Job Posting

Director of CCA

Job identification

Job title : Director of CCA

Division : Management

Reports to: Board of Trustees

Status: Permanent, full time (35hrs/week)

Posting period: December 15, 2017 to January 14, 2018

Job entry: To be determined

The organisation

The Canadian Centre for Architecture is an international research institution operating from the fundamental premise that architecture is a public concern. It was founded in 1979 by Phyllis Lambert as a new type of cultural institution, with the specific aim of increasing public awareness of the role of architecture in contemporary society and promoting research in the field. The CCA was conceived to fulfill several functions: to collect, as a museum and research library; to archive and document; to support research, as a study centre; and to create and disseminate knowledge through exhibitions, publications, and public programs. Since opening its doors to the public in 1989, the CCA has organized over two hundred exhibitions, published over one hundred books, presented over five hundred lectures and conferences, and hosted over fifteen hundred researchers at all levels. The collection—one of the world’s foremost international research collections of architectural archives, publications, conceptual studies, drawings, plans, models, prints, photographs, and related artifacts—supports these activities, both driving and responding to the research interests of the institution. With a staff of approximately one hundred people from many countries, and an operating budget of approximately $17 million per year, the CCA is affiliated with a vast network of architectural institutions and museums around the world.

The position

Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the Director manages five direct senior executives in the areas of Curatorial Affairs, Administration and Finance, Development, Communications and Digital and four indirect associate directors related to Curatorial Affairs in the areas of Collection, Programs, Publications and Research. The Director has the overall responsibility for the organization and drives its vision as well as pursuing a model for sustainable business and alignment of its operations.

The Director works in conjunction with the Board of Trustees to develop the CCA strategic direction and establishes initiatives to fulfill its mission. This includes building connections with local, regional, national and international organizations with similar goals, with educational institutions and museums with similar goals, as well as with all levels of government.

The position includes the following priorities:

  • Strong content and intellectual leadership. The Director leads the curatorial vision of the CCA toward accomplishing the museum’s mission and makes the necessary strategic choices regarding the overall production of all its curatorial content and programs. To ensure alignment of content through different publishing platforms and channels of communications, the Director establishes the CCA’s transversal priorities and secures the proper structure and resources. The content leadership will particularly be prevalent in research and publications whereby the Director brings his expertise and academic involvement with international organizations with similar goals, with educational institutions and museums with similar goals, top architects and top scholars in the field of architecture.
  • Ensure the organization’s strategic orientations are balanced. The Director develops a thorough appreciation of the CCA’s public and private mandates to ensure that both the curatorial and museology missions are safeguarded and flourish within the limits of the institution’s financial means. Furthermore, it will ensure the continuity of the institution’s pioneering and acclaimed investigative approach to the study of architecture. To ensure this balance, she or he apportions overall budgets and resources in accordance with the strategic orientations of the CCA, as defined by the Board of Trustees.
  • Solidify and develop the management team. One of the mandates of the Director is to continue to strengthen and stabilize the current team, ensuring the continuous development of senior management and the monitoring of an appropriate succession plan, as well as maintaining an increased level of governance and professionalism in the management of the CCA.
  • Expand the digital platforms. Capitalization in the growth of digital access is an ongoing and important objective, while the Director also leads the further alignment of the digital strategy with all facets of CCA’s curatorial content and public engagement, locally and abroad. The Director enhances the CCA publications, research, exhibitions and collections and reinforces the collective contribution of the CCA’s stakeholders with the aid of its digital strategy.
  • Improve the CCA’s financial autonomy. The Director participates, in conjunction with the Board of Trustees and the management team, in improving the relative financial autonomy of the CCA through capital contributions from government, business, other foundations and private donors, as well as by memberships and endowments, the enhancement of its collaborative endeavours and public presence, both locally and internationally, and by radiating the organization’s authority and prestige through its major stakeholders while safeguarding the independence of the CCA.


