The Santa Monica History Museum (SMHM) has appointed John Kearns as its first-ever executive director. Kearns, who began his tenure with SMHM in September, oversees all museum operations including development, education and public programming, finance, external communications and staffing.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Santa Monica History Museum as the museum board has entrusted me in stewarding this remarkable institution into the future,” Kearns said. “I look forward to working closely with our staff and the communities we serve in Santa Monica, and to make sure that we are fulfilling our mission to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of Santa Monica for generations to come.”

With more than a decade of museum senior experience, Kearns has held numerous leadership positions including several director of development positions with Heritage Square Museum, Long Beach Museum of Art, Vincent Price Art Museum, and Grand Performances. At these institutions, he was responsible for all fundraising and communication activities and helped secured significant funding ranging from individual gifts to corporate and private foundations.

In making the announcement, SMHM Museum President Susan Gabriel Potter said, “I am delighted to welcome John Kearns as the very first executive director for the museum and I look forward to working with him and introducing him to our wonderful community. With his experience in museum fundraising our board is confident that we will be able to secure new funding and foster new relationships for SMHM.”

Kearns holds a BA in Journalism and a MA in History both from California State University, Northridge.

Submitted by the Santa Monica History Museum