Director of Guest Operations

Houston, TX 77058, USA Req #284
Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Space Center Houston is a space exploration learning destination dedicated to revealing how science and humanity power space exploration through meaningful, moving experiences about people and the courage, innovation, and teamwork they use to expand the boundaries of what's possible. We inspire guests of all ages to connect with the significance of space exploration as incredible feats of human spaceflight continue to bring joy and wonder to the world. Owned and operated by the nonprofit Manned Space Flight Education Foundation, we are the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center and a Smithsonian affiliate.

We are currently seeking a full-time Director of Guest Operations responsible for providing a consistently high quality guest experience for Space Center Houston guests in support of the Center’s mission. Position responsibilities and qualifications are shown below:


  • Engage and lead the guest operations crew including guest services, theaters and tram operations to support and achieve the mission of Space Center Houston. Overall responsibility to continue developing a culture of “Over the Moon” guest service and engagement for 1.3 million guests who visit the Center each year.
  • Design and implement innovative standards, policies and procedures, recognition and rewards, training and performance management systems based on best practices.  Additional responsibilities will include participating in the employee selection process and performance counseling in compliance with state and federal laws.
  • Direct, coach and manage a department of 200+ employees including full-time, part-time and seasonal staff as well as a growing corps of volunteers.  Act as a change agent to improve processes including a formulated plan to increase employees’ knowledge of the space industry through continuous learning.  
  • Mentor and develop guest operations supervisors and front-line leads using a collaborative approach that assigns accountabilities, assists in setting priorities, improves communications, and monitors and evaluates results.
  • Through data analysis and evaluation, develop and execute enhancements to improve the center’s performance and efficiency. 
  • Assist the executive leadership team in developing and implementing strategic plans to fulfill the Center’s mission.
  • Establish and measure departmental goals in areas including, but not limited to, revenue generating programs and offerings, guest ratings, training and safety. 
  • Develop and administer a detailed department budget including labor analysis, forecasting, and variances and operating within budget guidelines.
  • Adhere to safety policies to ensure the safety of employees and guests.  Work with the Safety and Security Manager to address safety/security issues and/or new policy development.
  • Support center-wide events as needed including special events, education programs and fundraising/member events.
  • Work closely with the Facilities team ensuring proper on-going maintenance of equipment, show systems, exhibits and the physical appearance of the building both internally and externally. 
  • Work with designated contacts at the Johnson Space Center to effectively operate the tours of Johnson Space Center.
  • Act as day-to-day liaison between retail partners to maintain efficient and guest focused service to all guests, including the food service operator, photo operator and store operator.
  • Actively participate in industry associations to maintain a current knowledge of industry trends and best practices including advancements in technology.  Attend subject relevant seminars/forums for continuing education and increased job knowledge.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • A Bachelor’s degree in a related field with a minimum of 10 years of progressive leadership experience managing a broad range of operating functions in a guest/customer centered industry.  Science center, museum or hospitality industry experience strongly preferred.
  • A strong understanding of business processes including budgeting, P&L, financial analysis, operations and strategic planning.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing innovative initiatives resulting in high quality guest experiences.  A strong desire and commitment to providing exceptional guest service. 
  • Experience managing a large hourly workforce working varying shifts is a plus.
  • Strong mentoring and coaching capabilities to lead and develop a strong team of supervisors and front-line leads.
  • Demonstrated success in effectively collaborating with teams from multiple departments and/or functions across the company for the purpose of achieving common goals and objectives.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively handle multiple tasks and identify creative solutions to problems and issues before and as they arise.  Ability to work with limited supervision.
  • Strong financial acumen including the ability to develop financial forecasts, analyze data, report findings and manage large-scale budgets.
  • Excellent computer skills using Microsoft Office. A strong understanding and aptitude for technology is required to evaluate new trends and products available to enhance the center.
  • Exceptional analytical, organizational skills and project management skills with the ability to prioritize and manage multiple priorities.
  • Ability to operate effectively as a tactical as well as a strategic thinker.
  • Outstanding communication, presentation, interpersonal and influencing skills with the ability to effectively interface with all levels of the organizations including senior management.  Ability to resolve conflict in a professional, productive and tactful manner.
  • Personal qualities of professionalism, integrity, credibility and a commitment to the mission of Space Center Houston.  Must have the ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Availability to work a flexible schedule including weekends, evenings, holidays, as needed.  Some travel will be required.

Salary Range: $95,000-$120,000 (Commensurate with experience)

Space Center Houston is an equal opportunity employer. We promote a culture of respect, inclusivity, and collaboration.

Other details

  • Pay Type Salary
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  • Houston, TX 77058, USA