Nonprofit Chief Operating Officer by lll12833


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									Position Specification
Chief Operating Officer
The Art Institute of Chicago

Private and Confidential
                                  Position Specification

Chief Operating Officer
The Art Institute of Chicago                                                                 Page 1 of 3

Our Client
The Art Institute of Chicago (“AIC”) is an encyclopedic museum with one of the world’s most
important collections of Impressionist and Modern paintings and sculpture, South Asian sculpture,
Japanese prints, and modern and contemporary photography, architecture, and design. With
attendance projected to reach 2 million this year and a membership approaching 100,000, the AIC is
one of the most popular art museums in the US, after only the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the
National Gallery, and the Museum of Modern Art. With an annual budget of over $100 million and a
physical plant of one million square feet, it is also one of our nation’s largest museums.
The AIC was founded in 1879 as both a museum and a school. The School of the Art Institute is
independent of the museum, with each the museum and the School reporting to a common Board of
The AIC is led by James Cuno, the museum’s President and Director since 2004. During that time, the
museum has built the largest addition in its history: the Modern Wing, designed by international
architect Renzo Piano, comprising 267,000 square feet of galleries, museum education classrooms, and
resource centers, a retail shop, a café and restaurant, and a bridge connecting the museum with
neighboring Millennium Park. A capital campaign for construction and endowment of the Modern
Wing and the reinstallation of the historic museum galleries raised more than $410 million, the largest
campaign in the museum’s history.
The challenges and opportunities ahead for the museum include capitalizing on the positive local,
national, and international response to the Modern Wing to strengthen AIC’s position within Chicago
and the world of museums, further modernizing AIC’s marketing strategy with new and enhanced
internet and social networking campaigns with an eye to both enhancing AIC’s image and raising
revenues, expanding AIC fundraising efforts to increase the museum’s endowment, and working
strategically with international colleague institutions to build capacity in developing museum cultures.
All will be undertaken to strengthen AIC as the model civic encyclopedic museum, committed to
Chicago and active in the world.

The Role
Reporting to James Cuno, the President and Director of the museum, the Chief Operating Officer
(“COO”) will have overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the museum including
managing financial planning and operating budgets. He/She will stand in for the President and
Director whenever necessary.
The COO will partner with the President and Director to position the museum for new opportunities,
including leveraging the opening of the new Modern Art wing. These will include greater operational
efficiencies, expanded opportunities for revenue enhancement, and the creative exploitation of internet-
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                                                                                           Chief Operating Officer
                                                                                       The Art Institute of Chicago

based and social networking resources for increasing revenue and broadening AIC’s audiences locally,
nationally, and internationally.
The COO will be responsible for the planning and administration of the Museum including (1) all
financial plans and operating budgets, (2) staffing and operations of exhibition management, (3)
design and construction, (4) physical plant, (5) protections services, (6) government and community
affairs, (7) marketing and public affairs, (8) retail and food services, and (9) development (which also
has a dotted line reporting relationship to the President and Director of the Museum).

Candidate Profile
The ideal candidate for this role will be fully dedicated to AIC’s mission, highly energetic, and have
excellent leadership skills. He/She must have an ability to navigate and manage a mission-driven
institution, but must also be strongly service- and customer- oriented. He/She should have strong
business acumen and be comfortable using data and metrics to drive decisions that impact the
management of the institution The ideal candidate approaches challenges from a practical, yet
optimistic, standpoint. This person must be a team player with the ability to work in a large and
complex organization with an environment of transparent and collegial communications, and be
comfortable in a public role.
Specifically, the COO will have:
Exceptional strategic management skills with experience in the oversight of financial matters, the
application of technology, the exploitation of the internet and social networking applications,
marketing and external communications, and facility resource management;
Proven experience initiating and leading short- and long-range financial planning, including the
development of operating budgets as well as other objectives and strategies necessary to ensure
successful completion of those plans;
Demonstrated success leading a complex organization through challenging times;
Excellent leadership skills and the ability to work in a collegial environment with individuals in both
the administrative and professional areas of the Museum;
A record of hiring, mentoring, and delegating to exceptionally talented people;
The ability to represent AIC effectively with various important constituencies, including Trustees,
donors, government officials, and other institutions both profit and nonprofit. This requires
exceptional interpersonal and relationship-building skills as well as the ability to listen to and work
with others;
The ability to work closely and in partnership with the President and Director, who is responsible for
the overall leadership of the AIC.
The ideal candidate for this role will also possess the follow core competencies:
   Unquestionable Judgment: The issues that the AIC faces are complex and affect multiple
   constituencies. The successful candidate must have a record of influencing and inspiring a cross-
   functional organization through his or her vision, using the power of persuasive reasoning,
   reference to facts and best practices, effective partnering, and outstanding verbal and written skills.
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                                                                                         Chief Operating Officer
                                                                                     The Art Institute of Chicago

   This person will be comfortable acting in an environment of driven and committed professionals
   and in a mission-driven culture that stresses team work, responsibility, and influence, not just
   authority. He/She will exhibit broad strategic thinking, specifically with the ability to think
   “beyond what’s been” in order to help AIC achieve its long term goals. Finally, the successful
   candidate will demonstrate a clear ability to communicate with different cultures and perspectives.

   Executing for Results: This individual demonstrates the capacity to translate a vision into reality.
   He/She is savvy and pragmatic about effecting organizational change, and has proven ability to set
   priorities, align plans, deal with roadblocks, marshal necessary resources, monitor performance,
   and ensure proper follow up. He/She is highly effective in managing a multi-layered, multi-
   stakeholder, complex organization while providing a broad scope of services on-time and on-
   budget. He/She is an energetic self-starter with a strong, disciplined drive for results and success
   who conveys a sense of urgency and guides issues to closure. He/She is flexible and can handle

   Leading Teams: This executive must be capable of leading a team and motivating it to reach its
   full potential. He/She must have strong interpersonal skills to develop alliances with internal and
   external groups. This person must be comfortable communicating openly with senior leaders both
   inside the organization and in the broader global community, as well as with peers and

   Building Relationships and Using Influence: The successful candidate exudes passion, intensity,
   and excitement. He/She has the ability to effectively articulate the AIC’s vision and present
   him/herself forcefully and convincingly. He/She is an effective user of oral and written
   communication to successfully communicate, advocate, and persuade others. He/She speaks
   clearly and concisely, and is able to capture and express reasoning behind recommendations and
   assumptions and effectively guide staff as they move initiatives forward.

   Analytic Skills: AIC is a large and complex institution. The successful candidate will take a
   systematic, structured view of the organization and classify and integrate data, ideas and/or
   concepts into a system that can be applied to solving problems and implementing effective
   solutions. He/She will use metrics to help drive decisions throughout the institution and will bring
   focus and discipline to the process of converting ideas into action.


Nominations and applications (please include a cover letter and resume) should be sent to

Laurie Nash                                    Alison P. Ranney
Russell Reynolds Associates, New York          Russell Reynolds Associates, Chicago
Telephone: +1-212-351-2196                     Direct: +1-312-993-0740            

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