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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Discovery Center at Waters Edge

SCOPE - Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall operational responsibility for Discovery Center at Waters Edge (DCWE) staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. S/he will initially develop deep knowledge of the field, core programs, business plans and operations with a focus on the planning, design, construction and operation of the DCWE.  Serves as the primary public face of the DCWE, coordinating with grant-making agencies, donors, volunteers and other organizations to ensure that the Board of Directors’ intent is synchronized across the DCWE’s network.


Board of Directors Support:

  • Advise the Board on matters within the ED’s scope of responsibilities, work toward the mission of the DCWE and promote efficient operations and delivery of services the organization was chartered to provide.
  • Provide staff support to the Board and its committees; ensure that meeting minutes are recorded and filed.
  • Attend all meetings of the Board and Executive Committee; prepare and present reports for each Board and Executive Committee meeting as requested and for other committee meetings (including, but not limited to financial report, staff/administrative report, fund development report) as required.
  • Serve as ex officio member of all Board committees.

Leadership & Management:  

In collaboration with the Executive Committee: 

  • Develop an annual work plan and 5-year strategic plan that describes the goals, objectives and needed actions that will enable the DCWE to begin operations at the desired time.
  • Oversee and manage all contracts for DCWE planning, design, construction, acquisition and operation.
  • Directly supervise any subordinate employees or contract staff engaged to support DCWE operations.

In collaboration with the Treasurer:

  • Creates a realistic budget plan for Board approval prior to the beginning of the DCWE Fiscal Year.
  • Provide the Executive Committee monthly budget performance summaries and forecasts.
  • Ensure all required financial management reports, grant applications and reports, annual external audits and tax returns are completed and submitted by the specified deadline.
  • Develop and implement a current and long-range staffing plan to ensure that the organization is effectively structured and competently staffed.


In collaboration with the Executive Committee:

  • Develop and implement a strategic fundraising strategy that targets appropriate foundations, corporations, individual donors and government programs to develop the needed resources to sustain operations of the DCWE, operate the Preview Center, design and initiate construction of the Phase II facility and begin planning for Phase III.
  • Oversee and actively participate in all grant application development and submission.  Serve as the DCWE primary point of contact for all philanthropic and government grants.


In collaboration with the Executive Committee:

  • Serves as spokesperson and chief advocate for the DCWE. Establishes strong partnerships in the community.
  • Enhances the DCWE’s public image to expand interest and support.
  • Directs the overall development of public relations and marketing initiatives.
  • Develops an effective communications plan to raise the profile of the DCWE.
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger brand
  • Use external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities and partnerships


  • Minimum education requires a Bachelor’s degree. Advanced degree in STEM education preferred.
  • Experience in a museum, nonprofit organization, STEM education organization or business. Experience  at a senior managerial level preferred.
  • Ability to provide strong leadership, vision and strategic direction.  Experience developing and implementing strategic plans.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of standards and best practices for museums, educational organizations, non-profits, or similar organizations, as well as a history of involvement in relevant professional organizations.
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures
  • Proven ability to work cooperatively, diplomatically, and effectively with Boards, volunteers, and in community relations and outreach capacities.
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise, as well as to work successfully with, museum staff, volunteers, and diverse public constituencies.
  • Evidence of success in developing, managing, and growing an annual operating budget. Strong business management skills.
  • Excellent planning, project management, and decision-making skills.
  • Possesses familiarity and understanding of the history, mission and accomplishments of the organizations and scientists supporting Aberdeen Proving Ground.


The Vision for Discovery Center at Water’s Edge (DCWE) is to be a regional science & technology center located near Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County, Maryland.  It will be a place where students of all ages and abilities explore, experience, invent, create, and play with science and technology, leading them to a greater understanding of the scientific principles at play and the history of that technology’s development. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the past, present, and future of technology, in areas of  computing, power and energy, virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing, agricultural technology, and much more.

The goal is to develop the DCWE into a destination location north of Baltimore. We envision families, retirees, history buffs, and students from all around the Mid-Atlantic to travel to the DCWE to explore science and technology and be inspired to innovate. We want to tell the stories of the region’s rich technology heritage and contribution to society and create an interactive space where we can light a fire of discovery in students of all ages and from all backgrounds.  For 100 years, Harford County, due in large part to Aberdeen Proving Ground, has been home to some of the most brilliant minds in science and technology. Their inventions have changed how people live, work, and play around the globe. It is only fitting that Harford County is also home to a world-class Discovery Center.

The full Vision is to build a free-standing 35,000-SF science and technology center with indoor and outdoor classrooms including a science based miniature golf course and playground.  This will be achieved through a phased growth. Phase 1 of the DCWE is a "Preview" Center which will contain several full-scale exhibits designed to give visitors a taste of what is to come. It will open in January 2023 in an existing building at 4505 Pulaski Highway in the Water's Edge development. Funding from local, state, and federal sources has been secured for the upgrade and refurbishment of the existing structure, which has been taking place since September 2022.  Phase II will be a 10,000-SF facility planned to open in 2025 featuring additional hands-on science displays and classrooms and a small store.  Phase III will triple in size with the construction of a 35,000 SF permanent facility.


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4505 Pulaski Hwy.
Belcamp, MD 21017

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(410) 417-7116

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Discovery Center at Water’s Edge is a charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) and donations are generally tax deductible.

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