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Children’s Museum Deputy Director Chris Siefert Receives Noyce Leadership Fellowship

PITTSBURGH (March 12, 2013) – Children’s Museum Pittsburgh is pleased to announce that Deputy Director Chris Siefert has been selected as a 2013-2014 Noyce Leadership Fellow.

Seventeen senior-level executives from around the world were chosen for this sixth round of yearlong sponsored fellowships for their ability to positively influence others, manage change and make an impact on their institutions and surrounding community. During the Fellowship Program, they will gain access to knowledge, tools and professional networks that will increase their capacity to lead effectively and advance innovation in their own institutions, as well as in the broader museum field.

The Noyce Leadership Fellowship program aims to increase the impact of science centers, children’s museums and other science-focused institutions by increasing the capacity of their leaders to manage change, focus outward, engage peers and form key partnerships. Each Fellow participates in an intensive program which promotes professional development and personal growth closely tailored to their specific work environment. Noyce Leadership Fellows are selected by a committee made up of science education and executive leadership professionals.

“The NLI Fellowship will help to prepare the next generation of leaders to extend the impact of science centers and museums deeper into their local communities and to increase understanding and excitement about science,” said Dr. Geno Schnell, NLI program director.

Each Fellow focuses on a strategic initiative that addresses a current challenge facing their institution, while increasing the institution’s positive impact and reach in the surrounding community.  The strategic initiative also serves as a focal point for applying new knowledge and leadership skills refined during the Fellowship program. 

Each strategic initiative requires the support of a sponsor, a high-level executive who can impact the success of the proposed strategic initiative. Mr. Siefert’s strategic initiative co-sponsors are William T. Valenta, the Assistant Dean, Executive MBA Worldwide programs and The Center for Executive Education at the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business; and Jane Werner, Executive Director, Children’s Museum Pittsburgh. Mr. Valenta has been a Children’s Museum board member since 2009. Ms. Werner brings over 30 years of museum experience, including more than 13 years as the Children’s Museum’s Executive Director. As co-sponsors, Mr. Valenta and Ms. Werner will participate in activities such as conferences and personalized executive coaching and will support Mr. Siefert in achieving the goals of the strategic initiative.

Building on national recognition for its reputation in the field, progressive hands-on educational programs and continued audience growth, Children’s Museum Pittsburgh is poised to advance an original learning model that extends the Museum’s increasing role in the reframing of museum experiences. Mr. Siefert will lead the Children’s Museum to establish a new place in the community that will support innovative learning, research and development, entrepreneurial enterprises, youth mentoring and design thinking. This strategic initiative will require targeted and carefully engineered partnerships with academic institutions, the City of Pittsburgh, local special interest groups, non-profit organizational partners and other stakeholders.

Mr. Siefert has already done much work in the Pittsburgh community and beyond.  Most recently, he oversaw the design and construction of the revitalized Buhl Community Park at Allegheny Square that opened in June 2012. The $6.1 million effort transformed a neglected city park into a vibrant green space for Pittsburgh's North Side neighborhood. In his role as deputy director (held since 2007), Siefert manages several ongoing museum programs, capital projects and community arts initiatives, including formation of the Charm Bracelet Project, a network of cultural, educational and recreational organizations transforming traditional understandings of how institutions make community impact. He is presently serving as Curator for the design track of Reimagining Children’s Museums, an international ideas program organized by the Association of Children’s Museums in Washington, DC.

Mr. Siefert began his work with Children’s Museum Pittsburgh as a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Fine Arts in the early 1990s. He served as Director of Exhibits beginning in 1998 and was Project Manager during the Museum’s award-winning $28 million expansion that opened in 2004.

About Noyce Leadership Institute
Noyce Leadership Institute (NLI) bears the name of Robert Noyce, co-founder of Intel and inventor of the integrated circuit. His work in leading science, engineering and technology to a whole new level of innovation — as well as the creation of new industries — is legendary. Known for his integrity, authenticity, character, inclusiveness and continuous innovation, Noyce’s legacy continues to serve as a standard for leaders today.

The Noyce Leadership Institute (NLI), in partnership with the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), the European Network of Science Centers and Museums (ecsite), and the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), and with funding from the Noyce Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, brings together leaders in informal science education from around the world to act as change agents at the crossroads of societal trends, global issues and the cutting edge of science.

About NLI Fellowships
Since 2008, 105 Fellows have participated in the NLI Fellowship program. These individuals represent 80 institutions from 25 nations. The Fellowship program provides learning through a mix of face-to-face sessions, executive coaching, peer learning, audio conferencing and other learning strategies over a year, followed by ongoing Fellow alumni activities.