SAM Chief Technology Officer

Seattle Art Museum is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion.  Qualified individuals

who bring diverse perspectives to the workplace are especially encouraged to apply.

Seattle Art Museum invites visionary and engaging innovators to apply to its newest opening as Chief Technology Officer.  SAM’s mission is to connect art to life using a strategy that embraces inclusion and equity and reflects its location in the center of Seattle, which is known as a region of innovation, technology, and social good.


The Chief Technology Officer is a new position for SAM, and is emblematic of SAM’s greater emphasis on technology to reach its goals and deepen its impact in our local, regional and national community.   As a key member of the SAM senior leadership team, the CTO will work closely with the Director and CEO, Chief Operating Officer and museum trustees.  The position oversees a department of five tenured employees and a budget of $1.4M.


SAM welcomes more than 850,000 visitors annually at our three sites in Seattle. In 2007 the Museum expanded its flagship downtown site to 268,000 square feet of galleries and introduced a new approach to installing the collection in which intersections between cultures and between past and present are emphasized.  The Asian collections are primarily showcased in the museum’s 1933 art deco building in Volunteer Park, now called SAM’s Asian Art Museum and in the process for approval of a sensitive renovation.  Finally, the Olympic Sculpture Park on Elliott Bay was completed in 2007 and is open to the public free of charge year-round. The Museum employs approximately 275 passionate and dedicated individuals, works with over 500 volunteers, and has an annual budget of $26M.


Having just finished the first three years of an ambitious strategic plan led by Director and CEO Kimerly Rorschach and the Board of Trustees, SAM is poised to embrace and reflect its location in the center of Seattle, known nationally and internationally as a region of innovation and technology.  Key to the strategic plan is SAM’s directive to build technology capacity and infrastructure to better serve our diverse audiences and enrich their understanding of art.  There is opportunity to strengthen existing technologies, including identifying and implementing a robust CRM, and to partner with the Seattle technology community thereby ensuring SAM benefits from our city’s most innovative thought leaders.  We are also proud of the work that has been accomplished growing our technology partners and are seeking an individual with a strong desire to make art accessible to all individuals and continue our outreach to diverse communities in Puget Sound.





The Chief Technology Officer is the top leader for SAM’s technology and digital efforts to amplify the museum’s mission and improve business operations.  This position uses effective leadership and interpersonal skills to set the vision and strategy for technology, advocate for it and implement it.  The CTO is a senior leader reporting to the Director & CEO and participates in the Director’s Advisory leadership group.

The successful CTO will possess high emotional intelligence, be a strategic thinker, and serve as an articulate spokesperson for the objectives and ambitions of the institution.  S/He will be a naturally curious listener and critical thinker who can communicate complex technology problems and solutions into plain language.



  • Advocate for the strategic use of technology and communicate with leadership and departments to assess and understand technology needs.  Understand SAM’s business and mission and technology’s current and future role, and drive technological and digital innovation that enhances SAM, empowers its staff and communicates its mission.
  • With strong vision and thought leadership, lead the technology strategy for SAM by leveraging new and existing technologies and driving toward integrated information systems.  Align technology and digital efforts to SAM’s mission and strategic plan.
  • Practice confident and decisive collaboration with partners across departments to define and deliver effective digital technology projects that satisfy the needs of curatorial, education and operations.
  • Guide the vision with other senior leaders in operations, curatorial, education and marketing to enable SAM’s website and digital presence to realize its full potential and grow its functionality and usability through thoughtful collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.  Lead as a strong strategic partner with content providers.
  • Work with the COO to find the optimal  CRM solution that best fits SAM’s needs to better understand our visitors, donors and other key populations and work with colleagues to make better business decisions to achieve our target goals and tailor our messages and maximize our efficacy.
  • Oversee the Technology department’s project pipeline and work to remove obstacles, push initiatives, and advocate for resources.   Ensure the highest quality finished projects.
  • Identify external advancements in technology to enhance the visitor experience and empower curatorial and education to be more impactful to visitors, improve customer and user satisfaction, reduce expenses, and maximize revenues.
  • Mentor direct reports to develop leadership, management, and technical skills appropriate to their responsibilities and professional career growth.  Work with technology staff to develop and lead internal trainings for employees to build a confident and technologically capable staff.
  • Contribute to the Museum’s equity initiative and act to maintain an inclusive environment leveraging technology where appropriate to ensure an accessible museum for all.



  1. Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Management Information Systems, or equivalent related experience. MBA or Masters of Technology a plus.
  2. 10 – 15 years relevant experience, including at least 7 in a leadership capacity. Must have experience managing people and projects with increasing responsibility, experience managing a help desk, information systems, and / or web development groups. Senior technology leadership experience in a major museum a plus.
  3. Strong inclusive leadership skills with proven ability to work effectively and positively with technical and nontechnical staff across all organizational levels and disciplines, as well as with external contacts.
  4. Knowledge of CRM systems, Salesforce experience a plus. Experience in selecting and supporting LOB applications for a museum is a plus.
  5. Strong strategic and business perspectives. Ability to effectively present information to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors.
  6. Strong organizational and management skills; excellent communication skills; experience handling multiple competing priorities and timely, effective decision-making.
  7. Ability to adhere to Museum policies and support management decisions in a positive, professional manner.


This is a full-time position with a comprehensive benefit package including competitive health insurance, generous time off programs, and 403b contributions and matching.

SAM offers an excellent mission-driven collaborative work environment with a strong, supportive culture and dedicated team members.

Compensation:  $90,000 – $110,000


We invite interested applicants to view the position at and to submit a resume, completed application and cover letter including your answers to the following three questions to  Position closes September 30, 2017.

  • As a potential CTO for Seattle Art Museum, how do you envision you will contribute to SAM’s values of racial equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility?
  • Briefly tell us about a time you were able to successfully influence top leadership with a major decision.
  • What is something you have done that you are really proud of?