NM natural history museum gets new leader

New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Executive Director Anthony Fiorillo. Fiorillo’s tenure will begin Sept. 19, 2022. (Courtesy of NMMNHS)

After nine months, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science has a new executive director.

According to the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, Anthony R. Fiorillo was named to the position. He will begin on Sept. 19.

Fiorillo replaces Margie Marino, who retired in October 2021. Gary Romero, museum deputy director, has filled in during the interim.

“I am very excited to welcome Tony to New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and to NMDCA leadership,” said Debra Garcia y Griego, cabinet secretary for New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. “With his unique skill set, enhanced both by extensive administrative experience in the museum industry and professional experience as a natural historian, Dr. Fiorillo is well-suited to address opportunities and challenges the museum faces as it advances.”

Fiorillo will oversee daily operations at the museum, including the strategic development of public programs and exhibitions at the museum.

One of the most-visited museums in the state, NMMNHS was established in 1986 with a mission to preserve and interpret the distinctive natural and scientific heritage of New Mexico through extraordinary collections, research, exhibits, and programs.

With a focus in Geoscience, including Paleontology and Mineralogy, Bioscience, and Space Science, NMMNHS is the Southwest’s largest repository for fossils and includes a research facility and a planetarium.

“New Mexico has a unique legacy in natural history and science, and New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is a recognized leader in inspiring a greater appreciation of science and the natural world we all share,” Fiorillo said. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to join the New Mexico community, and the talented team representing this museum as well as the larger Department of Cultural Affairs.”

Prior to his position with the state, Fiorillo has been a senior fellow at the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at Southern Methodist University. Before that, he was at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas for 20 years.

Fiorillo’s work has taken him across the globe as he has done research on dinosaurs and environments. His focus for more than 20 years has been on the Cretaceous of Alaska.

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