Cincinnati Museum Center CEO retires - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Cincinnati Museum Center CEO retires

Douglass McDonald has held his position for nearly 16 years (Photo: Cincinnati Museum Center) Douglass McDonald has held his position for nearly 16 years (Photo: Cincinnati Museum Center)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Douglass W. McDonald, CEO of the Cincinnati Museum Center and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, announced his retirement Thursday. 

He has held this position for nearly 16 years. 

Elizabeth Pierce will serve as interim CEO starting Jan. 15. She served on the CMC leadership team since 2007.

McDonald will remain as a consultant to the Union Terminal restoration project, led by the CMC Board of Trustees.

"Doug's vision and efforts, and that of CMC Board members and the outstanding staff at the Cincinnati Museum Center over the last 16 years have led us to this moment of transition where the organization is thriving and poised for its next great steps," said Francie S. Hiltz, Chair of the Museum Center Board of Trustees, in a release.

According to a release, McDonald began in 1999, the museum experienced a $2.3 million operating deficit which consumed 26 percent of the museum's endowment. Today the museum is debt free and has over $50 million in endowment.

The CMC merged with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in 2012.  In addition, the CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal of Museum Service by the Institute of Museum & Library Services.

"Among the greatest accomplishments is the successful passage of Issue 8 to secure the future and full restoration of our Union Terminal home. The pursuit of this goal has been relentless, filled with my complete passion. I am pleased to play a part in the restoration, but also need to acknowledge the breadth of my efforts and my desire for a major change in my life, reconnecting with my childhood farming roots and enjoying nature outside Ripley, Ohio. This is a natural time to transition our institutional leadership.We have an incredible team that has been the driving force with me to get this done.Our staff has the full scope of the vision for what CMC will become in the fully restored Union Terminal, plus, the ideas, energy and expertise to deliver it to our community," said McDonald in a release.

With the passage of Issue 8 in November, Cincinnati Museum Center's Board of Trustees says they've has begun the process of working with the Hamilton County and subject matter experts to implement the full scope of the restoration as evaluated and presented by the Cultural Facilities Task Force.

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