Brian Kennedy.

Peabody Essex Museum Names Brian Kennedy Executive Director and CEO

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts, has announced that Brian Kennedy was named its next executive director and CEO. Kennedy comes to the institution at a pivotal time—it’s preparing to open a new forty-thousand-square-foot wing and to undertake a complete reinstallation of its galleries. He currently serves as the president, director, and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art and will take up his new post on July 15.

Brian Kennedy brings global perspective and experience to PEM,” Rob Shapiro, president of PEM’s board of trustees, said in a statement. “He has a passion for art and culture, and for the powerful effect of art experiences on individuals and communities. . . . With creative spirit, clear goals, and warmth of manner, Brian will inspire the entire team at PEM in the museum’s next stage of development.”

Prior to working at the Toledo Museum of Art, Kennedy was director of Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire, from 2005 to 2010; director of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra from 1997 to 2004; and assistant director of the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin from 1989 to 1997.

Commenting on his new role, Kennedy said: “It is a tremendous honor and privilege to uphold the museum’s legacy, to advance its mission, to further its impact, and to ensure that relevant, invigorating museum experiences continue to connect us to one another.”