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Peabody Essex Museum Appoints Brian Kennedy as Executive Director and CEO

Brian Kennedy.


The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, has named Brian Kennedy as its next executive director and CEO. He currently serves as president, director, and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. He succeeds Dan Monroe, who has led the Peabody Essex Museum for 25 years.

Kennedy will join the museum on July 15 as it prepares to open a new 40,000-square-foot wing and a total reinstallation of its galleries. Both projects are part of the institution’s $650 million Connect Campaign.

He has previously worked as assistant director of the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin, director of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, and director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Kennedy is also a peer reviewer for the American Association of Museums and a member of the International Association of Art Critics.

“Museums help us to make meaning of ourselves, our lives, our community, and the wider world by giving us time and space to experience wonder, think, feel, reflect, and create,” Kennedy said in a statement. “I look forward to ensuring PEM continues to be a vital resource, a hub of innovation, and a force of good in the world for years to come.”

Rob Shapiro, president of the Peabody Essex Museum’s board of trustees, added, “Brian Kennedy brings global perspective and experience to PEM. He has a passion for art and culture, and for the powerful effect of art experiences on individuals and communities. Brian and PEM are a perfect match at this important and exciting moment.”

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