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Job Opportunities

For those who love art and history, the National Portrait Gallery is an exciting place to work. Our diverse staff includes curators, researchers, collections managers, designers, administrators, and a wealth of other specialists.


For the latest openings at the Smithsonian Institution, please check the Smithsonian's Office of Human Resources website or follow them on Facebook.

Public Affairs Specialist, open 07/28/2017 to 08/11/2017

The position functions as a Public Affairs Specialist for the National Portrait Gallery with primary responsibility for developing, and implementing communications plans and other initiatives to raise the museum’s profile, visitation, and the quality and quantity of media coverage. The purpose of the position is to create public awareness-on a national and international level-of the museum’s exhibitions, collections activities, publications, educational programs and events.
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Editor (Publications Officer), open 07/17/2017 to 08/07/2017

The National Portrait Gallery’s Publications Editor is responsible for the planning, development, editing, and dissemination of all NPG published materials. The incumbent plans and coordinates all publications of the National Portrait Gallery, including exhibition catalogues, popular books, multi-author volumes, Gallery newsletter, brochures, labels, social media and website text, calendars of events, and other written works. The incumbent must have experience in editing text in American art history or American history.
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Gallery Educators

Gallery Educators are vibrant and dedicated individuals who make significant contributions to the National Portrait Gallery’s educational mission. These contract educators facilitate the Portrait Gallery student programs that take place in the Donald W. Reynolds Center as well as in local schools. As the face of the Education Department, Gallery Educators engage and excite young visitors through inquiry as a means of connecting historical, biographical, and cultural information about the portraits on display at the National Portrait Gallery. Our approach to programming challenges young people to make their museum visit an interactive experience. Being a Gallery Educator requires enthusiasm, interest, and availability.

During May and June of each year, the National Portrait Gallery seeks Gallery Educators for the upcoming academic year. If you would like to receive our annual request for quote and be considered for a contract to be a Gallery Educator, please contact Briana Zavadil White, Student and Teacher Programs Manager by phone at: 202-633-8503 or by email at: .

All those interested must be willing to commit to two to five days per week for the duration of the academic year, orientation sessions, and at least one year of service.

When selecting individuals to provide these services, the National Portrait Gallery seeks prospective contractors with the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in education, history, American studies, museum studies, studio art, art history, or equivalent (master’s degree or master’s candidate is a plus)
  • Prior experience with youth groups
  • Interest in teaching
  • Strong verbal communication skills
  • Ability to think on your feet
  • Flexibility in schedule to work on weekday programs
  • Ability to work well in a team environment, in both following directions and presenting programs
  • Familiarity with biography, history, and object-based learning

Gallery Educators perform tasks such as:

  • Managing large groups of young people, ages five to eighteen, within predetermined time frame
  • Facilitating discussions and activities according to predetermined guidelines set by the Education Department staff
  • Setting up and breaking down tour-related materials
  • Inputting program data into Education programs log