Director of Government Relations (Faculty | Exempt)

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) seeks a dynamic and energetic Director of Government Relations. This is a full-time position with excellent benefits at one of the world’s finest museums. Reporting to the Chief Strategy Officer & Deputy Director for Strategic Planning, Government, and Board Relations, the successful individual will build and expand the VMFA’s relationship with state and federal legislators and officials, while playing a key role securing of the VMFA’s annual appropriation and periodic capital funds from the Commonwealth.  The Director of Government Relations will work to strengthen VMFA’s ability to deliver superior state-wide educational and visitor experiences as noted within the museum’s mission and strategic plan. Overall responsibilities for this position include, representing the VMFA in legislative committees, monitoring legislation, developing coalitions among other state-wide and federal institutions, and keeping key stakeholders informed of critical information and developments.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Assists with developing the VMFA’s biennial budget and positioning it with policy makers such as staffs of the Department of Planning & Budget, Senate Finance, and House Appropriations to secure the VMFA’s annual appropriation from the Commonwealth and periodic capital funds.
  • Effectively represent and advocate the VMFA’s position on issues and legislation affecting state funding, education and/or capital projects, also heighten awareness of the VMFA’s contributions to the Commonwealth.
  • Meet with legislators, and if appropriate testify before legislative committees as necessary to convey the VMFA’s position.
  • To communicate VMFA’s governmental issues to external stakeholders, lobbyists, media, community activists, and individuals who might prove helpful in grassroots advocacy.
  • Acts as primary liaison with the diplomatic community to engage them in cultural activities including, but not limited to, special exhibitions, performances, and lectures.
  • Serves as institutional Protocol Officer, in conjunction with food service, special events, and protective services, coordinates events attended by federal, state, local, and foreign officials.
  • Disseminate relevant, meaningful information and data to bolster support for various programs and initiatives of interest and benefit to the Commonwealth.
  • Monitor relevant legislative activities during legislative sessions and throughout the year.
  • Partner with other Virginia museums and/or educational institutions colleges and universities as well as other related groups to advance the museum, education, and strategic priorities.
  • Provide high-level information and analysis to the VMFA’s leadership about state and/or federal matters that are critical to the VMFA’s strategic plan and mission.
  • Meet and build relationships with designated VMFA and Foundation officials as needed to share information about recent activities and emerging issues to assure that the efforts of VMFA officials and the Boards/Director are properly briefed and coordinated efforts are succinct.
  • Drawing on institutional history and programmatic knowledge, represents VMFA at community functions and events (on and off campus) where visibility would enhance the overall museum mission. Such events include funerals, receptions, dinners, forums, performances, and educational seminars.

Position Benefits & Details: 

This is a salaried, administrative and professional faculty, exempt position that offers Commonwealth of Virginia employee benefits such as 12 paid holidays, health benefits and more. VMFA staff also enjoy museum benefits like free admission to special exhibitions, previews of special exhibitions, employee pricing for select museum programs and classes, and discounts at Amuse Restaurant, Best Café, and VMFA Shop.

About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts:

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, is one of the largest comprehensive art museums in the United States. VMFA, which opened in 1936, is a state agency and privately endowed educational institution. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret art, and to encourage the study of the arts. Through the Office of Statewide Partnerships program, the museum offers curated exhibitions, arts-related audiovisual programs, symposia, lectures, conferences, and workshops by visual and performing artists. In addition to presenting a wide array of special exhibitions, the museum provides visitors with the opportunity to experience a global collection of art that spans more than 6,000 years. VMFA’s permanent holdings encompass nearly 50,000 artworks, including the largest public collection of Fabergé outside of Russia, the finest collection of Art Nouveau outside of Paris, and one of the nation’s finest collections of American art. VMFA is also home to important collections of Chinese art, English silver, and French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, British sporting and modern and contemporary art, as well as renowned South Asian, Himalayan and African art. In May 2010, VMFA opened its doors to the public after a transformative expansion, the largest in its history.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts recently began a new expansion and renovation project led by the international architecture firm SmithGroup. Tentatively scheduled for completion in Fall 2027, the project consists of adding a new wing of nearly 170,000 square feet and renovating 45,000 square feet of existing spaces, while maintaining four acres of green space in the Sculpture Garden. Visitors will experience a seamless journey through the collections in the new wing, which will house American and Indigenous American art, African art, 21stcentury art, and a new suite of galleries for rotating special exhibitions and a special events space.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is the only art museum in the United States open 365 days a year with free general admission.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Several years of relevant experience working with local and/or state officials.
  • Several years of relevant experience working with legislators, executive branch officials, state agencies and their staffs.
  • Extensive knowledge of the legislative and budget processes and key policy issues facing Virginia. Demonstrate exceptional decision-making and advocacy skills and serve as known governmental relations expert.
  • Working knowledge of museum, state budget, and educational institutional structures and functions.
  • Ability to mobilize support for institutional legislative, operating, and capital priorities.
  • Demonstrate masterful sophistication in all communication efforts. Expert ability to communicate information to all levels inside and outside of the institution, including VMFA leadership, legislators, faculty/staff, and other key stakeholders. Ability to effectively deliver concise, compelling messages.
  • Fulfill VMFA’s educational mission, strategic aims, and programs. Demonstrate ability to act as the public face for strategic efforts, serving as a VMFA leader, and coordinating multi-faceted efforts across the museum and foundation.

Additional Considerations: 

  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree.

Special Instructions: 

Selected candidates must pass a criminal history background check.

Position requires employee to file a Statement of Economic Interests form annually.  The successful candidate will be required to complete mandatory Conflict of Interest training upon starting.

Interested individuals must submit an online application.  This posting has been reopened to receive additional applications and is currently rescheduled to close at 11:55 pm on September 25, 2023.

Please contact the HR office at if you need assistance.

VMFA is an EEO/AA and Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Certified Employer. Diverse and inclusive hiring practices are at the heart of what we do at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

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