President & CEO (ROM Governors)

THE OPPORTUNITY                                                                                                                                                                                  

The ROM Governors is seeking a President & Chief Executive Officer to lead our fundraising efforts in support of the Museum’s highest priorities, and to foster long-term sustainable relationships of exceptional value both to the institution and its donors.  The President & CEO will oversee all private-sector fundraising and sponsorship programs for the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), and will be accountable for short and long-term planning associated with fundraising activities.  This is an exciting era of transformation for the ROM, and this position is available due to the upcoming retirement of the incumbent in November 2014.  The new President & CEO will have a tremendous opportunity to have a huge impact on the Museum’s next stage of growth and evolution.

Reporting to the Chairman, ROM Board of Governors, the President & CEO will play a major role in shaping the ROM’s private sector funding strategy.  Leading a strong development team with substantial experience and capability, the President & CEO will focus efforts on sustaining and deepening prospective and current donors’ commitments to the Museum.  In this high profile philanthropic leadership position, the President & CEO will represent the office of the ROM Governors to various stakeholder communities, media, and public audiences, and will personally cultivate and steward leadership donors, sponsors and volunteers.

The ROM and the ROM Governors have a common interest in the strategic direction of the Museum, and work collaboratively to regularly bring forward the Museum’s highest priorities for philanthropic support to both Boards for discussion and agreement.  The President & CEO will work collaboratively with Board members, the ROM Director & CEO, the ROM senior executive team, the ROM Governors staff, and with our key volunteers to ensure the success of all philanthropic and sponsorship activities that benefit the Museum’s rich collections, research, programs and people.  The ROM Governors President & CEO is also an invited member of the ROM Director’s executive team.


The ROM is one of the world’s great museums and one of Canada’s cultural icons and leading research institutions. Our dual mandate of global culture and nature, together with strengths in scientific research, education, outreach and access, uniquely positions the Museum as an essential destination for understanding our rapidly changing natural and cultural worlds.  First opened in 1914, and with an operating budget of nearly $56 million, the ROM is one of the biggest museums in North America, attracting over one million visitors every year.  The largest field-research institution in Canada, with research and conservation activities that span the globe, the ROM is also one of the largest extra-curricular educational institutions in the country.

From its beginnings more than a century ago—when a small community with great ambition came together to build an inspired museum—the Royal Ontario Museum is constantly evolving and growing to build community.  At the grand age of 100, the ROM is a public-facing organization regularly used by a diverse audience to understand nature and culture; a cultural imperative valued by the community, both locally and internationally.  

To encourage a greater access and understanding of our vast collections and curatorial expertise, the ROM introduced Centres of Discovery during its Centennial year. Centres of Discovery are the new way to experience Canada’s encyclopaedic museum.  They offer visitors innovative and imaginative opportunities to explore unique collections of nature and culture, belong to a community that matters to them and a chance to participate in learning and discovery online and at the ROM.  The eight Centres of Discovery are: ROM Ancient Cultures, ROM Biodiversity, ROM Contemporary Culture, ROM Canada, ROM Earth & Space, ROM Fossils & Evolution, ROM Textiles & Fashions and ROM World Art & Culture.

One example of the Museum’s innovation in access and learning is ScopifyROM–the world's first ScopifyTM smartphone app.  It allows visitors to interact with artifacts in ways never before possible, revealing the fascinating stories behind objects using x-rays, restoration tools and interactive games.

Few people realize the breadth and depth of the ROM’s collections or the collective strength of its expertise.  The ROM has more than six million objects in its captivating collection, interpreted and animated by internationally-renowned curators and research experts.  Through our world-class exhibitions, more than 40 stunning galleries, cutting-edge research, and incredible public programs, the ROM offers an unusual breadth of experience to our community and to audiences from around the world.


Established in 1992 as The Royal Ontario Museum Foundation, the office of the ROM Governors is responsible for all philanthropic activities in support of the Museum’s highest priorities.  The office of the ROM Governors is supported by an independent Board of Governors which provides leadership in a wide range of philanthropic activities, and also acts as a strategic resource to the Museum in the development of plans, initiatives, and programs requiring substantial private support.  Our work enables the ROM to better serve its diverse and ever-changing community by fostering long-term sustainable relationships of exceptional value both to the institution and its donors.

