Director (Rome, Italy)

Rome · Rome, Italy
Department Rome
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Senior Executive

Rome Director

The American Academy in Rome invites applications from artists, scholars, and institutional leaders for the position of its Rome-based Director, beginning in summer 2022, for an initial term of three years (2022-2025), with the potential for two one-year renewals.  The candidate should have a distinguished record of achievement in one of the disciplines represented at the Academy as well as significant experience in management and administration.


The American Academy in Rome, founded in 1894, is an independent, privately funded institution that supports artists, writers, and scholars living and working together in a dynamic international community.  The core of this group is composed of the approximately 30 Fellows who are winners of the highly competitive Rome Prize selected by rotating juries each year. Additionally, this community is enriched by invited Residents across the disciplines as well as an array of Affiliated Fellows and visiting artists and scholars.  The Academy has a rich legacy and national profile in the arts and humanities in the United States, and an increasingly global position in diverse cultural and academic communities around the world.

The Academy is led by the President, who is based in its New York offices, where broader institutional goals are set in consultation with the board. The Director reports to the President and is responsible for programs in Rome in consultation with the President, the Andrew Heiskell Arts Director, the Andrew W. Mellon Humanities Professor and the senior management team.


The Director of the American Academy in Rome, who is based in Rome, works with the President in New York on intellectual, creative and programmatic activities and provides intellectual and community leadership for the Academy.  The Director works alongside the Deputy Director for Programs and Administration and the Deputy Director for Finance and Administration  in Rome on operations and administrative matters and the management of  a diverse Italian and American staff of approximately 60.  The Director is a residential member of the staff in Rome.

The Director shares in the task of forwarding the Academy’s mission and encouraging programs that move across and between scholarly and artistic disciplines.  The Director, together with the arts and humanities directors, is responsible for helping to support the work of diverse Rome Prize Fellows across the Academy’s Fellowship fields in the humanities, which are Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance/Early Modern, and Modern Italian studies, and in the arts, which are architecture, design, historic preservation and conservation, landscape architecture, literature, musical composition, and visual art.  

The successful Director will have an established reputation in one of the disciplines listed above, extensive experience in academic or arts administration, broad cultural interests, in particular in those fields of the arts and scholarship served by the Academy, and a genuine desire to interact with a variety of people and institutions.  Fluency in spoken and written Italian is critical, and established contacts with Italian scholars, artists, and academic and arts organizations are highly desirable.  In addition, the Director hosts numerous public events a month and therefore must enjoy entertaining and hosting others. 

The Director reports to the President, and as a member of the Rome and New York senior management team, works in close collaboration with colleagues in New York, including the  CFO, the Vice President for Development, and the Director of Communications.

The Director leads the Rome program team and directly oversees the Andrew W. Mellon Humanities Professor, the Andrew Heiskell Arts Director, the Drue Heinz Librarian, and the Executive Assistant to the Director.  In addition, the Director oversees the Deputy Director for Programs and Administration jointly with the President.

Among the primary responsibilities and duties of the Director are the following:

  • Provide artistic and scholarly guidance to all Fellows in order to advance their work and to provide optimal conditions for their projects across a wide, diverse, and evolving range of subjects, issues, and projects.
  • Stimulate the intellectual life of the Academy community and encourage and facilitate dialogue among Fellows, Italian Fellows, Residents, Affiliated Fellows, Visiting Artists and `Scholars, and other participants and guests, while reinforcing the Academy standards relating to equity, community, and professionalism.  
  • Enrich the Fellows’ experience in Rome through introductions and exposure to the city’s artistic and scholarly communities.
  • Provide scholarly and/or artistic leadership within the cultural community of Rome, and represent the Academy with leaders in the arts, academe, philanthropy, commerce, and government in Rome and, as appropriate.
  • Confer regularly and work closely with the President with updates on community life, and exceptional circumstances and reviewing proposed initiatives to ensure appropriate decision making and effective communication between Rome and New York.
  • Support fundraising efforts by strategizing and coordinating with the President and Vice President for Development in New York as requested.  
  • Assist in the coordination of development, public relations, and media relations in Rome with the Vice President for Development and the Director of Communications in New York.
  • Assist the Rome Deputy Director for Finance and Operations and the CFO in New York, preparing their comprehensive annual and multi-year operating and capital budgets for Rome, following priorities in the context of established institutional goals.
  • Working with key staff in a collegial way to support and enhance esprit de corps among staff and the community.
  • Serve as the Academy’s chief resident officer, representative, and spokesperson in Rome, and assure that programs and activities in the arts and humanities promote interest and interchange, both among disciplines and between Americans and the international community.
  • Participate in and support meetings of the Board of Trustees and Board Committee meetings as needed, including presenting to the Committees on the Arts and Humanities.
  • Entertain frequently within the Academy community, hosting a diverse and international array of people, including visiting supporters of the Academy from the United States.
  • Serve as the key member of the residential community during regular office hours, evening/weekend programs, and after hours,  sharing with other residential staff on-call duties and assisting with emergencies and other situations.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential function at a high level.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

  • Graduate degree and outstanding professional achievement in one or more of the Academy’s Fellowship disciplines, ideally with published books and/or articles, as well as personal record of achievement to be perceived as a leader both within the Academy and by the Rome community at large.
  • Successful leadership, management, and fundraising experience, preferably in an educational or cultural institution with an international component, and proven ability to represent the institution professionally, interact diplomatically, work productively, and build and sustain a complex and dynamic community including Fellows, management and support staff, board members, donors, funders, and vendors.
  • Exceptional intellectual generosity, maturity and a deep commitment to the arts and humanities, with proven ability to work with talented individuals from a diverse set of disciplines and engage with their work.  A generosity of spirit and commitment to the wellbeing of individuals and the community.
  • Strong verbal and written skills in English and fluency or high degree of proficiency in Italian essential, a familiarity with the artistic and cultural sites and organizations of Rome and Italy; experience living in Italy and familiarity with Italian and/or Roman culture preferred.
  • Experience and successful interaction with institutional leaders, public officials, and government agencies, including those of foreign governments.
  • Advanced administrative, strategic and critical thinking and budgetary experience.
  • Superior relationship building and interpersonal abilities, with significant mentoring skills and adeptness in influencing others.
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently, with significant accountability, motivation, and problem-solving skills.
  • Commitment to working in a collaborative and collegial manner as part of a team.  
  • Exceptional judgment, professionalism, and discretion in handling confidential and sensitive situations and matters.
  • Ability to travel between New York and Rome.
  • Flexibility, accessibility, and availability to work outside of normal business hours in response to urgent and emergency situations, and availability to participate in evening and weekend programs and events.

Salary and benefits are competitive and commensurate with experience.

To Apply

Please submit a cover letter outlining your interest in the Academy, the contributions you expect to make to the Academy’s mission, and your qualifications for the position of the Director.  If your resume includes publications or lectures, please include only a relevant selection.  Your entire application packet should not exceed ten (10) pages in length.  Applications must be submitted no later than Monday, November 8, 2021 to

Please upload both your cover letter and resume at the above link as PDF files following the naming convention outlined below.  Word documents or other file formats will not be accepted.

        LASTNAME_Firstname_coverletter.pdf (e.g., SMITH_Jane_coverletter.pdf)

        LASTNAME_Firstname_resume.pdf (e.g., SMITH_Jane_resume.pdf)

Candidates who are selected for interview will be notified in mid- to late-November and interviews will take place via Zoom on Friday, December 10, 2021.

The American Academy in Rome is an equal opportunity employer.

Thank You

Your application was submitted successfully.

  • Location
    Rome, Italy
  • Department
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience
    Senior Executive