Employment Opportunities

The Tennessee Aquarium is committed to creating a positive, challenging and rewarding work environment.

 are an equal employment opportunity employer and strive for diversity in all jobs and at all levels in the organization. Our policy is to accept applications only for specific job vacancies as posted below. 

Due to the high volume of applicants, we are unable to provide status updates for individuals. The applicants selected for further consideration will be contacted by the hiring manager.

Apply in person:

IMAX 3D Theater Center
201 Chestnut Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402

Monday – Friday
9 a.m. - noon & 
1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Fax or mail a copy of your resume along with a completed application and background check release form stating the position you are applying for to:

Tennessee Aquarium
Attn: Leah Wilson
P.O. Box 11048
Chattanooga, TN 37401-2048

Fax: (423) 756-1849          
E-mail: ldw@tnaqua.org


Tennessee Aquarium, President and CEO


Since opening in 1992, the Tennessee Aquarium has played a crucial role in Chattanooga’s economic development efforts while establishing a reputation as one of the world’s best aquariums. Today the non-profit organization continues to drive Chattanooga’s growth, attracting more than 700,000 guests and contributing $101.3 million in economic impact annually.

The Tennessee Aquarium currently owns and operates River Journey, a building dedicated to freshwater displays, and Ocean Journey, a building dedicated to saltwater exhibits. The Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater and River Gorge Explorer, a 70-passenger eco-tourism boat, are also owned and operated by the Aquarium. 

A new 14,000 square foot biological field station for the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute (TNACI) will open in 2016.

Revenues: $22.4 million, generated through admissions, merchandising, contributed support, membership, investment income and other sources.

Mission Statement: The Tennessee Aquarium is dedicated to inspiring wonder, appreciation and protection of water and all life it sustains. 

For more information, please visit: www.tnaqua.org/about-us


The President and CEO is responsible for the strategic direction and the successful operation of the Tennessee Aquarium, Inc., a 501C3, not-for-profit private corporation.  The operation includes the Tennessee Aquarium, IMAX 3D Theater, River Gorge Explorer and Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute -- and all assets of the corporation.  The President and CEO is responsible for eight departments that comprise the Senior Management team: 
1.    Operations and Husbandry
2.    Education
3.    Marketing and Branding
4.    Finance/IT/Retail
5.    Development and Membership
6.    Guest Services/IMAX/River Gorge Explorer
7.    Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute (TNACI)
8.    Human Resources
The Senior Management team is responsible for leading the organization in fulfilling its Purpose, Vision, Mission, Core Values and Strategic Plan.  

The President and CEO is responsible for working with each senior executive to insure all departments work cohesively  to ensure the organization achieves established goals in a cooperative, balanced, team environment. 

Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the Aquarium’s President and CEO integrates the strategic direction from the Board with the day-to-day operational plans of the organization.  S/he serves as the interface between the internal and external stakeholders and the external environment.  It is the ultimate goal of the President/CEO to clearly communicate the institution’s Purpose, Vision, Mission, Core Values and Strategic Plan to these groups, to run a fiscally sound and balanced operation and to inspire the organization to meet or exceed  all of its objectives.

Position Responsibilities

Mission Advancement

•    Works in partnership with the Board of Trustees in developing the organization’s strategic plan, including mission, vision, core values, goals and objectives.
•    Provides inspirational leadership and direction to the senior management team, staff and volunteers.
•    Advances the mission and strategic plan by developing and managing all programs and services.
•    Insures a high level of program quality, including regular tracking, evaluation and reporting on measures of success.
•    Serves as the primary spokesperson for the organization and is ultimately responsible for the organization’s reputation and relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including staff, board, community partners, funders, local government and media.
•    Provides opportunities for professional development to grow and retain staff expertise while increasing the organization’s reputation of leadership.

Financial Sustainability

•    Raises funds to support organizational operations from a variety of sources, including government, foundations, corporate and individual donors.
•    Supports the Board of Trustees in its fundraising efforts.
•    Develops the annual budget subject to approval by the Board of Trustees.
•    Develops long-range financial plans.
•    Oversees financial management of the organization, ensuring compliance with all financial policies and provides regular reporting to the Board of Trustees on the financial status of the organization.


•    Cultivates a strong, transparent working relationship with the Board of Trustees and provides accurate, complete and timely information on the organization’s programs, services and finances.
•    Informs and advises the Board regarding current trends, problems and opportunities that are important to the organization’s mission and operations.
•    Helps build a diverse and inclusive Board representative of the community that is highly engaged and willing to leverage and secure resources.
•    Represents the Aquarium to diverse audiences and professional associations.  Serves on local and statewide boards and represents the Aquarium at national conferences and meetings.
•    Participates on Board committees and provides insights and directions when appropriate.


•     Responsible for the necessary financial, human resources and other management and administrative policies and procedures for the organization and brings relevant policies to the Board of Trustees for review and approval.  
•    Supervises staff, volunteers and interns.  Recruits and retains highly qualified personnel and administers an effective human resources system that includes position descriptions, performance standards, performance appraisals and a fair compensation system.
•    Ensures that the Aquarium provides the highest standards of animal care.
•    Ensures that visitor satisfaction is a high priority in all areas of the business.
•    Ensures smooth day-to-day management of the organization, including execution of all contracts and agreements and creation of a contingency/emergency plan.
•    Ensures the legal integrity of the organization, monitoring compliance of the organization with all applicable laws and regulations.

Qualifications and Skills

•    Education requirements – Bachelor’s Degree
•    Five or more years of experience in a senior management position
•    Knowledge and experience managing professional and operational staff
•    Five years of fundraising experience
•    Experience and strong skills in areas of leadership, management and supervision
•    Experience and strong skills in fundraising, fiscal management, budgeting and forecasting
•    Excellent written and oral communication skills 
•    Knowledgeable or actively engaged in social media
•    Experience working with media 
•    Strong professional reputation and record of integrity, sound judgment and respect for established ethical standards
•    Must possess vision and creativity
•    Ability to engage and foster relationships with the community, public agencies and the Board of Trustees

The Tennessee Aquarium is committed to diversity in the workplace and is an Equal Opportunity Employer 
as defined by the EEOC.

Please submit a cover letter and resume by Monday, December 21, 2015 to: tnaqceo@tnaqua.org   


No openings at this time.