The Tyler Museum of Art has a new administrative leader. The organization has hired Christopher M. Leahy, of Alexandria, Va., as its next executive director effective in mid-July, Board of Trustees President Verna Hall announced Friday.
The board unanimously selected Leahy from among three finalists vetted from more than 80 national and international applicants, reviewed by the TMA's Director Search Committee with the assistance of Jay Gates and Richard Rutledge, retired museum professionals enlisted by the board to advise in the search process.
"Finding an executive director for any nonprofit organization, especially one as complex and high profile as the museum, is not an easy task, and we're thrilled that we were able to conclude this search sooner than we anticipated," Mrs. Hall said. "With Chris, we are confident we have chosen the candidate with precisely the right combination of administrative expertise, artistic sensibility and bold vision to lead the TMA into the future."
Leahy arrives with more than 30 years of leadership and management experience, most recently as vice president for finance and administration at The Mariner's Museum in Newport News, Va.
His previous leadership roles include positions as CFO and chief administrative officer at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art and Design and director of finance at The Phillips Collection, both in Washington, D.C.
Before moving into nonprofit leadership, he was the CFO of an Alexandria-based for-profit defense consulting firm.
Leahy spent 21 years on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army, a career that culminated in the post of senior program and budget officer for the Department of Defense Counter-Drug Program at The Pentagon before he retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1993.
He holds an MBA in finance from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, a BA in history from the University of Delaware, and completed the certificate in accounting program at the University of Virginia. Leahy and his wife Victoria, a native of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, have three adult children and a granddaughter.
Leahy replaces former director Kim Bush Tomio, who resigned in August 2012 to accept a position at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco after a 12-year tenure at the TMA.
The TMA, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is at 1300 S. Mahon Ave., adjacent to the Tyler Junior College campus off East Fifth Street.
Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; the museum is closed Mondays and most major holidays. The TMA is supported by its members and Tyler Junior College. For more information, call 903-595-1001 or visit www.tylermuseum.org.