The Museum of Science has a new president.
Tim Ritchie, a STEM education leader, will join the museum in February, the institution announced Wednesday. Ritchie most recently was president of The Tech Interactive, a science and technology center in Silicon Valley.
Ritchie joins the Museum of Science as it embarks on a redesign of its largest wing and the launch of a fundraising campaign. "We're really lucky," Gwill York, chair of the museum's board of trustees, said. "[Ritchie] spent eight years in Silicon Valley transforming an institution there and really broadening its scope and reach in scale. And he's quite excited about doing similar work here in the museum in Boston."
Ritchie takes the reins from interim president and CEO Wayne Bouchard, who stepped into the role after longtime President Ioannis Miaoulis left the institution in January.
The announcement follows a year of tumult for the museum. In November, a number of museum workers told The Boston Globe they felt pressured to upsell memberships and sell extra shows "or see their hours cut." In an interview with WBUR, York said the employees had simply not understood the museum's business model, which the museum had failed to properly communicate to them.
In July, the organization's interim leader cut 29 positions, according to the Globe. York disputed that the employees' departures were layoffs, and added that the museum's finances were healthy.
Richie joined The Tech in 2011 and most recently served as the group's president. While there, he developed partnerships with schools and creating teacher-training programs, and focused on helping underrepresented audiences engage with the sciences.
“We live in a world that is abundant with talent, but not with opportunity,” Ritchie said. “Science centers should be in the opportunity business.”
With additional reporting by Amelia Mason.