Exhibit Project Manager

California Academy of Sciences

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The California Academy of Sciences seeks an early-mid career Project Manager for exhibitions who is innovative, solutions-oriented, highly organized, and adept at managing projects from concept through execution. This includes managing scope, schedule, and budget for all phases of their assigned exhibit projects, as well as managing and tracking the integration of exhibition elements being produced externally by vendors and internally by a number of in-house departments. This position reports to the Associate Director, Exhibit Project Management and Production.

The ideal candidate is an excellent communicator who is both diplomatic and focused on getting results, and who can liaise effectively with the exhibit team and other departments such as Development, Marketing and Communications, Operations, Guest Experience, and Security.

The California Academy of Sciences welcomes people of all backgrounds, identities, and beliefs to join us in achieving our mission to explore, explain, and sustain life on Earth. We place diversity, equity, and inclusion at the heart of our recruiting efforts and strive to build a culture centered on mutual respect, equal treatment, and the opportunity to succeed.


Manages multiple exhibit projects of varying sizes concurrently; ability to work independently on more than one project at a time in a fast-paced environment is essential.

Manages all phases of the project life-cycle, from design through construction, installation, and project closeout.

Facilitates and coordinates the efforts of exhibit teams including content developers, 2D and 3D designers, educators, scientists, registrars, and preparators.

Oversees the exhibit development process for their projects and helps to keep the teams focused on deliverables and milestones as outlined within the process.

Develops project strategies and detailed schedules and monitors progress against deadlines.

Documents and tracks budget for all project scope elements so that they can be delivered within set budget constraints.

Develops and assembles requests for proposal, solicits bids, evaluates bid responses, and manages construction and fabrication/installation contracts.

Coordinates and facilitates meetings to ensure the continuing progress of the project.

Liaises with media producers, audio-visual engineers, electricians, facility engineers, and others from a variety of departments throughout the Academy on the development of exhibit experiences.

Manages the efforts of outside vendors, tradespeople, and contractors, including supervision of on-site installation and troubleshooting when necessary.

Effectively communicates concepts to a wide variety of people including designers and exhibit builders in order to effectively execute the vision for an exhibition.

Manages and tracks exhibit maintenance tasks on the Academy’s public floor to ensure excellent show quality standards.

Regularly visits fabrication shops to monitor progress and give guidance.

Tracks exhibit products and efforts by other departments to help ensure that exhibit topics are presented in a compelling and coordinated manner.

Meets regularly with Associate Director to provide status of projects and strategize ways to remove roadblocks.

Follow all Academy safety regulations

Takes on other duties as assigned


A qualified candidate will have a combination of the following experience and/or equivalent education:

Bachelor’s degree (BS, BA) or equivalent from four-year college in design, engineering, construction, business management, or related field.

3-5+ years of project management experience focused on developing and translating concepts into high quality guest or audience experiences in entertainment, museums or similar industry.

Strong track record of managing complex projects with diverse teams, tight deadlines, set budgets, and marketing-driven “Grand Openings” or “Release Dates.”

Experience with the exhibit development process in a museum setting, including design, content, fabrication, and construction is preferable.


Demonstrated ability to manage multiple complex projects simultaneously within established timelines and budgets.

Knowledge and ability to read and understand design and architectural drawings and specifications.

Knowledge and understanding of construction/fabrication practices, trades, building materials, code compliance, ADA guidelines, and engineering.

Ability to work as a team leader and keep a variety of in-house staff and external consultants focused on the common goals of the project.

Ability to communicate with designers and content developers to understand their intent and act as their “eyes” to help ensure that the project intent is carried out in production.

An eye for the “Guest Experience” – Challenge the team to ensure that the exhibit is both intellectually and emotionally engaging. Exhibits should have a “fun” or “Wow!” factor that will drive attendance to the Academy.

Fluency with a range of computer software, including: MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint); Google Apps; other online, cloud-based project management and collaboration tools such as Asana, Smartsheet, and Box. Basic knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite.


Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to write routine reports and correspondence. Bilingual (spoken and/or written) in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, or other non-English language preferred but not necessary.


The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable persons with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, walk, reach with hands and arms, and talk or hear. Must be able to lift 30 lbs. Must be able to perform repetitive motions 75% of the time.

How to Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume online at https://calacademy.snaphire.com Note that the recruitment timeline for positions vary and depend on many factors, so it is impossible to accurately predict when a position will close. We appreciate your patience during this process. No phone calls please.

The California Academy of Sciences will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance. For more information visit: https://sfgov.org/olse/fair-chance-ordinance-fco.

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to ensure that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.

The California Academy of Sciences is a non-smoking facility. There is also no smoking in Golden Gate Park.

Posted on July 23