International Museum of Art and Science

IMAS picture.jpg



McAllen, TX

Application Deadline: April 1, 2019

The International Museum of Art and Science seeks its next President and Executive Director to lead a multidiscipline museum in a thriving, culturally diverse community.

 Envision. Create. Lead. Sustain.

 The International Museum of Art and Science (IMAS) seeks its next President and Executive Director to lead one of the most important cultural institutions in the Rio Grande Valley. The next President and Executive Director will be a visionary and collaborative leader passionate about museums in community. The next Director will be committed to education for all and opportunities for underserved communities. S/he should have an interest in, and appreciation for, South Texas with its rich cultural heritage and diversity. S/he will lead the Museum forward as it develops strategies that continue to grow financial support, build audiences, promote lifelong learning and ensure best museum practices. AAM reaccreditation will occur in 2020. Part visionary and creative risk-taker, part hands-on leader and manager, the Director will oversee the development of exhibitions, education programs and special events that build audiences and support and advance the mission of the IMAS.

 Working with the Board of Trustees and staff, the next Director will lead a strategic-planning process that examines opportunities to achieve sustainability through building endowment, revenue enhancements, facilities improvements and new audience development. S/he will build on past successes to increase support for exhibitions and programs and lead the development of fresh approaches to presenting art and science and their pivotal relationship to creativity. Particular areas of focus for the next leader include developing a buildings-and-grounds master plan and possible expansion options that capitalize on existing space. Over IMAS’s past 50 years it has experienced significant growth. It is now poised to create a vision for the coming decades.

McAllen is located in South Texas, has a population of 145,000 and is the safest city in Texas with crime rates at a 35-year low. It is a thriving, international trade area with a growing population, many cultural amenities, good schools, and strong tourism due to its warm climate and the nearby Gulf sand beaches.



The next President and Executive Director should have the following qualities and credentials: 

  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience directing a museum, or in a leadership position directing a significant department in a larger institution, with budget and staff-management responsibility.

  • Minimum master’s degree in a related field.

  • Fundraising experience, including ability to work with major donors, collectors, and grantors. Government-relations experience is a plus.

  • Exceptional leadership skills; creative and enterprising; ability to inspire others; confident; detail-oriented.

  • Knowledge of best practices for an AAM-accredited museum including museum management, financial oversight, budget forecasting, facilities and collection management.

  • Art or science museum experience is preferred, though other museum fields of expertise or non-profit leadership will be considered.

  • Chief spokesperson and advocate for the Museum, champion of education and life-long learning.

  • A visionary leader dedicated to the multidiscipline mission of the Museum and family-based programs. 

  • Collaborative by nature; a mentoring, hands-on leader; high energy, multi-tasker, sociable, and with a sense of humor.

  • Ability to work closely with an engaged board, volunteers and community.

  • Strong people skills.

  • Appreciation for the lifestyle, diversity and community friendliness of McAllen and the region.  


Reporting to the Board, the President and Executive Director is responsible for the administration and financial management of the Museum. Primary responsibilities include: 


  • Actively leads the major fundraising efforts and serves as the chief spokesperson for the Museum.

  • Works with the Board and staff to identify, cultivate and solicit donors; and develop an effective annual fundraising plan.

  • Cultivates and works with the leadership of the City of McAllen to ensure continued annual financial and in-kind support from the City.

  • Works with the Director of Development to secure and expand all fundraising activities and relationships including major gifts to endowment, individual giving, foundation, corporate grants, local government support, and sponsorships.

  • Creates and implements programs that promote legacy and planned giving to ensure long-term financial stability.


Management, Operations, and Budget

  • Oversees staff charged with developing exhibitions and programs in the areas of art, science, and education; ensures balanced multi-discipline programming.

  • Ensures proper staff management of the collections, acquisition and deaccession programs, and collection refinement and conservation.

  • Ensures the smooth operation of the Museum and its programs, maintenance and care of the facility, and the updating of technology and infrastructure resources.

  • Prepares, oversees and ensures the Museum operates within board-approved annual and capital budgets, and meets or exceeds contributed and earned revenue projections.

  • Collaborates with staff to maintain AAM best practices and policies.  Leads the AAM reaccreditation process scheduled to begin in 2020.


Staff and Board Relations

  • Works with the Board of Trustees and staff to develop and implement the strategic plan.  

  • Promotes Board relations including active participation by Board members, effective Board development, committee engagement; effective communication channels, meetings, and training.

  • Hires, evaluates and supports staff. Leads in a mentoring, collaborative, style in a respectful work environment.

  • Advocates for staff professional development. 

Public Awareness and Marketing  

  • Works with staff to develop and implement the marketing plan to help achieve the annual attendance and revenue goals of the Museum.

  • Ensures effective public relations and media coverage, including data collection, dissemination and documentation.

  • Serves as the public face of the institution and promotes Museum programs to build audiences.

  • Maintains a public presence in the community, networking for the benefit of the Museum, and strengthens relationships within the community.

  • Promotes a welcoming environment for visitors.

  • Encourages appropriate partnerships with organizations and community agencies that further the mission of the Museum. 

About the Museum

Mission and Vision. The mission of the IMAS is to promote a deeper appreciation of the arts and sciences through exhibitions, cultural events, and educational programs; and to preserve, expand, and display its permanent art and science collections. The vision of the IMAS is to enhance the overall quality of life for all members of the community through artistic and scientific enlightenment. 

