Carnegie Museums leader Hillenbrand to step down

2 interim leaders will take helm until successor arrives

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David M. Hillenbrand, the retired Bayer AG executive credited with returning Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh to a firm financial footing, told staff this week that his last day on the job will be June 12. His successor, Jo Ellen Parker, 59, president of Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, Va., arrives on Aug. 18.

Mr. Hillenbrand, 66, became president and CEO of the museum complex in 2005 and finished his first stint at the end of 2010 but agreed to stay on through 2011. The consortium is made up of the Oakland-based Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History plus The Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Science Center, both on the North Side.

Mr. Hillenbrand's predecessor, John Wetenhall, was appointed in 2011 but left after 17 months in November 2012. Mr. Hillenbrand returned as interim president in January 2013 and agreed to stay until a new leader could be hired. Ms. Parker's appointment was announced last month.

In an email sent to museum staff on Thursday, Mr. Hillenbrand said one of Ms. Parker's top priorities will be to start a search for a new director of the natural history museum. Sam McElroy Taylor, a marine biologist, ran that museum for 41/2 years before resigning in September 2012.

After Mr. Taylor left, the museum was run by Ron Baillie and Ann Metzger, the Henry Buhl Jr. co-directors of Carnegie Science Center. Then, at the start of this year, Mr. Hillenbrand became interim president of the natural history museum. In his email, Mr. Hillenbrand said he will serve on the natural history museum board.

During the nine-week interim between Mr. Hillenbrand's departure and Ms. Parker's arrival, the museum of natural history will be led by Maureen Rolla, director of strategic initiatives, and Jessica Lausch, interim director of education and visitor experience.

"Given the short duration of the transition, there will not be a change to their existing titles," Mr. Hillenbrand wrote.

Danni Piccolo, senior director of development and foundation relations, will continue to raise funds for the museum of natural history, Mr. Hillenbrand said.

Ms. Piccolo is also working on a $55 million capital campaign aimed at expanding the Carnegie Science Center. Mr. Hillenbrand praised the natural history museum staff for its "renewed sense of collaboration and purpose. You have weathered a transitional period for the museum with dedication and productivity."

Marylynne Pitz: mpitz@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1648.


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