By Charly SHELTON
Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga has been named president and director of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. She is currently president of Scripps College and will be transitioning to her museum position on Oct. 13.
“I have been honored to be president of Scripps College,” said Dr. Bettison-Varga, “but moving to NHM allows me to combine my passion for science and my commitment to education with my administrative experience in an organization that impacts millions of people. It’s an important cultural asset for Los Angeles County. I look forward to learning the new terrain!”
This appointment comes as Jane Pisano announced her intention to leave last September. With over a year between announcement and leaving, the task of finding her replacement took 10 months, allowing Pisano to finish up a couple of projects as Dr. Bettison-Varga began to eye projects she will take on in her time as president.
“I am very excited about the prospect of working with Museum staff and trustees to start to reimagine the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum experience, beginning a master planning process for the world-famous urban fossil site. It’s an important opportunity to tell the story of climate change, using the robust fossil history preserved at the tar pits and what they tell us about natural climate variation, with the urban environment as the backdrop for current climate change concerns.”
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County family of museums not only includes the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park, but also the George C. Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits and the William S. Hart Museum in Newhall. These three museums all will fall under the purview of Dr. Bettison-Varga when she takes her post on Oct. 13.