June 28, 2017

New Bedford Whaling Museum CEO Moving on to New Position in Nantucket

New Bedford, Mass. - The New Bedford Whaling Museum announced today that James Russell, President and CEO, has accepted a new position at the Nantucket Historical Association. Russell has been an outstanding leader of the Whaling Museum since 2008. Russell has notably expanded the Museum’s programming and educational mission.

Chair of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, Carol Taylor, said, “We cannot thank James enough for his substantial contributions, which have completely transformed the Museum over the past years. During James’ tenure, the Museum has significantly expanded through the construction of the Wattles Jacobs Education Center, opened in 2015, which helped double the number of galleries in the Museum.”

“Additionally, his dedication and passion for the community helped establish the Museum as a cultural center for the community,” Taylor added.

“For the past nine years, it has been my incredible good fortune to work with a remarkable Board, staff, and volunteers as we have grown this institution together. These have been the most meaningful, exhilarating, challenging, and rewarding years of my life,” said Russell.

Under Russell’s direction, the Museum has developed more than 100 partnerships with regional, national, and international entities ranging from local school systems to the Government of the Azores, and the US Navy. The Museum’s efforts have led to a satellite museum in Cabo Verde. The campus on Johnny Cake Hill has been unified with exhibitions in the Mariners’ Home, and plans for a park named for Captain Paul Cuffe near the Education Center.

During his tenure, the nationally recognized Apprenticeship Program was founded, targeting underserved New Bedford high school students with a paid mentorship program at the museum, leading to 100 percent high school graduation rates and successful continuation into further education.
The Museum is in a strong and stable financial position, with a substantial endowment, and has had a positive financial result for each of the past nine years. Museum attendance has increased every year and is on track to surpass 100,000 in 2017.

“We thank James for his incredible leadership and wish him well in his new endeavors,” Taylor added. “He is to be congratulated on the breadth of his accomplishments and on the high-level management team and staff he has developed and inspired throughout his tenure.”

Russell will provide support for the transition through the summer and will assume his new position in the fall. The Museum’s Vice President of Operations and CFO, Michelle Taylor, will lead the transition team with the support of senior management at the Museum.

: Tina Malott
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
New Bedford Whaling Museum

About the New Bedford Whaling Museum

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of human interaction with whales through time, and the history and culture of the South Coast region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. Museum hours: April through December, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; January through March, Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free for Museum members and children aged three and under; adults $17, seniors (65+) $15, students (19+) $10, child and youth $7. For more information visit www.whalingmuseum.org.