Vice President of Technology at Shedd Aquarium


Shedd Aquarium is a nonprofit organization dedicated to animal care and welfare, conservation research and public education. Situated on the shore of Lake Michigan, Shedd is home to nearly 32,000 aquatic animal representing more than 1,500 species of fishes, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds and mammals from waters around the world.

The Opportunity:

Shedd Aquarium seeks an experienced Vice President of Technology. This position is responsible for the integration of voice, video and data technology as well as the availability and delivery of networking and computing technology throughout the institution. The Vice President of Technology oversees development of  technical architecture and application systems.  This position manages the information technology resources of the Aquarium to integrate technology into the strategic and operational plans of the institution.

  • Demonstrate commitment to Shedd’s vision, mission and values.
  • Collaborate with other management and staff in the development of strategic and operating plans.
  • Lead strategic and operational planning for technology to achieve institutional goals by fostering innovation, prioritizing initiatives, and coordinating the evaluation, deployment and management of current and future technology systems across the organization to ensure flexible, effective systems able to adjust to reasonable demands consistent with the plans of the Aquarium.
  • Evaluate ways current and candidate technology can support operating plans and recommend alternatives, when necessary, to ensure consistency with existing or planned platforms.
  • Administer the development of the technical architecture and the application-systems portfolio of the institution.
  • Assist in the preparation of business proposals, system requirements, hardware and software evaluation, project plans and other studies as required.
  • Manage various application systems development projects.
  • Maintain and implement appropriate vendor-managmenet policies.
  • Determine the need to hire outside consultants to undertake development projects, assist in qualifying and selecting such consultants, operate as the institution’s technology lead-person, inspect the progress of the project, and cooperate with users to assess their success.
  • Ensure continuous delivery of technology services in accordance with service level agreements established with users and timely resolution of voice and computer support issues.
  • Develop, communicate and enforce policies and standards for acquiring, testing, implementing and operating technology systems.
  • Ensure technology system operations adhere to applicable laws, regulations, contractual obligations and established security protocols.
  • Direct implementation and regular testing of an enterprise-wide disaster recovery plan and business continuity plan.
  • Manage assigned staff, including selection, job assignment, training and development, counseling, appraisal and recognition, and recommending salary, promotional, disciplinary and other personnel recommendations of direct reports.

Candidate Profile & Qualifications

The Vice President of Technology will be a bold and strategic thinker who will establish and lead a best-in-class Technology function.  The Vice President of Technology will have exceptional strengths in communication and relationship-building, and have an earned reputation for effectiveness in partnering with a CEO and senior management team.  The Vice President of Technology will have significant proven leadership and management experience in a complex organization.

Education & Experience:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, business, math or related field required.
  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience with increasing responsibilities for management and support of information systems and technology; direct leadership and management of an IT function.
  • Experience with software development languages, SQL, NT, Oracle, networks, intranet, remote access, telecommunications, Windows Operating Systems, and Microsoft SQL Server.
  • Leadership experience in an information systems setting required
  • Experience working as part of a cross-functional leadership team
  • Experience with budgets, cost/ benefit analysis and cost projections
  • Experience with managing vendor relationships
  • Experience presenting and collaborating with Board of Trustee committees strongly preferred

Skills & Abilities:

  • Strong leadership, team building and organizational skills, attention to detail and proven ability to handle multiple complex tasks simultaneously.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the proven ability to interact positively and successful with all levels of the organization and community.
  • Proven ability to drive results
  • Strong networking skills with experts in industry – solid record of maintaining  and developing successful relationships
  • Strong ability to multi-task and to handle multiple programs and projects.