Apr 20, 2018

Who is ICP

The International Center of Photography (“ICP” or “Center”) is the world’s leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture. Founded in 1974 by Cornell Capa, ICP’s founding mission was to preserve the legacy of “concerned photography,” which he defined as the creation of socially- and politically-minded images that have the potential to educate and change the world. That mission endures today, even as the photographic medium and image making practices have evolved. Through its educational programs, public programs, community outreach, and exhibitions, ICP offers an open forum for dialogue regarding the role that photographs, videos, and new media play in our society.

Since the beginning, what has distinguished ICP is that it is both a museum and a school; no other museum in New York City has this offering. In fact, most people’s familiarity of ICP is through their experience and knowledge of the school, which is why our constituents are so diverse: photographers, artists, students, scholars, and alumni.

ICP has been on a journey over the last few decades. The original location for the school and museum was in a townhouse on the Upper East Side, then Midtown, separating the two, and then the museum moved to 250 Bowery. ICP has been on a mission for the last few years to reunite the school and the museum, which will occur in 2019 when both will move under one roof at Essex Crossing.

Why ICP Matters: Our Mission

In a world where economies, governments, and societies are being disrupted by the impact of digital and technology, ICP is now more important than ever. We are a vital institution dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and teaching an exploration of photography and visual culture as mediums of empowerment and catalysts for social change.

ICP School: Our Equity and History

ICP operates one of the world’s most extensive educational programs in photography—presenting more than 600 courses throughout the year and serving more than 3,500 adult and teen students annually. Educational programs include full-time certificate and master’s degree programs, courses and workshops, youth classes, seminars, guided tours, student, faculty and alumni exhibitions, international workshops, and other complementary activities. Together, these offerings cement ICP’s place as a dynamic and unique center among other leading museums and cultural institutions.

The faculty is dedicated to nurturing new talent and represents some of the world’s most accomplished and innovative practitioners, offering expert guidance and inside perspectives into the field.

ICP: The Challenge We Face

Our school, like every other institution in society, is at a crossroads because of the impact of digital and technology. As a result, we’ve had significant economic pressure because of declining revenue and enrollment. Therefore, we need leadership and a strategy that can bring us into the future without losing the equity and culture that got us to where we are today. Not a position for the faint-hearted!

Specific Details on the Leadership Role

The Dean will guide the evolving curriculum in innovative ways, articulate the mission of concerned photography as the cornerstone of programs, and increase both support and operating revenue.

Reporting to the Executive Director of ICP, the Dean will serve as a key member of his team. She or he will advise on educational curriculum and collaborate with colleagues interdepartmentally to incorporate themes and messaging throughout all of ICP’s educating, exhibiting, collecting, community, and public programming. The following positions report to the Dean:

  • Director of Education
  • Director of Continuing Education
  • Chair, New Media Narratives Program
  • Chair, Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism Program
  • Chair, General Studies in Photography Program
  • Chair, ICP-Bard MFA Program


The Dean will be expected to focus on the following opportunities:

Provide visionary leadership

  • Facilitate a process to help determine the educational objectives of ICP’s future identity in a rapidly changing field;
  • Building on ICP’s strengths, lead the implementation of the vision through evolution, adaptation, and innovation;
  • Engage with all faculty, students, staff, and alumni in a highly visible manner;
  • Form partnerships with other institutions to create opportunities such as term exchanges, the development of new programs, and accreditation of existing programs; and
  • Collaborate on prospective programs and developments for the education department, exhibition department, and public programs.

Strengthen collaborative management

  • Lead an assessment of the curriculum with a view toward ensuring alignment with current and projected market demand;
  • Build community and strengthen communications among faculty, staff, students, and alumni;
  • Recruit, develop, and retain education department chairs, guiding them on program development; and
  • Help facilitate ICP’s move to Essex Crossing.