The IMAS was founded in 1967 through the efforts of the McAllen Junior League to increase the quality of life for the citizens of the Rio Grande Valley and to provide activities in the arts and sciences that are meaningful, educational, and available to the public. In 1968, the Junior League Museum Board entered into an agreement with the City of McAllen for the use of a 5,000-square-foot building. In 1976, the Museum moved to its current location, after a new building was constructed and completed as a Bicentennial Project.  

A major expansion took place in 2001, which added an additional 17,259 square feet to accommodate 3 classrooms, an artist studio, a gift shop, theater, and hands-on exhibition space called the Children’s Discovery Pavilion. The Museum currently has over 50,000 square feet of exhibit space and public access areas. Also in 2001 the Museum completed its “Community Big Build” privately funded capital-campaign and facilities project and unveiled “RioScape: A Children’s Discovery Park”, incorporating play in an outdoor learning environment that reflects scientific and environmental concepts specific to the Rio Grande River. Needing an update, RioScape was dismantled in 2018, and planning the next outdoor experience awaits the new Director. In January of 2019 the Rio Sendero (River Trail) was dedicated as a major addition to the existing sculpture park at the Museum. 

The Museum’s annual budget stands at $2.1 million including $1.1 million in operating and in-kind support from the City of McAllen. There is a staff of 31 full- and part-time Museum employees. The Museum’s collection includes 10,000 objects of art, science and natural history. Two annual special fundraising events, Collage and Brew-seum, generate significant combined net revenue. Collage is the annual black-tie gala, and Brew-seum provides the regional community with a one-of-a-kind cultural experience featuring a variety of international art, cuisine from the area’s finest restaurants, and a wide selection of craft beer. Brew-seum was the first beer festival of its kind in South Texas.    

McAllen’s vibrant culture and rich diversity of peoples feed the community’s energy and growth. The region’s history and cultural composition inform Museum programming and drive the core value of service to the community. IMAS enjoys broad community support, including significant annual operating and in-kind support from the City of McAllen.  

IMAS’ unique mix of art and science enables it to present connections between the disciplines and how creativity, inquiry, and discovery are interwoven and integral to both. The Museum presents art and science not as competing realms but as important, equal drivers of understanding the human experience, the world in which we live and the power of life-long learning. As a result, IMAS exhibitions have included the great masters of art history as well as contemporary artists, alongside exhibitions on the origins of life and development of the physical and biological environment.  

IMAS education programs are a major thematic and experiential foundation for the Museum and include special programs for youth, families and adults. The Museum’s “Science On a Sphere” (SOS) is a state-of-the-art exhibit designed by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to illustrate planetary and celestial systems through digital-image data links.


 McAllen and the Region

McAllen, TX is located in the southern-most tip of the state in the Rio Grande Valley region. McAllen has a population of 145,000 people. According to the most recent US Census, people identifying as Hispanic make up 85% of the population. The “Borderplex” communities of McAllen and Reynosa in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas have a metropolitan area population of 1.5 million. This Borderplex is one of six bi-national metropolitan areas along the US-Mexican border, and the McAllen-Reynosa population is the third largest of the Borderplex cities. McAllen is the safest city in Texas with crime rates at a 35-year low. No murders occurred in 2018. Visit: Though its economy was based in agriculture in its early years, today it is a thriving, international trade area with a growing population, strong tourism and over 50,000 federal employees. 

McAllen enjoys a subtropical climate with average high temperatures in January and February in the 70s and average highs in the 90s in summer months. The regional geography is a mix of delta and chaparral desert environments. With the year-round warm climate, outdoor recreation abounds. The endless beaches of South Padre Island and the Gulf of Mexico are less than a 90-minutes drive. Other amenities include the Gladys Porter Zoo in nearby Brownsville, the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, and plentiful opportunities for fishing, hunting, boating, kayaking and cycling. There is significant seasonal tourism in the region, including from Mexico. The Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge nearby encompasses 100,000 acres and is a unique natural habitat for waterfowl and migratory birds, endangered species and other wildlife. The region is on an important migratory path for birds and butterflies. The McAllen wing of the World Birding Center offers nature trails, a children’s discovery center and over 250 species of birds and 100 species of tropical and native trees and plants. The Birding Center’s welcome facility, Quinta Mazatlan, is one of the largest remaining historic adobe homes in Texas.  

The nearby cities of Progresso, Matamoros, and Monterrey provide opportunities to enjoy the traditions and culture of Mexico. McAllen International and Harlingen International airports serve all major cities through the connecting hubs of Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, with direct flights to Mexico City. Major cities within a few hours’ drive include Houston, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Laredo. 

Education is a priority in McAllen. Public schools are strong and consistently perform well on a national level. Lamar Academy in McAllen is a public International Baccalaureate high school ranked among the top 10 in the nation. Private grade schools and middle schools, two private high schools and IDEA charter schools are available, as is a Montessori school. The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, ranked 4th in the entire State, has an enrollment of over 27,000 students and offers programs in all major areas of undergraduate and master’s study, and select doctoral programs.  

The McAllen Performing Arts Center presents a variety of programming including nationally recognized productions of music, dance and theater. McAllen offers all the amenities you’d expect in a larger city. Its unique cultural blend, tourism, sub-tropical climate, border location and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico offer plentiful entertainment options.  


IMAS offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience, plus benefits. IMAS is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States. 

Nominations and applications are welcome. This is an exciting opportunity to lead one of the major multidiscipline cultural institutions in a thriving Sunbelt location.

How to Apply

Apply in confidence: Email cover letter, résumé (Word documents preferred), salary requirement, and names of 3 references with contact information by April 1, 2019 to: Dan Keegan, Senior Search Consultant, Museum Search & Reference/Marilyn Hoffman, Principal, References will not be contacted without prior permission of the applicant. For details, visit: