The City of Mesa has selected Simon Tipene Adlam as Director of Arizona Museum of Natural History, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He will begin his tenure on August 15, 2022.
A diplomatic leader with nearly three decades of international experience in the cultural sector, Tipene Adlam most recently served as Director of Exhibitions and Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer and The Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani at the Qatar Museums. While there, Tipene Adlam developed and executed multiple strategic initiatives with a focus on global partnerships and cultural exchanges between nations. Previously, Tipene Adlam held positions as Creative Director and Director of Exhibitions at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. He is also the founder of Haimona, a global cultural management consultancy, based in his native Aotearoa New Zealand.
Tipene Adlam is a Board Trustee for the Starship Foundation, Aotearoa New Zealand’s national pediatric healthcare provider. Throughout his prolific career, Tipene Adlam has been honored with many highly regarded awards including, but not limited to, the MUSE Award (the American Association of Museums), the Merit Award (Society for Environmental Graphic Design), and the THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement (Themed Entertainment Association). He holds a bachelor of planning degree from University of Auckland, New Zealand as well as a bachelor of social science degree from University of Waikato, New Zealand.
In making the announcement, City Manager Chris Brady said, “We are thrilled to have selected a candidate with demonstrated international museum management experience and cultural leadership. Simon is a visionary leader committed to fostering an inclusive museum experience. AZMNH is a significant cultural and research asset to Mesa. We are confident it will shine under Simon’s leadership.”
Mesa Director of Arts and Culture Cindy Ornstein added, “Mesa is honored to welcome a world-class museum administrator. We can’t wait to see the evolution of our beloved AZMNH under his tenure.”
“I’m excited to be working with such a talented staff who are passionate about the mission of this museum. I look forward to discovering the great collections, advanced research and impactful programs developed for the community,” said Tiplene Adlam. “I’m inspired by the city of Mesa’s firm commitment to its cultural assets. Their diverse relationships within the community speak volumes as a cultural hub. I take tremendous pride in joining this team.”
“It was a great privilege to work with the City of Mesa’s board on selecting a candidate for the Director position at the Arizona Museum of Natural History,” said ACG Vice President Delilah S. Norris. “Congratulations to Simon Tipene Adlam on his appointment for this critical role. We are thrilled to see the museum thrive under Tipene Adlam’s dynamic leadership. His vast expertise and visionary approach will serve the museum’s mission and contribute to its impressive achievements.”