LOS ANGELES, CA – The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures today announced that Brendan Connell, Jr. has been named its new Chief Operating Officer.
Beginning June 20, Connell’s duties will include oversight and management of operations, administration, and finance, among other areas. He will also serve as a core member of the Museum’s leadership team overseeing the construction of the new facility and is the key strategist in establishing operating procedures and processes for the museum.
Kerry Brougher, Director of the Academy Museum, said, “The Academy Museum is thrilled to welcome Brendan Connell to the team at this exciting moment as we approach the 2019 opening. As a seasoned museum executive, Brendan will be an invaluable asset to the institution, rounding out our leadership team with his tremendous expertise in all areas of museum operations, from high-level strategic planning to real time, on-the-ground tactics.”
Connell said. “I could not be more excited about working with Kerry and Museum leadership to help make the vision for this amazing film center a reality and to establish the Academy Museum as a must-visit destination for movie lovers from around the world. I look forward to building a team dedicated to innovations that energize the visitor’s experience at this extraordinary institution.”
Connell joins the Academy Museum from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. In his 18 years at the Guggenheim, he served in both managerial and legal roles, most recently as Deputy Chief Operating Officer, where he was responsible for creating a world-class experience for the museum’s one million annual visitors. As the senior executive responsible for day-to-day operations in the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright building, Connell launched a number of initiatives to reimagine the visitor experience at the museum, oversaw the redesign of its security systems and safety protocols, and served on the leadership team overseeing the award-winning restoration of the museum completed for the building’s 50th anniversary. Also leading the museum’s human resources team, Connell championed diversity at all levels and focused on quality of life issues for the museum’s employees, interns, and volunteers.
Prior to joining the Guggenheim, Connell was Legal Director at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, the nation’s largest legal services organization for artists. He was also a litigation associate at the New York City law firm Reid & Priest.
Connell has served on the steering committee of the ALI-CLE Legal Issues in Museum Administration conference and, since 2002, has been a guest lecturer at Columbia Law School, where he speaks on exempt organization topics. He graduated from Dartmouth College and received his JD from New York University School of Law. He is president of DGALA, Dartmouth’s 1100-member LGBTQIA+ alumni/ae association and was elected to the executive committee of the College’s Association of Alumni in 2016.