Philanthropy has been at the heart of the ROM since its inception 100 years ago.  Financial support, patronage, donations and acquisitions helped establish the Museum and continue to be a crucial component of the ROM’s success today.  Thanks to the generosity of nearly 3,000 donors, sponsors, patrons, and volunteers, the ROM Governors raised over $14 million last year.  Our revenue programs include major and planned gifts from individuals, corporate philanthropy and partnerships, direct marketing and annual giving, fundraising and community events, and membership programs such as the Royal Patrons Circle and Young Patrons Circle.  Our staff team of 26 fundraising professionals and support staff work closely with the Governors, Museum colleagues, and volunteers to raise and direct funds for the ROM’s highest priorities, including museum programs, research, collections, galleries, exhibitions and outreach programs. 

This is a remarkable time in the Museum’s history. Moving forward, we are focusing on growing our endowments, increasing the annual level of support to the ROM, and increasing the proportion of the ROM's budget which derives from philanthropy.  To celebrate our past and ensure a bright future for the Museum, we are currently engaged in The Love the ROM Centennial Campaign: Creating the Next Century Together, which aims to raise $15 million by June 2015 to transform the visitor experience inside and out.  Building on this centennial project and building towards the future, the ROM Governors is in the early planning stage of a larger comprehensive campaign initiative.


Board Service

  • Facilitate review and alignment of the ROM Governors’ vision, mission and multi-year strategic plan.
  • Ensure that Board members are effectively welcomed and integrated into a harmonious and effective team.
  • Provide the Board and its committees with reports and advice necessary to ensure effective oversight.
  • Act as the spokesperson for the ROM Governors and an ambassador for the ROM to varied stakeholders including diplomatic and community organizations.
  • Identify, assess and inform the Board of internal and external issues and risks that affect the organization.
  • Communicate effectively to the Board on all relevant matters.

Philanthropic Leadership & Donor Relationships

  • Provide strategic leadership and direction for the initiatives and programs of ROM Governors’ Office, and for the development and implementation of the Museum’s overall strategy to generate revenues from private-sector and commercial opportunities. 
  • Maintain regular and appropriate contact with all donors. Personally provide customized and responsive relationship management to leadership donors and sponsors of $500,000 and greater.
  • Oversee the efforts of senior volunteers who act as ambassadors for the ROM.


  • Assume overall responsibility for ROM Governors operations in all its aspects.
  • Develop and implement a 5-year Business Plan which incorporates goals and objectives to achieve the strategic mission of the ROM Governors.
  • Determine staffing requirements for organizational management and program delivery and oversee the implementation of human resources policies, procedures and practices to ensure an effective staff team, prudent succession planning and a positive work environment.  Personally coach and mentor a senior staff team.
  • Oversee effective day to day operations of the ROM Governors in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency and other government regulations.
  • Ensure investment policy and performance is reviewed regularly.
  • Develop annual budgets with associated fundraising costs for review and approval of the Board of Governors.

Relationship with ROM

  • Represent the ROM Governors at meetings of the ROM Board of Trustees and Museum committees.
  • Together with the Director & CEO, meet on a regular basis with the respective Chairs of the Boards (Liaison Committee) to discuss strategic issues, and ensure effective communication and alignment between the two organizations.
  • Review respective agendas for Board and committee meetings to ensure appropriate review and approval of strategic issues (e.g. naming rights, campaign priorities, board development opportunities, etc.)
  • Together with the Director & CEO develop annual joint Board trip program and related social activities.
  • Co-lead development and refreshment of philanthropic plan assumptions with the Director & CEO, and bring to both Boards for discussion and approval.
  • Report regularly to the Director & CEO (and to relevant ROM Board committees and task forces) on progress achieved against philanthropic priorities.
  • Arrange for all philanthropic solicitations in excess of $500k to be reviewed with the Director & CEO, including philanthropic strategy, review of written proposals, and selection of the solicitation team.
  • Ensure the Director & CEO is meeting on a regular basis with top donors, particularly those within the Lieutenant Governor’s Circle (lifetime giving $100K and above), and provide opportunities for engagement and stewardship.
  • Ensure seamless communications, support and management in joint priorities through collaboration.  Meetings with ROM peers attended by President & CEO include:

    1. Weekly meetings with the Director & CEO
    2. Weekly meetings with the Director & CEO and Deputy Directors
    3. Bi-weekly meeting with ROM Executive Group
    4. Regular meetings with Deputy Director, Engagement to ensure alignment of Centres of Discovery and Program priorities and activities with philanthropic goals and opportunities
    5. Regular “roundtable” meetings with ROM Marketing & Communications team
    6. Ad hoc meetings with curators and ROM experts to enhance donor engagement activities, prepare proposals, involve in signature events, etc.


