Employment Opportunities | Mechanics' Institute

You are here

Employment Opportunities

Photograph of the staircase at the Mechanics' Institute building

Chess Club Director


About the Mechanics’ Institute

The Mechanics’ Institute was founded in 1854 and is one of San Francisco’s enduring literary and cultural institutions. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as a place where “tradition and progress meet”, the Mechanics’ Institute is a fantastic place to work and has nearly 5,000 members, serving individuals and families throughout the Bay Area, offering a magnificent library, the oldest chess club in the United States, and a full calendar of excellent events.


Chess Club Director

The Mechanics’ Institute is home to the oldest continuously operating chess club in the United States. The Chess Club offers activities for players of all abilities, including tournaments, lectures, lessons, and casual play. It also provides free chess classes to hundreds of San Francisco public school students each week.


Job Description

The Mechanics’ Institute seeks a Chess Club Director to lead the strategic direction of this historic club. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Chess Club Director is responsible for establishing, implementing, and evaluating the chess club objectives and priorities.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Strategic Management:

  • Provides the chess club with the vision and leadership to ensure future relevance, credibility, and viability.
  • Fosters a culture of excellence in staff and volunteer work to develop and implement strategic objectives and goals.
  • Oversees and strengthens the day-to-day operation of the chess room.
  • Works with staff and the Board (Chess Committee) to prepare a comprehensive budget.
  • Encourages and facilitates the application of technology to further the vision and objectives of the chess room.

Programmatic Leadership:

  • Design, schedule, direct, and support chess tournaments and programs.
  • Organize and oversee special chess related events – visits by chess personalities and special partnerships.
  • Ensure high quality services to chess club members and guests.
  • Oversee and develop all writing and communication related to the chess club.
  • Increase and diversify the number of people involved with the chess room.
  • Oversee and develop presence on social networks.
  • Utilize numerous chess-related online resources to attract new audiences.
  • Purchase and promote collection of chess related material for the Mechanics’ Institute library.
  • Engage with partners to coordinate and develop initiatives that benefit the chess room and the chess community in general.
  • Enhance the look and reputation of the chess room as a place that is welcoming.


  • Work with board, staff, and partners to develop and implement successful fundraising strategies.
  • Identify and cultivate individual and corporate major prospects to support Mechanics’ Institute chess activities.

Other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Excellent organizational, verbal, and written communication skills
  • Strong problem solving and time management skills
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
  • Excellent interpersonal skills – ability to communicate with members, donors, trustees, staff, and the public in a friendly and professional manner by phone, email, and in person
  • Availability to work occasional evenings for events
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, set priorities, and meet deadlines
  • Familiarity with chess and chess organizations in the U.S.


Compensation and Benefits

  • This is an exempt position
  • Salary is commensurate with experience
  • Membership to the Mechanics’ Institute


To Apply

  • Send cover letter and resume to jobs@milibrary.org and include “Chess Club Director” in the subject line
  • Include salary requirement (a range is fine)
  • Position will remain open until filled
  • No phone calls please