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The Peabody Essex Museum announced yesterday that Dr. Brian P. Kennedy will step down from his position as the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo director and CEO on December 31, 2020. Dr. Kennedy has been Director and CEO since March 2019.

The Board will form a search committee to begin the process of identifying a new Director and CEO.  

“Dr. Kennedy led the museum through the challenges associated with the pandemic crisis, began a strategic planning process, and continued work on diversity and inclusion,” says Stuart Pratt, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “PEM is in a strong position moving forward, having opened a new Collections Center and a new wing in 2019, completed many new and innovative installations of its collections, and successfully adapted to an entirely new Covid-operating environment.”

“After thirty years in museum leadership on three continents, this unprecedented period has given me insight and perspective into the profound changes that are happening in the world and I have decided to pursue a new challenge,” said Dr. Brian Kennedy. “The Peabody Essex Museum has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent decades, and is now positioned for its next phase as a global museum that enriches its local, regional and national communities. It has been an honor to lead the museum and I am proud of the work we have done.”  

Robert M. Monk, Jr., PEM’s chief of facilities operations, planning and security, will lead the museum during the search for a new executive director.