department, the Digital Media and Content Strategy team, and GRI curatorial, library, and archival staff.
- Getty Provenance Index. A foundational digital initiative of the GRI, actively being remodeled as linked open data (LOD). The Getty Provenance Index is the world’s leading digital resource for the study of the art market and the history of collecting. The remodeled Provenance Index uses LOD to forge semantic connections to millions of records contained within the Index’s databases and to link to related repositories.
- Getty Vocabulary Program. The Getty Vocabularies contain structured terminology for art, architecture, decorative arts, archival materials, visual surrogates, conservation, and bibliographic materials. Compliant with international standards, they provide authoritative information for catalogers, researchers, and data providers and are the glue that unites GRI and Getty digital initiatives across the institution.
Working with GRI senior leadership, the AD-RKC will:
- Manage a portfolio of departments that make up the GRI’s newly-created research and knowledge creation division, providing vision and mentorship to a staff of nearly 30 and taking responsibility for setting and pursuing inter-departmental goals for five key areas: the Scholars Program, Digital Art History, Research Projects & Academic Outreach, the Getty Vocabulary Program, and the Project for the Study of Collecting and Provenance.
- Collaborate with team members and leadership to ensure that GRI strategic initiatives are prioritized across these different research areas; conduct regular evaluations of how the GRI’s research agenda is both shaping and responding to the academic and socio-cultural landscape.
- Oversee department managers and other direct reports; facilitate and drive key research programs and digital initiatives from inception to completion.
- Encourage a shared community of learning and growth among all team members, and actively pursue opportunities for staff professional development.
- Cultivate a strong culture of information-sharing, inclusion, and trust, and champion the need for diversity and equity in both art historical research, the digital humanities, and digital accessibility.
- Work closely with Getty Digital on GRI- and Getty-wide digital initiatives, and supervise and coordinate the GRI’s digital activities, working with the Director and Deputy Director to shape strategic decisions around all aspects of the digital humanities agenda.
- Be a strong advocate for advancing the digital literacy of the entire GRI community, collaborating with stakeholders across the GRI and Getty to implement proven tactics for “training up” staff and scholars to skillsets needed for research in the 21st
- Be committed to Getty’s strategic plan for increasing Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion across the institution, particularly its tenets regarding collections and programming and deepening engagement with diverse communities locally and nationally.
Desired Qualifications and Characteristics
The AD-RKC will hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in a field directly related to art, visual studies, or cultural heritage; a Ph.D. is expected in one of these areas or a related field, including anthropology, archaeology, or ethnic studies. In addition, they should bring strong executive management skills and administrative experience to the role, given the human and financial resources of the department.
The AD-RKC will be a recognized leader in the discipline of art history or related fields, with a demonstrated publication record and a minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible experience in academic, library, or museum leadership, including experience managing both individuals and teams. The AD-RKC will possess a strong command of both the disciplinary history of research on visual culture and the current landscape of higher education and the humanities, particularly in the United States. The AD-RKC should recognize the value of digital humanities/art history, computational research, or quantitative analysis, and will be able to identify past or potential projects for research development with ease.
The candidate must have the ability to draw upon a strong and diverse network within the academic community, and be an active participant in professional networks both directly relevant to their field of academic expertise as well as those tangential to it. The AD-RKC must have excellent oral and written communication skills and a track record of significant publications, and must understand the necessity of translating research to more general audiences. A professional with experience as both a teacher and administrator is preferred, with a proven record of exceptional leadership in their previously held positions. The person in this role must prioritize collaboration and clear communication with staff of all levels. Excellent project management and problem-solving skills will be critical to this role, most particularly the ability to balance innovative vision with feasibility, execution, and resource management.
The successful candidate will possess:
- Expert knowledge of the history of visual culture;
- Demonstrated skills in scholarship, teaching, publishing, digital humanities, and administration;
- A broad network of national and international peers;
- Experience with international projects and partners;
- Advanced knowledge of current and emerging trends in research and academia;
- Financial fluency and experience with detailed budget creation, oversight, and reporting;
- Excellent oral communication and writing skills; and,
- Outstanding leadership and mentorship skills, with an understanding of how to model the intellectual creativity and innovation needed for influential academic and humanistic scholarship.
Compensation & Benefits
Targeted hiring range $145,492.88 – $196,414.40 annually. The Getty also offers a generous benefits package.
The Getty is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship or immigration status, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected status.
Naree W.S. Viner and Tenley Bank of Koya Partners and Matthew Bunting of Storbeck Search have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Tenley directly here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
About Koya Partners
Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
At Koya, we don’t just accept difference—we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve. For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.
About Storbeck Search
Storbeck Search, founded in 2007, is widely recognized as the leading firm that specializes in executive search in the education sector. Now part of the Diversified Search Group, Storbeck Search has deepened its networks and expanded its global reach, while maintaining its founding commitment to diversity and inclusion and its reputation for nimble and personalized service. For more information about Storbeck Search, visit www.storbecksearch.com.