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.

Museum Curator (Women’s History Curator for Content & Interpretation)

This position is located in the Smithsonian Institution, National Portrait Gallery (NPG), Office of Audience Engagement. The employee has the primary role at the NPG in the development, management, and execution of mission-driven research-based projects and education programs as they relate to the history of women in the United States and/or its pre-colonial indigenous communities. S/he also plays an integral role in the development, interpretation, and use of the museum’s permanent collection for these purposes.  Research and programs developed will encourage broad appreciation for the history of women.  The incumbent reports to the Associate Director for Audience Engagement but will have regular contact with the Chief Curator and Senior Historian.  S/he will attend curatorial and history department meetings to share and present programming ideas around Women’s History, acting as a liaison between the Audience Engagement and Curatorial departments.

To learn more and to apply:

Public Affairs Specialist (bilingual in English and Spanish)

The National Portrait Gallery is seeking candidates for a Public Affairs Specialist in the museum’s office of communications and public affairs. This is a lively role at the museum and will be integral in expanding the museum’s audiences and promoting museum activities. The person who fills this role will develop media plans, serve as a media contact, and formulate and implement outreach to media, marketing (advertising) plans, and social media plans and for assigned exhibitions, initiatives and programs. The museum is striving to increase its engagement with audiences from many different cultural backgrounds.

The museum is seeking candidates who:

  • have 3-5 years of experience in communications, media relations, public relations and/or marketing
  • are bilingual in Spanish and English and are highly advanced speakers and writers in both languages
  • are self-starters who are able to work on short and long term goals while juggling priorities
  • are facile writers who have experience writing press releases, media advisories, and fact sheets
  • can apply existing relationships with local and national media and proven track record for securing coverage
  • have a great attitude and are excited to be a part of this dynamic museum

The position will include coordinating press events; coordinating media interviews; writing for a variety of formats and audiences including press releases, website, articles, social media and calendar listings. It will also include making pitch calls to news outlets, managing the museum’s media lists and clips, and working with other departments with the NPG to identify and develop information for use in news releases, TV and radio programs, articles and meeting with media representatives. Additional skills needed a working knowledge of a variety of editing styles (AP, Chicago); experience with media databases such as Meltwater; knowledge of social media practices; and knowledge of art, American history, and museum practices to communicate the message of an American cultural institution. Some early mornings, late evenings and weekends will be a part of this role.

This is not a federal position, but a grade 9 trust position. The Smithsonian embraces diversity and equal employment opportunity.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to

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