The Museum of Flight in Seattle has named Douglas King as president and chief executive officer, succeeding Interim President Michael Hallman, who will return to his previous role as vice chairman of the museum’s board of trustees. King comes to the Museum of Flight from his post as president and chief executive officer of the Saint Louis Science Center, the fourth largest science center in the country, where he served since 1995.
“We are absolutely delighted to have Doug King join us here,” said Kevin Callaghan, chairman of the board of trustees of Seattle’s Museum of Flight. “His impressive background as the president of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education in Washington, D.C., his ties to the Northwest and his track record with the Saint Louis Science Center, sets the stage for our next exciting chapter at The Museum of Flight in Seattle.”
The appointment of King comes at an important time for The Museum of Flight, as it is vying for one of the three retiring NASA Space Shuttles, has broken ground on a new Space Gallery to be completed in July 2011, and is actively pursuing other initiatives including the construction of an Air Transport Gallery to house its airpark-based collection of airplanes, including the first jet Air Force One, the West Coast’s only Concorde, and the prototype 747.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Museum of Flight in Seattle,” said King. “From the forward thinking and exciting effort to retire a Space Shuttle here at the museum to building the new Space Gallery and working with Aviation High School, I am truly honored to be leading all of these education initiatives that are underway in addition to developing more plans for the growth of this unique museum.”
Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar, who held the post of president and CEO from October 2005 to July 2010 and was instrumental in developing the museum’s new exhibits and education programs, is currently executive director of Wings Over Washington, a Museum of Flight affiliate that is focused on the museum’s educational initiatives and to bringing a NASA space shuttle to Washington state.
At the Saint Louis Science Center, King’s team welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors each year, making it not only the fourth-largest science center in the country, but one of the nation’s 25 largest museums. King helped build a national reputation that was rewarded with the Association of Science/Technology Centers’ highest honor — the Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award — three times since 2005.
Prior to his work at the Saint Louis Science Center, King served for five years as president of Challenger Center for Space Science Education headquartered in Washington, D.C. Founded by the families of the Challenger crew, the center has established educational facilities in more than 50 cities across North America and England, including St. Louis. Before becoming involved in education, King spent nearly 20 years in the electronics industry. He served as a vice president of the American Electronics Association and president of the Association of Technology Business Councils. He was also a founding board member of Technology Gateway, and served on the board of its successor, Innovate St. Louis, which is helping grow St. Louis as a national science and technology leader.
King was appointed by the administrator of NASA to the agency’s Education and Public Outreach Committee and by the chief of staff of the Air Force to the Air Force Civic Leaders Group. He also serves on the boards of the Academy of Science of St. Louis, the Giant Screen Cinema Association, the Missouri Biotechnology Association, the Coalition for Plant and Life Sciences and Forest Park Forever. He has also served as president of the Association of Science Museum Directors, chairman of the NASA Education Advisory Committee, and as member of the NASA Advisory Council, the Congressional Web-based Education Commission, and the board of the Association of Science/Technology Centers.
A native of Fresno, California, King received his BS degree in engineering from Stanford University and his MBA in finance from the University of Washington.
For more information: MuseumOfFlight.org