Ideally, the successful candidate is an architect and an experienced senior manager who has effectively led a major cultural or research institution with a strong curatorial vocation and who has experienced first-hand the pressure and challenges associated with such a responsibility. The candidate possesses ideally relevant experience on architecture in the area of research, academia, editorial (including publishing), or possess a proven track record within a research and curatorial content producing environment, museology and debates on architecture, its history, theory, practice and role in society today. In addition to well-rounded management skills, the candidate has gained international exposure in his or her past, as a leader in the field, as a teacher and researcher, writer, conference leader with relevant and successful experience in the area of fundraising. Finally, the ideal candidate has experience in aligning operations within a curatorial vision.

The ideal candidate possesses the following key competencies:

  • Strategic vision and Leadership. The candidate must have the ability to provide strong leadership, vision and strategic direction and create an environment that is both participative and productive without losing sight of the end objective. She/he will organize resources internationally, including temporary units initiatives that have already begun, and externally to deliver desired results in leading people, the CCA’s engagement to architecture, and fundraising efforts. The candidate must have the stature and charisma that command respect of others in a participative rather than an autocratic manner. He/she must also be a strong problem solver, organized, people motivator and team builder, full of initiative and drive: “someone who knows how to select the right people, develop and keep them.”
  • General management competency. The ideal candidate has demonstrated a capacity to manage a multifunctional organization and an ability to integrate into an complex environment with an international culture. Furthermore, this person must bring professional management to the organization, be able to meet annual budget and targets and balance operational and development initiatives within approved expense parameters. Finally, this individual ideally has a strong financial sense and the strategic ability to create efficiencies within the CCA.
  • Functional knowledge. Although not necessarily from the practicum world of architecture, the candidate must nonetheless hold a graduate degree in architecture and an understanding and comprehension of museology, of the art of architecture, and possibly the history of art in general. Ideally, the candidate is close to the culture of architecture and sensitive to both the academic and technical dimensions of this discipline; someone who is engaged in the practice of contemporary architecture through management or production of curatorial content.
  • Passion for the cause. To effectively lead the CCA, the candidate must evidence clear passion for the cause of this institution and its activities. This experience, coupled with a genuinely warm and empathetic style should be combined with the willingness to become personally involved in developing specific fund raising efforts and in asking for individual contributions. Developing long term relationships will be pivotal to the success of the Director of the CCA.
  • Knowledge of languages. Given the international scope of the CCA, the ideal candidate possesses an excellent knowledge of spoken and written French and English and knowledge of a third language where CCA has a strong international presence (i.e. Europe)
  • Change management in view of leadership transition plan. The CCA is currently undergoing a leadership transition phase that requires strong and adept management skills to ensure institutional stability and the continuity of the CCA’s unique international mandate and approach to the study of architecture. This calls for someone with a thorough understanding of sound management principles in the museum and international research centre space, and this ideally with a focus on architecture. Change management experience in this context is highly sought after. The successful candidate must safeguard the existing long-term strategic objectives of the CCA, while ensuring that the goals and objectives on which the institution was founded are respected. The success of the transition plan will depend on the demonstrable qualities of discretion, strategic thinking, internal and external communication skills and a thorough understanding of best practices in change management.

Please submit your application, including your letter of intention, resume, exhaustive bibliography of publications (published articles, books, etc.), lectures, conferences as guest speaker, board committees and other relevant involvements by email ( before January 15, 2018 to the attention of Human Resources of the Canadian Centre for Architecture located at 1920 Baile Street, Montreal (Quebec), Canada, H3H 2S6. Only successful applicants will be contacted. Please do not call.

The CCA is an equal opportunity employer.

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, January 14, 2018
Type of Work: 
Full Time
Education Level: 
University (Graduate)
Additional Languages: 
knowledge of a third language where CCA has a strong international presence (i.e. Europe)
Prefered Method(s) of Application: 
By E-Mail

Employer Details

Centre Canadien d’Architecture / Canadian Centre for Architecture

Valerie Samson
1920, rue Baile
Montréal, QC H3H 2S6

Le Centre Canadien d’Architecture (CCA) est un centre international de recherche et un musée créé par Phyllis Lambert en 1979 avec la conviction que l’architecture est d’intérêt public.