Los Angeles, CA (April 28, 2021) – The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) today announced that Shana Mathur, a recognized leader in the management of non-profit cultural institutions, has been named to the newly created position of Chief Strategy and External Relations Officer. She will report directly to President and Director Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga and will be responsible for crafting the vision and executing the strategy for the NHMLAC brand and experience that attracts new fans, members, donors, and participants in life-long engagement; driving brand awareness and community engagement to increase the sphere of influence and market share for the museum in Los Angeles and beyond; and providing effective executive direction and management to the marketing strategy, communications, creative, enterprise and guest experience functions of NHMLAC, all while bringing a focus on inclusion, diversity, equity, and access to all aspects of her work. Mathur will join the Museums in July 2021.
NHMLAC is the organization that oversees the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) in Exposition Park, La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park, and the William S. Hart Museum in Newhall. Mathur will join an executive team that includes Dr. Bettison-Varga, as well as the Chief Deputy Director, Senior Vice President of Education, Exhibitions and Community Engagement, Senior Vice President of Research and Collections, Chief Advancement Officer, Chief Talent Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and a newly appointed acting Chief Digital Officer.
“Shana Mathur’s deep experience in drawing the public toward leading cultural organizations and engaging Southern California’s diverse audiences will help NHMLAC heighten our service to our communities and enhance our ability to share our research and collections far and wide,” said Dr. Bettison-Varga. “We are excited to have her join our team and look forward to her energetic, expert support in fulfilling our mission to the public and the field.”
Mathur was Chief Marketing Officer at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association from 2008-2018, where she oversaw marketing, sales, and customer experience at Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. She produced record-breaking sales and audience growth through innovative campaigns, from the introduction of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel to the LA Phil’s Centennial. She built award-winning digital and audience engagement initiatives for the LA Phil and rebranded the organization to facilitate its evolution as a more inclusive partner to the communities of Los Angeles.
After leaving the LA Phil, Mathur was an independent consultant from 2018 to 2020, providing strategic planning, branding, marketing, communications, and operations counsel to cultural non-profits including the San Francisco Symphony, Oregon Symphony, San Diego Symphony (for its new waterfront venue The Shell), filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s non-profit ARRAY Alliance, and others.
She is currently serving as Chief External Affairs Officer for The Broad Stage, a performing arts producer and presenter affiliated with Santa Monica College. In her role she leads development, marketing, and communications activity and is the organization’s steward for equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives. She will leave her post on June 1, 2021.
“The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County embody the urgency of this time for the natural world, the cultural world, and our society as a whole,” said Mathur. “NHMLAC has an opportunity to evolve and expand its relationships with the communities it serves, to innovate programmatic and engagement models, and assert its role in creating a just and equitable future. I am thrilled and honored to join Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga and her stellar team at NHMLAC to help shape its impact and relevance for years to come, and by further defining the ways in which we will recognize, embrace, and create a safe space for our audiences to learn, contribute, and belong.”
Mathur’s commitment to cultural advocacy is amplified through her role as a Board member of Arts for LA, an organization that generates public will to support the arts. She is an adjunct faculty member at Claremont Graduate University, where she teaches a course in Marketing and Strategic Communications for the Arts. Mathur holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an M.B.A. from Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business at the City University of New York.
About the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County
The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) include the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park, La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park, and the William S. Hart Museum in Newhall. They operate under the collective vision to inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds. The museums hold one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history—more than 35 million objects. Using these collections for groundbreaking scientific and historical research, the museums also incorporate them into on- and offsite nature and culture exploration in L.A. neighborhoods, and a slate of community science programs—creating indoor-outdoor visitor experiences that explore the past, present, and future. Visit NHMLAC.ORG for adventure, education, and entertainment opportunities.