Founding Director (m/f/d)

Stiftung Historische Museen Hamburg (SHMH), foundation under German public law, is one of the largest museum institutions for city and regional history in Europe. With its museums across nine sites, SHMH is able to present not only the history of Hamburg and the surrounding area but also its relationship to national and European history. The foundation includes the Museum for Hamburg History, the Altona Museum, and the Museum of Work, along with their respective satellite locations.


The German Port Museum (in development), one of the largest and most ambitious new museum projects in Europe, is currently being established as part of SHMH. Its objective is to present the history and development of both German sea and inland ports within international contexts, and to also examine the significance of such ports as hubs of colonialism and globalization. The German Port Museum encompasses a new building to be constructed in a prestigious location in the new Grasbrook district and a second, already active location, the historic Schuppen 50A (the current Port Museum Hamburg) located at Hansahafen, as well as the four-masted sailing ship PEKING. The German Federal Government is providing investment totaling 185.5 million euros for the construction of the German Port Museum and the restoration of the PEKING.


The German Port Museum (in development) is seeking to appoint a


Founding Director (m/f/d)


at the earliest opportunity.


We are looking for a self-assured individual with several years of professional and managerial experience, as well as extensive levels of specialist expertise, for the development of the German Port Museum. The position also requires creative drive, management abilities, assertiveness, and social skills. The major area of duties will involve being responsible for the scholarly and organizational management of the museum in coordination with the foundation’s board, focusing on content-related, structural, and strategic development. In addition to monitoring the construction project and organizational development, the appointee will be responsible for overseeing all research and curatorial work, developing the concept of the collection, and positioning the institution within the context of international maritime museums.



  • a university degree in history or cultural studies with a focus on the global, economic and social, port or maritime history, ideally with a doctorate/Ph.D.
  • proven experience of engaging with current (post)colonial discourses
  • several years of managerial experience
  • several years of experience in practical museum work or comparable activities
  • an extremely good national and international network in relevant areas of museum work
  • pronounced conceptual strengths
  • a collaborative and integrative management style encompassing appropriately sensitive skills regarding diversity and gender related issues
  • in-depth understanding and, if possible, experience in the areas of publicly funded building construction and renovation
  • openness to participative, collaborative, and inclusive work processes, as well as new approaches to exhibition making and outreach
  • excellent German and English language skills are requirements, additional languages would also be an advantage


The founding director will be expected to work in a collaborative manner with the foundation’s other museums and institutions, the societies of friends, and both the foundation’s internal and external committees. We are offering wide-ranging responsibilities in a high-profile post with extensive scope for creativity and future prospects in an open, innovative, and friendly environment.


The appointment to this post is being remunerated above the collective bargaining agreement. It is limited to five years, extensions are possible. Further information about Stiftung Historische Museen Hamburg is available at


Stiftung Historische Museen Hamburg welcomes applications from people of all genders, nationalities, people of color, as well as applicants from a refugee background or with a family history of migration. Severely disabled people will be given priority if they possess professional qualifications of equal value (§ 2 SGB IX).


Please apply by 14th November 2021 with detailed application documents (letter of motivation, curriculum vitae, and educational certificates), stating your salary expectations, in a single PDF file (max. 10 MB) to the personnel consults KULTUREXPERTEN Dr. Scheytt GmbH by email (, quoting the reference KEX_3248.


By submitting your application, you are consenting to us storing and processing your personal data in Stiftung Historische Museen Hamburg and KULTUREXPERTEN’s digital systems, for the task of processing the application. It is possible to revoke such consent at any time.


If you have any questions, Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheytt and Annika Meyburg can be contacted at the above e-mail address or by telephone on +49 201 822 89 162.