Chevy Humphrey

Placed Leader

Chevy Humphrey

President & CEO
Museum of Science & Industry

October 7, 2020

Koya Leadership Partners is delighted to announce the appointment of Chevy Humphrey as President & CEO of the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago.  

Humphrey was selected to lead the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere after a global search led by Koya in partnership with a Search Committee of Trustees.    

The first woman and Black American to lead MSI, Humphrey is a long-time, successful executive in the museum field. She has served as CEO of the Phoenix-based Arizona Science Center for nearly 15 years, creating a strong, well-run nonprofit organization that has adopted best practices from business. She leads with sound management, entrepreneurship and strategically deployed resources to gain market share and respect, donor confidence and public support.   

Humphrey is recognized as a leader on national and international levels. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of the American Alliance of Museums, the largest international association of museums in the world. She was selected by her peers as Chair of the Board of the Association of Science and Technology Centers, the organization that serves more than 500 science centers in more than 50 countries, where she was the first Black American leader to hold the position.   

With this appointment, Humphrey becomes one of few women to lead a science center of this scale. The National Air and Space Museum appointed its first female Director in 2018.  Humphrey also joins a small group of Black leaders of major cultural institutions nationally, including Lonnie Bunch at the Smithsonian and Thelma Golden at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Kevin Young was named Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in October 2020.  

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot noted: “The Museum of Science and Industry is one of the brightest stars in Chicago’s cultural universe, and we eagerly welcome the historic appointment of Chevy Humphrey as the first Black woman to hold the role as CEO and President. I personally look forward to collaborating with Chevy on new ways to inspire both our young people and visitors of all ages to engage with cutting-edge scientific advances, understand our rich history, and participate in our even richer future as a global leader in innovation and discovery.”

MSI Trustee Michelle Collins chaired a Search Committee of trustees that led the global search with Koya Leadership Partners.

We chose Chevy because of her effective, proven leadership skills that make her the right leader for MSI in this next chapter. It is an exciting appointment for a number of reasons, including her track record and commitment to science education, her international leadership within her field, and her deep desire to engage with Chicago’s many diverse communities,” said Collins.

Humphrey, who starts her new job in January, said, “Leading MSI has been an aspiration of mine throughout my career. I am grateful to Arizona and the Center for the opportunity to lead in their community. I am thrilled to be joining MSI and Chicago and look forward to being a part of this iconic institution at a critical time in our country’s history.

During her tenure at the Arizona Science Center, Humphrey accelerated strategic growth—both financially and through high-impact science programming—of the now-200,000 square-foot facility.  Museum assets grew from $3 to $42 million, annual revenues grew by more than 200 percent, and the number of annual visitors, onsite and offsite, to the Science Center has more than tripled. Under her leadership, two non-profits were acquired to maximize programming, and Center became a trusted partner to state education leaders and the science teaching community.  At the same time, Humphrey has formed a conscious culture through a transparent, collaborative and highly communicative team that values accountability, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, and works in partnership with the board of trustees and the community.  

Prior to being named CEO in 2005, Humphrey served in multiple roles with the Arizona Science Center.  Earlier in her career, she gained experience in development with the Phoenix Symphony and two institutions of higher education, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston. 

Humphrey served as the Chair of the Selection and Annual Review Committee (2005-2011) for what was at the time the National Science Foundation’s largest informal science initiative, called Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE-Net).

Well-known in the Arizona community and beyond for her leadership, the Phoenix Business Journal named Humphrey a Most Admired CEO as well as Mentor of the Year the first time the award was given. She has been named a Visionary Leader by the Women’s National Basketball Association and BBVA Compass. 

Humphrey has an MBA from Northeastern University, with dual specializations in Marketing and Entrepreneurship/Innovation. She is pursuing a Doctorate in Business Administration at Grand Canyon University.   She has attended advanced management courses at Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Yale University School of Management.


Read the press release: Chevy Humphrey Named the New President and CEO of The Museum Of Science And Industry, Chicago.