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The Museum of Northern Arizona has named a new executive director, according to Board Chair Bob Gunnarson.

Mary Kershaw of the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe was named the new director on Wednesday. Kershaw has been the director at the museum in Santa Fe for nine years and will formally begin working Flagstaff on June 3.

The Museum of Northern Arizona conducted a four-month, nationwide search for someone to fill the position. The search was led by professional executive recruiters, who reached out to over 300 candidates. The pool of candidates was whittled down through several rounds before Kershaw was chosen.

Gunnarson said he showed Kershaw around the northern Arizona facility, and found her charismatic and engaging. He said her experience and exposure to tribal communities of the Southwest made her a suitable to her work at the museum.

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"Mary has an amazing technical breadth of expertise, the ability to quickly understand complex issues and communicate about them in sound and meaningful ways," Gunnarson said.

Kershaw has worked at museums for three decades, for institutions including the Museum of London Archaeology Service, Harrogate Borough Council, Head of Museums and Arts for the Harrogate Borough and York Museums Trust. She has experience with collections including archaeology, fine arts, social history and textiles.

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The New Mexico Museum of Art celebrated its 100-year anniversary with a party for over 7,600 visitors in a single day, a year-long program and a new contemporary art venue. Kershaw also partnered with the museum's foundation to launch a $12.5 million capital campaign for a new venue, which is on pace to meet its goal.

The public can meet Kershaw at an event at the museum on June 6 from 5 to 8 p.m.

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