Career Opportunities

Join a team of fundraising professionals across the Institution working to chart the future of the Smithsonian.

Office of Advancement: Career Opportunities

Resumes are only accepted in applications for listed positions. Please send a cover letter and resume to Specify the position title for which you are applying in the subject line.

Open Positions

Principal Gift Officer, Office of Advancement / Grade: AE / Location: Washington, DC / Open to All / Closing: July 31

Come join a team of dedicated staff at an exceptional time in Smithsonian history, as the Institution implements a new comprehensive strategic plan and expands the programming, educational, and scholarly activity of its museums and research centers. 

Following a successful national campaign, the Smithsonian has built a model fundraising organization, one that will meet the growing needs of this unique organization and offer excellent professional opportunities. This position offers exciting opportunities for the successful candidate to make a significant impact on the future of the Smithsonian.

The Smithsonian’s Office of Advancement seeks a charismatic and accomplished Principal Gift Officer with proven fundraising experience to help grow a high-performing advancement office to serve the philanthropy needs of the Institution today and for the future. The Principal Gift Officer will maintain an active portfolio of donors and prospects who are capable of gifts of $5 million or more to the Smithsonian. S/he will develop appropriate cultivation and solicitation strategies for donors and prospects, moving constituents in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure. S/he will work closely with board members, volunteers, senior leadership and other senior administrators, unit directors and advancement directors to most effectively engage donors to achieve annual fundraising goals and to build and maintain a robust advancement function to fund Institution priorities. The Principal Gift Officer will have a specialized focus on the priorities of the art units and initiatives at the Institution.  

Qualified candidates must have a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of progressively responsible advancement leadership, preferably within a major, arts-related institution, non-profit organization, or educational institution. Must have hands-on board management experience with a proven track record of fundraising success of gifts at the $5 million level and beyond, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship. In addition to possessing superior people management and advancement skills, highly effective interpersonal communication abilities, and a sense of urgency, the successful candidate must be hard working, genuinely collaborative, and have the gravitas and leadership presence to interact with high level donors and arts patrons, as well as curatorial, administrative, and board leadership. 

The Office of Advancement oversees and guides the fundraising efforts of the entire Smithsonian and is home to the central development organization for the Institution.  In addition to raising significant support for a variety of Smithsonian initiatives, the Office of Advancement provides support services to development offices across the Institution. The office engages with staff throughout the Smithsonian in accomplishing their goals.

The Smithsonian Institution is a unique complex of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research centers.  The Smithsonian is a national and world treasure and is dedicated to its founding mission, “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.”  Its exhibitions, programs, collections, and outreach touch the lives of millions of Americans every year, as well as many who visit us from abroad. 


The Smithsonian Institution offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive package of benefits. This is not a Federal Position, but has similar requirements and benefits. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter to by July 31, 2018.    

The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.  Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.