Reports to:

  • ROM Board of Governors


  • ROM Board of Governors
  • Executive Committee
  • Finance & Investment Committee
  • Governance & Nominating Committee
  • Philanthropy & Stewardship Committee
  • Heritage Governors
  • Next Century Fund (campaign steering committee)

Directly Manages:

  • Vice President & COO
  • Senior Director, Development
  • Senior Director, Corporate Relations
  • Director, Patron Programs and Events
  • Director, Marketing and Communications
  • Executive Assistant & Confidential Secretary

Key Relationships:

  • ROM Governors Staff
  • Director & CEO, ROM
  • ROM Senior Management Team
  • ROM Director’s executive team (including the Deputy Director & Chief Operating Officer, Deputy Director, Collections and Research, and Deputy Director, Engagement)
  • ROM Board of Trustees and Committees (Pension, Governance)
  • Leadership Donors and Sponsors
  • Provincial and National Partners 
Posted Date 2014-07-16
Closing Date 2014-09-06
Department ROM Governors
Type Full-Time Permanent



Skills & Attributes

  • Strategic, pro-active individual with a strong vision and experience in leading a large, complex not for profit organization; high level of initiative and energy to generate and sustain momentum.
  • Ability to develop and implement a strategic plan with specific, ambitious and achievable goals, and ability to integrate that plan into the overall Museum planning process and establish operational goals that are supportive of overall Board policies and direction.
  • Capacity to interact with senior volunteers and external constituents in an effective manner, developing and nurturing strong and supportive relationships, with integrity, diplomacy, confidence, and effectiveness; authentic relationship builder and exceptional stewardship mindset.
  • Ability to inspire and motivate staff and volunteers; progressive and empowering management style with a strong commitment to communication, delegation, mentoring, and staff development and performance management.
  • Demonstrated marketing, branding and communication skills; ability to speak and present effectively on behalf of the Museum, hosting events, standing in for the Director & CEO from time to time, and presenting a credible face of confidence and leadership to external constituencies.
  • Facility to build and nurture relationships with various corporate and individual donors; understanding of how to reach out to the diverse donor audiences that reflect the cultural tapestry of Toronto and Canada.
  • Ability to develop and maintain internal relationships within the museum, in order to foster strong support for/integration with the Office of the ROM Governors’ activities; adaptable collaborator who has the capacity to work in close partnership and to negotiate mutually beneficial outcomes.
  • Passionate about ROM’s vision and mission; possesses intellectual curiosity, and is eager to know about the Museum’s collections, programs, and research.

Qualifications & Experience

  • Demonstrated, progressively successful executive leadership, including significant experience at a senior management/executive level; understanding of and substantive involvement in leading the business of philanthropy for the organization.
  • Substantial team-building experience; approachable and inclusive leader who seeks input and perspectives from others.
  • Proven superior skills and experience in philanthropy, with significant exposure to capital and endowment fundraising campaigns, planned giving, and all aspects of corporate, foundation and individual giving.
  • Experience and demonstrated success with transformational gifts of $1 million and greater.
  • Knowledge of the national charitable sector, including the regulatory environment, best of class policy and accountability practices, human resource talent and compensation trends, and leading edge philanthropic business metrics.
  • Dynamic successful fundraiser with a high profile and a strong network within the arts, cultural, donor and business communities.
  • Minimum of an undergraduate degree and/or a suitable combination of education and experience.

How to Apply

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained by the ROM Governors to lead this search on their behalf.  For more information, candidates are encouraged to be in touch with Tara George, Senior Vice President at KCI, via email at or 416-340-9710 ext. 254.

Please note that candidates are respectfully asked to submit a resume and letter of interest by September 6 at latest, for review by the Search Committee shortly thereafter.