Deputy Director, External Affairs

Deputy Director, External Affairs

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Los Angeles, CA   |   December 7, 2020

About the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Founded by philanthropist and filmmaker George Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (“the Lucas Museum”) will inspire current and future generations through the universal art of visual storytelling.

The museum will present permanent collection and rotating exhibitions for diverse public audiences, which will feature illustrations, paintings, comic art, photography, and an in-depth exploration of the arts of filmmaking (including storyboards, costumes, animation, visual effects, and more). Extensive education programming designed for all ages will explore innovative ways for visitors to engage with narrative art.

Designed by renowned architect Ma Yansong and under construction in Los Angeles’ Exposition Park, the museum will feature new public green space, state-of-the-art cinematic theaters, numerous spaces for onsite education, restaurants, retail, and event spaces.

The Lucas Museum will be a barrier-free museum where artificial divisions between “high” art and “popular” art are absent, allowing guests to explore a wide array of compelling visual storytelling. Visitors who might be less inclined to visit a traditional fine art museum will be invited to engage with and relate to art forms they recognize and love.

The Lucas Museum will celebrate the power of visual storytelling in a setting focused on narrative painting, illustration, photography, film, animation, and digital art. Narrative art is all about stories, and the moments in those stories captured by the artists.

The collection features the original, artist-made creations, from sketches to storyboards to sets and costumes from movies. It showcases narrative art in paintings, illustrations, comic art, photography, and many other media. The Museum also traces the lineage of narrative art, so visitors can see what art inspired today’s work and artists.

Cinema is the most visible narrative art form of the 20th and 21st centuries. The Lucas Museum will present daily screenings of films ranging from legendary historic features to the latest and most innovative projects today. It will present a lecture series featuring the most inventive and intriguing filmmakers of our time.

The Lucas Museum’s programming and education will make pioneering use of its one-of-a-kind collection providing multiple opportunities for hands-on, engaging educational experiences for all ages and curriculum-based learning for students. Visitors will be able to experiment with many artistic processes, from painting to pre-professional cinema techniques.

Providing accessible and engaging educational opportunities to youth is central to the Museum’s mission. Special tours, talks, workshops, and screenings will be tailored to serve the curriculum of students from elementary school to college age.

For more information on the Lucas Museum, please visit the website.

The Opportunity/Position Concept

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art seeks a Deputy Director of External Affairs to serve as a key member of the senior leadership team, making important strategic, financial, operational, marketing, and brand positioning decisions in support of the vision, values, and mission of the Lucas Museum. The successful candidate will be excited and inspired by the singular opportunities in front of the Lucas Museum and can lead others to collaborative, spirited success.

The Deputy Director of External Affairs will lead the comprehensive fund development, communications, and marketing efforts of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, advancing strategic and institutional priorities and building long-term relationships for the financial health of the organization. The Museum’s Board of Trustees count among the most important of these relationships. Further, the position will be responsible for “architecting” the planning and launch of the opening of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. To achieve this mandate successfully, the Deputy Director will integrate across all departments, and will identify and manage the external consulting team responsible for every aspect of the launch.

Reporting Relationships

The Deputy Director for External Affairs will report to the CEO/Director; this is a trusted senior position at the intersection of development, marketing, board development/relations, and all programmatic and content departments. As a direct partner with the Director, the Deputy is a highly visible executive staff position. The Deputy Director is one of five senior leaders reporting to the CEO/Director, each leading a museum division in their respective field of expertise while also collaborating as needed to ensure a cohesive, cooperative, and inclusive organizational culture and esprit de corps.

The Deputy Director for External Affairs must work collaboratively with colleagues in the curatorial, education, conservation, publications, and exhibitions management departments, as well as with the finance, legal, trustee affairs, and other administrative offices. The Deputy Director also works closely with the business systems teams to ensure seamless and strategic focus on the Museum’s most critical constituencies.

Principal Opportunities

The Deputy Director for External Affairs oversees policy, strategy, and execution of:

  • Brand and Exhibition design, positioning, and marketing
  • Press and communications
  • Corporate membership and sponsorship
  • Special events, including the Museum rental program
  • Foundation and government grants
  • Stewardship programs
  • Individual and planned giving
  • Board and donor relations

As the lead strategist and aggregator for all external-facing data analytics, this position will use data to inform the short- and long-term strategic choices of the Museum.

