John Kearns was recently appointed as Santa Monica History Museum’s first executive director and will oversee all museum operations. Courtesy photo

John Kearns appointed to oversee Santa Monica History Museum’s operations

By Kamala Kirk

The Santa Monica History Museum recently appointed John Kearns as its first executive director.
Kearns began his tenure with the museum in September and oversees all museum operations including development, education and public programming, finance, external communications and staffing.

“I am delighted to welcome John Kearns as the very first executive director for the museum and I look forward to working with him and introducing him to our wonderful community,” said Susan Gabriel Potter, SMHM museum president. “With his experience in museum fundraising, our board is confident that we will be able to secure new funding and foster new relationships for SMHM.”

Kearns earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and a Master of Arts in history from California State University, Northridge. With more than a decade of museum senior experience, he has held numerous leadership positions, including several director of development positions with Heritage Square Museum, Long Beach Museum of Art, Vincent Price Art Museum and Grand Performances. At these institutions, he was responsible for all fundraising and community activities. He helped secure significant funding ranging from individual gifts to corporate and private foundations.

“I’m thrilled to be joining SMHM, as the museum board has entrusted me in stewarding this remarkable institution into the future,” Kearns said. “I look forward to working closely with our staff and the communities we serve in Santa Monica, and to make sure that we are fulfilling our mission to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of Santa Monica for generations to come.”

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