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Ford’s Theatre Society is hiring an Associate Director of Patron Services to join its team. The position is full-time and based in Washington, DC.

Ford’s Theatre Society values and is committed to maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce and working environment. Ford’s is proud to be an equal opportunity employer where all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, family status, sexual orientation, disability, age, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Ford’s offers a dynamic working environment steeped in culture and history along with a robust benefits package including highly subsidized health insurance, 401(k) contributions, and generous paid leave policies.

The Associate Director of Patron Services is integral to ensuring that the Ford’s Theatre campus is a welcoming, equitable, respectful, accessible and engaging site for visitors. The position is responsible for implementing organization-wide customer service standards; evaluating and implementing safety and security protocol for visitors; ensuring the accessibility of the Ford’s Theatre campus for visitors; and overseeing all aspects of front-of-house operations. This position is additionally responsible for bringing a visitor-centered perspective during development and implementation of new exhibits, events or programs.

All Ford’s Theatre Society employees are required to actively participate in the Society’s ongoing efforts to become an anti-racist organization. These efforts include staff-wide conversations, new programming, development of new resources for staff and audiences, and an expectation that all staff will keep themselves informed of resources in the field of anti-racism, access and equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and how they can be applied to their own work on a day-to-day basis

  • Monitor and maintain adherence to customer service standards and protocol amongst patron services staff to ensure Ford’s Theatre is a welcoming, accessible and inclusive environment providing the highest level of customer service, customer safety and patron relations. Update and implement new standards when appropriate or necessary.
  • Lead regular training for patron services staff, volunteers and occasionally other staff, ensuring all are trained in health and safety procedures, emergency evacuation, customer service and accessibility standards and protocols.
  • Regularly evaluate safety and security protocols for the campus as they pertain to visitors. Suggest updates and changes when areas of improvement are identified. Use good judgment to implement immediate changes in the case of current or imminent risk.
  • Assist patron services team with resolving customer disputes and other customer care issues, particularly when issues are escalated.
  • Coordinate periodic First Aid and CPR/AED company-wide training.
  • Ensure that Ford’s Theatre adheres to and, when reasonably feasible, exceeds relevant ADA requirements; stay abreast of how other institutions are improving accessibility; make and implement recommendations to improve accessibility at Ford’s; and share Ford’s efforts externally through venues like the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability, AAM and blog posts in the field of Accessibility.
  • Assist Patron Services Managers with development and implementation of accessibility offerings, including captioning, audio-description, sign-interpretation and sensory-friendly events and performances.
  • Coordinate and oversee internal Access Committee and lead team to develop and implement new initiatives and programs based around access and inclusion.
  • Maintain positive and productive professional relationship with external Access Advisors.
  • As needed, provide the perspective of visitor and patron services staff to interpretive and exhibit design and implementation, as well as creation of interpretive materials, making sure that the diversity of these groups is represented and included.
  • Working with the education team ensure that regular interpretive theme training for patron services associates occurs. Provide feedback to education and interpretive team regarding visitor responses or questions about interpretation.
  • Keep the tour guide training binder and Interpretive Resource guide available for Patron Services associates. Update these resources as necessitated by changes in the interpretive plan from the education and interpretation department.
  • Coordinate and oversee internal Audience Survey Committee which requires developing and implementing post-visit surveys and reporting out results as appropriate across the institution. These surveys will reflect our ongoing efforts to strengthen our anti-racism, access and equity, diversity and inclusion values.
  • Hire and oversee training, development and evaluation of Patron Services Managers, serving as their back-up when necessary, ensuring all shifts are appropriately covered.
  • Assist Patron Services Manager, Theatre and Access in recruiting and training volunteer ushers, ensuring a diverse, enthusiastic and stable volunteer corps.
  • Work with the designated National Park Service staff, to advise when needed or requested in the recruiting, developing and scheduling of the NPS volunteers. Provide training to the volunteers regarding FTS operational standards
  • Ensure Patron Services team receives periodic formal evaluations, as well as regular performance feedback. Provide remedial measures for performance improvement when warranted.
  • Report all cleaning and maintenance issues of Society owned and leased spaces to Director of Finance and Administration. If there is an urgent need, report also to Lincoln Property Company.,
  • Work closely with all departments in preparation and implementation of events taking place on site and offering assistance as requested.
  • Regularly assess visitor flow, making recommendations and changes as necessary, particularly in the instance of temporary safety concerns.
  • Primary point of contact with Acoustiguide regarding equipment contracts and renewal, as well as maintenance and replacement. Coordinate with Ticket services management team for smooth day to day Acoustiguide operations.
  • Serve as liaison and primary point of contact with National Park Service partner as pertains to regular front-line operations. Schedule and attend bi-weekly meetings with FOTH Site Manager. Inform Deputy Director and Director of Communications of all high level, potential, and emerging concerns regarding NPS relationship.
  • In coordination with production and NPS, create daytime visitation schedules.
  • Respond promptly to patron inquiries by phone, mail, and email.
  • Manage the patron services budget, maintaining an accurate record of weekly, monthly and seasonal costs, including payroll, supplies and equipment.
  • All patron services employees are required to see at least one performance or final dress rehearsal of each production as early in the run as possible.
  • Assist the Patron Services and Exhibitions Manager in responding to on-site emergencies and keep senior staff informed of high-level emergency issues
  • With Patron Services and Exhibitions Manager Oversee the monitoring and maintenance of the Aftermath Exhibits, including lighting levels and case environments, and stay in regular contact with NPS Curatorial team regarding case and artifact concerns.
  • With Patron Services and Exhibitions Manager, responsible for time-sensitive exhibit maintenance and operation in both Aftermath exhibits and basement museum. Unresolvable maintenance concerns should be directed to the Associate Director for History.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • High School Diploma with additional education, training, or demonstrated skills in customer service and employee management.
  • Cheerful, team-spirited, organized, detail-oriented and efficient but flexible with strong organizational and communication skills.
  • Proven ability to hire, train, develop, and motivate, a strong team of employees to achieve customer service goals.
  • Must have superior knowledge of customer service protocols and be capable of maintaining an enthusiastic rapport with customers.
  • Basic understanding of building and monitoring a budget.
  • Stamina to work long shifts on occasion in very busy environment.
  • Ability to effectively use a computer and Microsoft office programs.
  • Standard First Aid, CPR, and AED certification are required. Training will be provided upon hire if the successful candidate does not already possess current certification.
  • Must be available to work evening and weekend hours for performances, special events, and to provide supervisory coverage when not otherwise available.
  • Interest in history or the performing arts is a plus.
  • Basic understanding of, or interest in learning about, standard museum collections management practices preferred.
  • Demonstrated successful customer service management experience, preferably in a high-volume setting.
  • Experience and comfort with public speaking and/or communicating to large groups.
  • Demonstrated experience successfully managing and scheduling employees

Special Note

Ford’s Theatre Society has a mandatory vaccination policy for all employees. The policy is designed to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws.

To Apply

Please send cover letter and resume to