Director of External Affairs

26 Jul, 2022


Director of External Affairs

COSI - Center of Science and Industry
Columbus, OH

OBJECTIVE: Support COSI’s Mission and Strategic Plan by leading the development of key partnerships in the public arena with a focus toward achieving COSI’s organizational goals.  This includes a primary responsibility to support the engagement with federal government agencies, community partners, and external groups.This position will also oversee a team supporting state and local affairs.  The Director of External Affairs will also ensure that partnerships are on track, raising public funds to support and grow COSI’s key initiatives and organizational goals.

As the leader of the External Affairs team, this position will work closely with the Chief Strategy Officer to guide strategic direction around the external affairs division and provide management to the department. This position will also assist in the drafting and execution of project proposals that enable funding for programmatic and capital support across the COSI ecosystem, which includes innovative onsite learning experiences, Learning Lunchbox kits, digital programming, COSI app, online resources, and the physical building to expand and extend the impact of COSI’s work. It will also support other key COSI initiatives such as COSI’s education television show, QED with Dr. B, Color of Science, the Platform STEM pipeline, and more.   This position will serve COSI audiences of all ages, including areas for underserved youth, K-12, adults, special education, and early childhood education. This position will support the COSI 5.0 Strategic Plan, its goals and initiatives.

POSITION REQUIREMENTS / EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE: Ideal candidate will possess strong communication skills; excellent verbal and written communication; ability to prioritize, balance, and meet multiple goals/projects simultaneously; enjoy working in a flexible, often fast-paced, team-oriented environment; and able to plan for and meet deadlines. Must be able to make clear decisions while being a team player, work on both a large and small scale, and establish and follow fundamental objectives.

Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field required.   Master’s degree preferred.   Minimum of 4 years of demonstrated experience in external affairs and building successful partnerships in a business, nonprofit, museum, government agency, NGO, or equivalent with strategic engagement of community relevance and appeal. Management experience also preferred.


  1. Manage COSI public partners at the federal and international governmental levels, which include but are not limited to NASA, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. State Department and more. .
  2. In collaboration with the Chief Strategy Officer, develop and coordinate an external affairs strategy that supports local, state, and federal engagement.
  3. Manage and oversee work of the Manager of Local External Affairs and Public Policy, and Manager of State External Affairs and Public Policy.
  4. Help to manage and design the COSI External Affairs Partnership plan and process, including identifying target new partnerships, which support COSI in its vision and mission.
  5. Direct and manage a comprehensive list of strategic initiatives that will support COSI in its priority initiatives and organizational goals, as assigned by the Chief Strategy Officer.
  6. Cultivate and steward relationships with assigned public officials and organizations.
  7. Solicit public support, serve as a relationship manager, and provide relationship coordination and strategic support as needed for executive leadership.
  8. Identify new community and government partnerships for portfolio growth.
  9. Draft proposals for public support and conduct necessary research to complete proposals.
  10. Develop a rich understanding of COSI’s mission, vision, strategic plan, and portfolio of public funding opportunities including operational and capital support.
  11. Actively participate in the relationship management process, including public research and identification, stewardship and solicitation strategy development, as well as the generation of new ideas to contribute to COSI’s capacity.
  12. Oversee the execution of the External Affairs Department data management system.
  13. Collaborate with cross-departmental teams to determine community and government partnership impact on priority initiatives;
  14. Develop reports to be delivered for potential new community partners and organizations as well as existing partners;
  15. Work collaboratively with the Director of Diversity and Equity to build and facilitate deeper external partnerships with diverse audiences.
  16. Serve as an example to other COSI team members in matters of appearance, attitude and performance in the mode that best serves COSI’s Team Members and Guests.
  17. Perform other administrative duties within the scope of position as assigned by the Chief Strategy Officer.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2022-07-26