Raise profile and resources

  • Strengthen enrollment and increase operating revenues in all educational programs;
  • Partner with the Executive Director to build engagement and awareness of educational initiatives and strategic planning with ICP’s Board of Trustees; and
  • Participate in the national and international conversation regarding the key issues and challenges in the field of photography and visual communication.

Actively participate in fundraising

  • Work with senior leadership and program content staff to identify funding opportunities and sources and match those needs with donor interests;
  • Work with the Executive Director as a lead fundraising partner to build and extend ICP’s brand reach;
  • Actively attend fundraising events, including participating in public speaking, panels, donor dinners, art fairs, and other similar activities both in the US and abroad; and
  • Support other fundraising initiatives as needed.

Key Success Factors

Strong candidates would preferably hold an advanced degree and will demonstrate excellence in the following areas:

  • Administrative experience, ideally in an educational or nonprofit setting, with business acumen, including experience with budget planning;
  • Knowledge of the fields of photography (as a practitioner, student, or teacher), art, culture, visual communication, new media, education, and the humanities;
  • Ability to oversee and create curricula and educational programs that inspire, motivate, and attract support and professional recognition;
  • Ability to take a high-level, long-term, and strategic perspective while also paying attention to the details and the day-to-day operations;
  • Passion for and engagement with the evolving technologies associated with the practice of photography and visual culture more broadly;
  • Strong communications skills with ICP’s stakeholders (faculty, students, alumni, trustees, and external stakeholders), including listening, public speaking, and writing;
  • High emotional intelligence to manage, integrate, and move people forward;
  • Creativity, approachability, accessibility, relatability, openness, and kindness; an entrepreneurial spirit; and
  • Passion for fostering social justice, equity, and inclusive excellence.

More Background on ICP

To date, ICP has presented more than 700 solo and group exhibitions that have featured the work of some 3,000 photographers and other artists. At the same time, it has offered thousands of classes and workshops that have enriched tens of thousands of students. ICP also actively collects; its holdings now include more than 200,000 original prints, negatives, and objects that span the history of photography.

ICP brings together photographers, artists, students, scholars, and alumni to create and interpret the realm of the image. Here, members of this distinctive community are encouraged to explore photography and visual culture as mediums of empowerment and as catalysts for wide-reaching social change. The Museum attracts a diverse audience comprising more than 150,000 annual visitors, including 7,000 students through tour programs and other outreach efforts. More than 25 percent of the visitors come from states outside of New York and another 20 percent live outside the U.S. The Center’s website and social media channels serve more than a million individual users in some 200 countries worldwide.

ICP hosts six to ten exhibitions annually. These widely acclaimed, diverse shows cover the entire spectrum of photography—from early daguerreotypes, documentary images, and contemporary fashion portraits to multimedia installations that employ both traditional and digital techniques—and consistently attract significant recognition in the field. ICP also has a robust traveling exhibitions program that ensures that select presentations can reach millions of additional viewers around the world.

A year-round schedule of community programs brings the rewards of photographic expression to more than 7,000 people of all ages, skill sets, and backgrounds. These offerings ensure that ICP’s resources and expertise are available to all audiences, including those that might not otherwise have access to them.

ICP’s public programs, which include dozens of lectures, panels, and workshops each year, are designed to educate and engage. Wide-ranging topics and themes foster the Center’s mission to further the conversation regarding images and social change and to analyze visual culture. Featured participants include noted photographers, artists, imagemakers, scholars, and alumni.

The ICP Library comprises more than 22,000 books and videos, 2,500 artist files, and 50,000 periodical titles. ICP publications include award-winning catalogs, exhibition brochures, and SHIFT, an annual publication of work by ICP’s full-time students.

ICP has a membership of more than 2,200 individuals and corporate members. The 26-member Board of Trustees includes representatives from fields such as art, photography, architecture, advertising, publishing, and finance.


Nominations, inquires, and applications should be sent to


The International Center of Photography is an Equal Opportunity Employer.