fbpx Director of Building Operations and Safety | The Studio Museum in Harlem

Director of Building Operations and Safety

The Director of Building Operations and Safety is responsible for the overall operations of the Museum’s facility and security, in both the new building and office spaces. The position will report to the Chief Financial and Operating Officer and will work in partnership with the capital project team, as well as senior leadership. This person will lead a team of fourteen staff members, with the understanding that the team is poised to rapidly grow over the next twelve to eighteen months. 

The overarching objective of this position is to build a high-performance culture marked by open and effective communication within and across the departments and to provide best-in-class service to the institution’s internal and external constituents and patrons. An important challenge will be migrating toward proactive planning for all operational functions. 


Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities:

Building Management: Facilities, maintenance (geothermal system, HVAC, MEP, structural trades), grounds maintenance, custodial services, compliance (FDNY, DOB), and other building functions. 

  • Manages the maintenance and day-to-day facility operations of the new building, temporary office spaces, and related building systems 
  • Oversees the Museum’s plant management including the centralized cooling and heating system, life safety systems, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and painting  
  • Oversees the Museum’s facility management:  
  • Develops a comprehensive maintenance program; manages the building management controls system and utility energy management programs in line with best practices and with an emphasis on green technology and practices 
  • Provides technical leadership and maintains strong vendor relationships in order to effectively and efficiently resolve physical plant and technical equipment issues 
  • Implements preventive maintenance programs, necessary equipment and facilities related inspections, facility and/or building system emergencies, and planned upgrades 
  • Ensures all facilities-related work and equipment complies with regulatory and government codes (city, state, federal) and applicable environmental safety standards; ensures all permits and licenses are kept up-to-date; resolves city violations and complaints  
  • Supervises repairs and upgrades performed by both in-house staff and outside contractors as assigned to the Facilities Department 
  • Oversees procurement with best practices that align with the Museum’s mission, as well as government and grant compliance  
  • Oversees inventory of facility supplies and spares 
  • Oversees reporting requirements by New York City agencies with energy/emissions data capture, and other facility and security information as needed 
  • Collaborates with Public Program and Curatorial staff on exhibitions and educational projects; review design plans and construction schedules and advise on structural issues that may come into play 
  • Coordinates with other Museum departments to ensure work is properly scheduled and performed with minimal impact, when feasible, on Museum operations and visitation 
  • In collaboration with the Chief Financial Officer, initiate, negotiate, and administer building and service contractual agreements with regard to security, maintenance, and engineering, and all capital improvements 
  • Prepares bid specifications as necessary for all such contracts, and coordinates scheduling and logistics of all such work 
  • Leads any labor union negotiations and processes if needed in future 
  • Perform and manage engineering design reviews for projects and upgrades, and evaluate technical and project management assistance 
  • Ensure best safety practices for the department are established and maintained through regular training programs and consistent compliance with all OSHA and safety standards 


Strategic Planning 

  • Work closely with senior leadership to set strategic goals for sustainability and growth 
  • Oversee facility expansion as required by strategic plans in areas including AIR, Institute and Collection Storage 
  • Capital Improvements: 
  • Work with senior leadership to prepare and implement strategic master plan  
  • Oversee and manage capital reserve fund 
  • Prepare annual proposals and reports for capital improvements 


Security Function:  

Up to twenty-four-hour security coverage, including oversight of guards and security systems. 

