I am pleased to share that Claudio Gómez, director of the National Museum of Natural History of Chile, has agreed to become the first Jefferson Chapman Executive Director of the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture. His start date is September 1.
The new position is named for Jeff Chapman, who was set to retire this summer after 29 years as director. Dr. Chapman has graciously agreed to continue in the role until then. I want to thank him for his decades of excellent leadership and his continued service through this transition.
Mr. Gómez’s extensive museum experience in both Chile and the United States has prepared him well to lead the McClung Museum, which has an important role in the university’s outreach, education, and research mission. Over the past 12 years as director of Chile’s National Museum of Natural History—which served more than a million people last year—Mr. Gómez led a renovation that included nearly 24,000 square feet of new exhibits focused on the country’s native cultures and ecosystems. Under his leadership, the museum launched audio guides in several languages. It became the first museum in the country to launch a mobile app and the first in South America to allow free downloads of 3D models of objects in its collections.
Mr. Gómez earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh in 2002 and a bachelor’s degree in social anthropology from the Universidad de Chile in 1990. He has been affiliated with the American Alliance of Museums since 1997 and previously served as a research fellow at the National Museum of Natural History and as a Lampadia Fellow at the National Gallery of Art, both in Washington, DC.
Please join me in welcoming Mr. Gómez to the Volunteer family. We look forward to his arrival on campus.