By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Museum of Science and Industry announced Wednesday that Chevy Humphrey will be taking over as its president and chief executive officer.

Humphrey will be the first woman and the first Black American in that role.

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Humphrey has served as CEO of the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix for the past 15 years. She also gained experience in nonprofit development with the Phoenix Symphony and two institutions of higher education, the museum said.

She succeeds David Mosena, who has been president and CEO of the MSI for 23 years. Mosena, who before that served as the city’s commissioner of Planning and Development, is retiring.

“Chevy Humphrey is extremely accomplished and has the energy, background and experience to step right into the job and build on David Mosena’s legacy of transforming the lives of Chicago’s youth through science education,” MSI Board Chairman Chris Crane said in a news release. “Chevy has been pursuing effective strategies for years in Arizona. We couldn’t be more thrilled that she accepted our invitation to come to Chicago.”

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot said in a statement: “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.”

Humphrey is also chair of the Board of the American Alliance of Museums, and was selected by her peers as chair of the Board of the Association of Science and Technology Centers – which serves more than 500 science centers in more than 50 countries, the MSI said.

“Leading MSI has been an aspiration of mine throughout my career,” Humphrey said in the news release. “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.”

The museum also noted that Mosena has known Humphrey for years and called her “far and away the best leader I have ever met in the science museum field. We’ve been trading ideas for years and we both share a strong belief that museums are, above all, educational institutions with infinite power to engage young minds and expose them to the miracles of science. Chicago is very lucky to have her.”

The MSI reopened at the beginning of August after being closed for four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff