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Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County Appoints Paul Bessire as New Chief Advancement Officer

Paul Bessire, photo courtesy of Jay Wen of Jay Wen Photo

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) announced today the appointment of Paul Bessire as the new Chief Advancement Officer to oversee all fundraising responsibilities for the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park, La Brea Tar Pits in mid-Wilshire, and the William S. Hart Museum in Newhall. Bessire had previously served as Chief Development Officer at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), for the past year and a half. He will join NHMLAC in his new role in early August.

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“We are delighted to welcome Paul to the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County at such an exciting moment in the institution’s 106-year history, as we embark upon major fundraising initiatives around a new building project at NHM in Expo Park and a master plan to reimagine La Brea Tar Pits,” said Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, President and Director of NHMLAC. “His breadth of knowledge, including art and natural history, combined with a proven track record of successful campaigns and fundraising initiatives makes him a strong addition to our team.”

Bessire brings more than 25 years of development and campaign experience in prestigious U.S. museums, including MOCA, the Brooklyn Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the American Museum of Natural History, New York. He also founded an independent fundraising consulting practice, Art+Philanthropy, providing strategic counsel to clients such as Fundacion Casa Wabi, Harvard Art Museums, and the Public Art Fund.

The appointment follows a national search conducted by Campbell & Company. The position at NHMLAC was previously held by Tom Jacobson, who led the Advancement Department as well as successful fundraising efforts for annual giving and the $151 million NHM Next capital campaign. Jacobson recently departed NHMLAC after 18 years to become President of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA).

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