Primary Responsibilities

The Deputy Director for External Affairs will design and build the most effective department and team to lead the multiple strands of fundraising, marketing, and communications, brand design, and data capture and analytics, for the Lucas Museum’s short- and long-term success. This executive will manage day-to-day operations of the External Affairs department.

In addition, the Deputy Director for External Affairs will:

  • Manage the design studio of the Lucas Museum, ensuring that exhibition design and overall brand management complement each other harmoniously and are consistent with the ethos and values of the institution;
  • Develop and help drive overarching long-range, annual, and project-based strategic and tactical brand, marketing, and communications initiatives that position voices within the context of thought leadership in the field;
  • Develop and help drive overarching long-range, annual, and project-based strategic and tactical fund development plans for individual and institutional partners;
  • Ensure staff members clearly understand annual fund development, institutional, and strategic goals, and have the tools, support, and resources to meet them;
  • Lead the launch of the opening of The Lucas Museum;
  • Proactively anticipate external challenges and manage calmly and decisively through them;
  • Oversee the special events program and ensure the success of key events, inclusive of a robust facilities rental program;
  • Lead and/or participate in major fund development while calibrating the opportunities and needs for engaging the CEO/Director, members of the Board, curators, educators, and other content specialists;
  • Oversee all technology-related systems within the scope of External Affairs and work in consonance with the Technology Team to develop and manage gift management and data capture/analytics systems;
  • Strategically position, manage, and amplify the Museum’s reputation and brand both competitively and collaboratively within the field and in the public realm;
  • Build relationships externally that advance press, government, and community engagement partnerships;
  • Establish and enforce standards and systems for institutional style guides in support of a unified institutional brand;
  • Collaborate with consultants who may be engaged to develop strategic initiatives and plans, while amplifying and leveraging their recommendations in the day-to-day work of the department;
  • Build internal relationships across the Museum to allow for effective partnerships between External Affairs and Program (Curatorial, Engagement, and Social Impact), as well as with other departments, to progress strategic fund development and marketing goals;
  • Build the financial capacity of the Museum through evidence-based, impact-driven strategies, rooted in empirical data, that result in bottom-line results for audience and donor development.
Candidate Profile

Interested candidates should have at least 10 to 12 years of experience in increasingly senior roles, with a demonstrated track record of success leading teams within complex organizations. A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in a relevant field is a plus.

People-Centric Leadership

A track record of managing and taking care people on their team, leading their group in an imaginative way. An engaged coach and mentor, the Deputy Director will encourage input and value engagement from team members. High emotional intelligence (EQ) to be able to oversee a diverse team, offering thoughtful constructive criticism to improve performance, inspiring and motivating the team to do their best work, particularly during times of great activity and high expectations.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

High level of interest in creating “the new” and comfort with throwing tradition out the window. Able to build a structure within a rapidly growing organization, expanding the team and its functions to meet the evolving needs of the institution as it moves from concept to the concrete. High tolerance for ambiguity, able to make decisions even when all the information typically needed isn’t available.

Multifaceted Communicator

Able to craft a clear message or set of messages, tailoring it as needed for varying contexts and audiences. Effective at writing and presenting information in a manner that is consistent, articulate, and transparent. Able to be an outward-facing representative for the organization while also supporting others on the team in how they present themselves and their ideas.

Aesthetic and Design Sensibility

Strong sense of style, able to define and articulate parameters for the distinct “look and feel” for an institution’s visual identity in a wide range of contexts and media – print, digital, exhibition design, site signage/wayfinding, etc.

In addition, strong candidates will offer:

  • An inclusive leadership style that supports and advances diversity, equity, inclusion, and access;
  • A flexible mindset and emotional agility to manage during times of great demand;
  • A healthy sense of humor.
Compensation & Benefits

The projected range for this role is $275,000 – $325,000 annually. Salary and titles will be assigned commensurate to the successful candidates’ education and experience. A full benefit package along with generous paid time off will be offered.


Naree Viner and Tenley Bank of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Tenley directly at [email protected]. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art embraces diversity and equal opportunity. We are committed to building a team that represents and supports a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. The Lucas Museum fosters a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment, whether based on race, national origin, gender, gender expression, religion, ethnic background, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other criterion prohibited by applicable federal, state, or local laws. We believe that diversity and inclusion among our team is critical to our success, and we seek to recruit, develop, and retain talented people from a diverse candidate pool. Applications from traditionally underrepresented communities are encouraged.

The statements in this description represent typical elements, criteria, and general work performed. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required for the job.

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.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit