Museum of Science, Boston Names Ellie Starr Senior Vice President for Advancement

July 28, 2015

BOSTON -- Ellie Starr has been named senior vice president for advancement at the Museum of Science, Boston, announced Dr. Ioannis (Yannis) Miaoulis, the Museum's president and director. Starr will manage all fund-raising initiatives for the Museum.

Starr has more than 20 years of experience as a senior leader and fundraiser for world-class institutions that include the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Perkins School for the Blind, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Brandeis University. She served most recently as vice dean of external relations at the Harvard Chan School, where she led the team and set the stage for a $350 million endowment gift to re-name the school and increase fundraising by close to 300%. From 2006-2009, Starr designed and launched the largest campaign in Perkins' history. Prior to building the principal and major gifts team and participation in the early years of the $1.1 billion Mission Possible Campaign at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Starr was at Brandeis, where she created Friends of Brandeis Theater Arts and honed her skills as a major gift fundraiser.

"After a national search and interviews with an outstanding list of candidates, Ellie was our clear choice to take the Museum's advancement efforts into the future," says Gwill York, chair of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. "Her record is outstanding. I am confident she will work well with the Museum's leadership, staff, and supporters to realize our ambitious goals."

"Ellie's appreciation and understanding of the Museum's mission, her talent, and exceptional fundraising credentials set her apart – as do her energy and passion," says Dr. Miaoulis. "We are thrilled to have her."

Starr joins the Museum at a pivotal time. Its trustees recently approved a Long-Range Plan for the next decade, building on its strengths as one of world's largest centers for interactive science and technology exhibits and programs and its leadership in K-12 engineering education. The Museum has also just completed a $284 million capital campaign, creating a transformed Charles Hayden Planetarium, world premieres of the Hall of Human Life and The Science Behind Pixar, and the dramatic growth of its National Center for Technological Literacy®.

"I am honored to join such a prestigious and beloved institution. The Museum of Science is a place of constant curiosity and catalytic learning," says Starr. "No other institution opens its doors to so many people, is so innovative, and fun. How many scientists, doctors, and inventors were first inspired at the Museum of Science? The Museum is also playing a major role in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, nationally and globally. We have never needed gifted teachers or an informed public more than we do today. I believe that we are meant to do everything we can to leave the world a better place. It is why I have worked my whole career in the fields of health and education and why I am so enthusiastic about using my experience, skills, and passion on behalf of the Museum of Science and its vision for the future."

A lifelong Newton, Massachusetts, resident, Starr has visited the Museum with her family since she was three and, as a parent, often explored its exhibit halls with her son and daughter. A 1979 graduate of the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), Starr is former vice chair and current member of the Lenny Zakim Fund's board of directors where she has served since 2007.


About the Museum of Science, Boston

One of the world's largest science centers and Boston's most attended cultural institution, the Museum of Science introduces almost 1.4 million visitors a year to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) via dynamic programs and hundreds of interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Highlights include The Science Behind Pixar, the Hall of Human Life, Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 4-D Theater, and Butterfly Garden. Reaching over 20,000 teens a year worldwide via the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, the Museum also leads a 10-year, $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums, having reached some 30 million people. The Museum of Science is the nation's first science center with a comprehensive strategy and infrastructure to foster technological literacy in science museums and schools across the United States. Having reached an estimated 8.3 million students and 93,600 teachers, its NCTL also received the National Science Board's Public Service Award in 2015. Visit:

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