Division Director of Curriculum & Communications

  • Smithsonian Science Education Center
  • Sep 03, 2020
Full time Communications Education Marketing Science Technology

Job Description

The Division Director will be a principal driver of the SSEC brand and product line. The incumbent will also spearhead SSEC’s mission to grow, both geographically and financially, science education publications and digital assets throughout the United States and the world. The Division Director will have an entrepreneurial style and will articulate a clear vision and quantifiable plan for growth while maintaining prudent fiscal and operational control over the division. The Division Director will create and execute a marketing plan to achieve the short- and long-term goals of the SSEC, including the formation of strategic alliances in the educational and publishing communities as well as product-specific strategies to drive sales at the state, national and international levels.  The Division Director will also work closely with the Division Director of Professional Development to ensure the products are disseminated to users; and will work with the Division Director of Advancement  to secure philanthropic gifts and grants allow SSEC to develop and disseminate these products.

This position reports to the SSEC Director (the organization’s Senior Executive) and is located in Washington, D.C. Enhanced telework is available during COVID-19 shutdowns. 

The Smithsonian Science Education Center is committed to increasing the diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in STEM Education, and we make every effort to ensure that our professional and leadership development as well as curriculum and digital media serve students and teachers marginalized in society — including people of color, people from working class backgrounds, girls and women in STEM, and LGBTQ people. We believe that these communities must be centered in the work we do. Hence, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other marginalized communities.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a Trust Appointment, not a Federal position. Appointment background investigation is required. 


Direct and coordinate editorial, production, and art & design functions to ensure materials (printed curriculum and digital media) represent the standards of the SSEC and Smithsonian.


  • Regularly review top competitors’ product lines and conduct marketing research.
  • Recommend profitable product acquisitions, licensing, and co-development strategies with domestic and foreign publishers, in conjunction with Smithsonian Enterprises, the business arm of the Smithsonian.
  • Develop and negotiate product development contracts.
  • Manage workflow to satisfy annual objectives related to schedule and quantity of planned publications. Establish work processes aimed at continuous improvement in reduction of cycle time and quantity of output.

 Digital Media

  • Direct the objectives of the digital media team to develop new products in the form of games – games, applications, simulations, mobile content, or tutorial videos.
  • Expand SSEC’s scope of digital offerings to meet the distance learning needs of parents, teachers, and children.


  • Direct the marketing/communications plans for all print and digital products.
  • Collaborate with other SSEC senior management leaders to develop communication strategies for events, professional services, product releases, and fundraising activities.


  • With SSEC Director, develop and maintain annual product development budget. Manage the development and maintenance of product lines and associated costs.
  • Maintain awareness of trends and developments in uses of educational technology, as well as in science and reading instruction.
  • Hire, train, supervise, and maintain a highly competent product development staff, conveying a sense of vision and direction by establishing clear, realistic goals and action plans.
  • Work collaboratively with other members of SSEC senior management team and other Smithsonian leadership (e.g., Secretary and Under Secretary for Education) to develop and effectively implement the annual strategic plan.
  • Work collaboratively with Advisory Board and its subcommittees to advance the mission of the SSEC.
  • Represent the SSEC professionally as curriculum/product spokesperson.


Desired Skills:

  • Master’s degree required; doctorate degree preferred, specifically in science or science education.
  • History of successfully managing the development of best-selling research-based K-12 curriculum school products which met financial goals.
  • Knowledge of K-12 science education, Next Generation Science Standards, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and skill in applying this knowledge to generate innovative publications in these disciplines for students and teachers.
  • Classroom science teaching and education leadership experience a plus.
  • Ability to write, edit, present, and market publications related to K-12 science education.
  • Solid financial acumen and the ability to prepare sound new product budgets which result in acceptable internal rates of return.
  • Experience in developing, managing, and being accountable for large and complicated budgets.
  • Demonstrated track record in innovative product development.
  • Experience writing statements of work (SOW) in order to hire and manage contracts.
  • Achievements in interacting with, providing feedback to, and responding to requests from a large publisher.
  • Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills in hiring and managing a staff and in working with internal and external contacts.
  • Knowledge of publications software.

How to Apply:

Send by email only cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to SSEC-HR@si.edu.

Please reference in the subject line of your email: Division Director-C&C.

No phone calls, please. 


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