Fort Worth Museum of Science and History Announces New Chief of Staff

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Chair of American Alliance of Museums Board Joins Leadership Team

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is pleased to announce Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of Iolani Palace in Honolulu and current Chair of the American Alliance of Museums board of directors, will assume a new leadership role as chief of staff to the president. In this capacity, de Alba Chu will oversee all aspects of daily operations.

A nationally recognized museum professional, de Alba Chu brings extensive leadership experience in executive non-profit and public affairs to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. In addition to his role with the AAM board, de Alba Chu is also a member of the Western Museums Association, the Royal Order of Kamehameha and the Hawaiian Civic Club of Honolulu.

“I’m very pleased to have someone of Kippen’s caliber join our team at this time,” said Van A. Romans, museum president. “We worked together for nearly a decade on the AAM board. He is well regarded and deeply respected by his peers, and I think his dynamic leadership ability will be an asset not only to our Museum but to our community, as well.”

De Alba Chu, who speaks five languages, is a graduate of the American University of Paris and studied in Italy at Urbino and the University of Bologna. He served as chief of staff for Hawaii state representative Bertha Kawakami for nearly 15 years before assuming his role as executive director of Iolani Palace, where he led the iconic landmark through its accreditation process and a successful capital campaign to fund its restoration and preservation.

“Not only does Kippen have an outstanding track record as an innovative museum leader, but he also serves as a true champion and advocate for the museum field,” said Laura Lott, president and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums. “He brings a great perspective to the position, having served in many different roles throughout his career. Alliance members especially appreciate Kippen’s dedication to working collaboratively across our diverse field.”

Iolani Palace is the only official royal residence in the United States and has flourished as an essential cultural destination under de Alba Chu’s leadership. Visitors and revenue to Iolani Palace have more than doubled, while the site has also expanded its hours of operation. “One of our most significant accomplishments was gaining accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2014,” said de Alba Chu. "We joined only four other museums in Hawaii with this distinction.”

De Alba Chu and his family will move to Fort Worth soon, and he will assume his new role at the Museum in early February. “Having the chance to work with Van Romans and his team is by far the most exciting aspect of this opportunity,” said de Alba Chu. “In the museum field, colleagues describe Van as a visionary and have deep respect for him and his creativity. FWMSH, as it stands today, epitomizes Van’s imagination and prescience of how great museums have a long-lasting and positive impact on people, especially children.”

“This is an important time for the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History,” said Romans. “We are at the leading edge of museum innovation, and the addition of Kippen to our team reinforces that commitment to excellence and our future.”

Download Kippen de Alba Chu image here.

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