Daniel M. Finley Appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Autry National Center

Los Angeles, CA – The Board of Trustees of the Autry National Center announced today the appointment of Daniel M. Finley as the institution’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Finley will succeed John Gray, who led the Autry for more than a decade before announcing his retirement in 2010. Mr. Finley’s tenure at the Autry will begin August 30, 2010, following a national search conducted by the recruitment firm of Korn/Ferry International.

Mr. Finley previously served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Milwaukee Public Museum, one of the oldest and largest museums of natural history and anthropology in the United States, with a collection of more than 4.6 million objects. “We are delighted to welcome Daniel Finley to Los Angeles to lead the Autry in its continuing commitment to exploring the experiences and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West,” stated Tom Lee, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “He has the skills, the experience and the vision we need to guide the Autry through an ambitious new phase of growth. In addition to further raising the Center’s profile and strengthening its collections, programs, and infrastructure, he will take command of the renovation of our Griffith Park facility and the creation of the new Autry Resource Center in Burbank.”

“I am honored to be joining the Autry at this critical point in its history,” Mr. Finley said. “I look forward with great enthusiasm to working with the Autry’s remarkable Board of Trustees, its wonderfully talented and dedicated staff, and reaching out to the community as we develop our plans for the future. I could not be more excited to join this extraordinary institution, and am eager to begin.”

At the Milwaukee Public Museum, which he led beginning in 2005, Daniel Finley was responsible for the turnaround of an institution that had been facing the worst financial crisis in its 125-year history. During his tenure he spearheaded initiatives and fundraising activities critical to rebuilding the museum’s financial structure and governance, which resulted in repaying short-term debts five years ahead of schedule and obtaining a $5 million challenge grant, which the museum matched in only six months. Mr. Finley also presented major international exhibitions including Body Worlds, Titanic, Dead Sea Scrolls and Vatican Art and Artifacts. He increased museum attendance to 650,000 visitors annually and deepened the museum’s relationships with local government, community organizations and schools.

Prior to his work at the Milwaukee Public Museum, Mr. Finley was the Waukesha County Executive from 1991–2005. As the first County Executive he oversaw a government with 1,300 employees and an annual budget of $250 million. He was elected to four 4-year terms. Mr. Finley served as the Chairman of the Waukesha County Board of Supervisors from 1988-1991 and was the Director of Development at Carroll College in Wisconsin from 1983-1988. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Autry National Center

The Autry National Center is an intercultural history center dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West. Located in Griffith Park, the Autry includes the collections of the Museum of the American West, the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, and the Autry Institute’s two research libraries: the Braun Research Library and the Autry Library. Exhibitions, public programs, K–12 educational services, and publications are designed to examine critical issues of society, offering insights into solutions and the contemporary human condition through the Western historical experience.

Weekday hours of operation for the Autry in Griffith Park location are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Autry Store’s weekday hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the Golden Spur Cafe is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours for the museum and the Autry Store are 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum, the Autry Store, and the cafe are closed on Mondays. The libraries are open to researchers by appointment.


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