  • Leads and coaches the security team; develops security shift schedules; and manages the department’s electronic resources (access control, cameras, radios, etc.) 
  • Manage security systems, including the building key system for access control  
  • Responds to building security alerts, ensuring proper response is undertaken and proper security system operation is maintained  
  • Provides a high level of integrated threat analysis and advises senior leadership on best practices 
  • Gathers credible threat intelligence and risks to the museum, directly supports risk-based decision-making, and develops mitigation or resolution strategies 
  • Influences and improves existing processes through innovation and operational change, staying abreast of crowd control procedures and arranging for third-party supplemental security 
  • Partners with the Director of Collection and Exhibition and Chief Curator to reduce the risk of a loss or damage to any artwork in the museum’s collection or on loan to the museum 
  • Maintains compliance with all applicable building safety codes 
  • Manages and coordinates required inspections for all facilities and life safety equipment and operating systems as per city, state, and federal regulatory agencies 
  • Regularly surveys the building (interior and exterior) with the Security Manager to identify security, alarm, fire protection, and other safety concerns and recommends corrective action 
  • Develops and maintains security and fire protection protocols, including evacuation plans, security operation manuals, accident and incident reports, fire and natural disaster plans, and related materials 
  • Establishes regular training programs for security staff to comply with all OSHA and health and safety standards 
  • Participate in emergency response planning, testing, and implementation. 
  • Maintains relationship with local NYPD precincts 



  • Manages the Department (Facility and Security) budgets and identifies ways to reduce costs while maintaining the highest standards of operation 
  • Maintains relationship and requisite paperwork with FDNY, Department of Buildings, and other compliance agencies  
  • Experience with conducting building energy audits a plus 
  • Maintains relationship with local BID and similar neighborhood entities  
  • Prepares departmental reports for the CFO, which will include financial information, work order system status and facility repairs/projects updates, and other information as needed 
  • Stays abreast of current events and potential threats that may impact the Museum; communicates with senior leadership and makes appropriate mitigation plans as needed 
  • Network with Museum facility administrators at other cultural institutions; participate in professional organizations relevant to the field 
  • Promote an environment that encourages cooperation, collaboration, and professional development 
  • Provides leadership, training, and coaching to ensure staff provide a high level of customer service and communication with other Museum staff 
  • Sound understanding of, and experience in handling, crises and establishing failsafe emergency plans and procedures. 
  • Making diversity a productive value in the workforce 



  • Ten or more years of experience in facilities/security management, including five years of leadership experience, preferably in an art-related nonprofit organization  
  • Experience leading change, developing processes, implementing procedures, and working collaboratively across organizations to achieve desired outcomes 
  • Strong knowledge of New York City building code and accessibility guidelines 
  • Ability to converse technically with engineers and architects regarding Studio Museum’s systems, design, and construction. Experience working with the City of New York’s Department of Buildings and FDNY a plus   
  • Knowledge of principles and practices of federal, New York State, and New York City law, code, and regulations, including OSHA, ADA, and Department of Health; knowledge of asbestos, lead, and other hazardous material, noise pollution, indoor air quality, recycling laws and regulations that pertain to public assembly facilities 
  • Knowledge and experience with LEED certification requirements a plus  


Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrated ability to function as a highly effective manager and problem solver in a fast-paced work environment  
  • Delivers a positive, solution-oriented approach 
  • Ability to handle the demands of a highly public environment  
  • Provide leadership and collaboration with other Museum departments 
  • Ability to successfully execute large-scale projects while managing the overall operations of an organization 
  • Knowledge of customer service principles, practices, and procedures 
  • Excellent communication, project management, and planning skills 
  • Ability to exercise independent judgment and make decisions based on sound assessments, with discretion and a deft hand, and understanding of the Department and Museum’s mission are a must 
  • Flexibility to work weekends, evenings, and holidays 
  • Proficient with project management systems, in addition to MS Office 



Salary is commensurate with experience within the guidelines of a small not-for-profit. The Studio Museum in Harlem provides a competitive benefits package, including medical, dental, life and long-term disability insurance, a retirement account, and substantial vacation time.  


Please send your resume and cover letter to jobs@studiomuseum.org. Be sure to include "Director of Building Operations and Safety" in the subject line. No phone calls or faxes, please.

Please note that while careful consideration will be given to each submission, the Museum will only be able to contact those applicants whose knowledge, skills, and work experience best fit the requirements of the position. No phone calls or faxes, please.