Stephen C. White announced today he plans to retire as President and CEO of Mystic Seaport Museum. White, who has served as President and CEO since 2009, will continue in that role until his successor has been named.
“I’m honored to have worked alongside the talented, passionate, and dedicated staff and volunteers who every day strive to inspire an enduring connection to the American maritime experience,” says White. “I came here with the goal of guiding the institution to reimagine the interchange between maritime heritage and broader contemporary culture. I’m proud of all we have achieved in the last decade and that the Museum is poised to achieve more great things as it enters its 90th year in 2020.”
Under White’s leadership, the Museum strengthened its role as a leader in America’s maritime heritage community while simultaneously adapting to new visions of what a museum must be in the 21st century. It restored and sailed the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan on its 38th Voyage in 2014. The north end of the campus was reconfigured into the McGraw Gallery Quadrangle, a comprehensive renovation and expansion of the Museum’s indoor exhibition spaces, which included the construction of the award-winning Thompson Exhibition Building. The Museum is poised to conclude funding of its $6-million Era of Exhibitions campaign. The campaign was launched in 2017 to fund exhibitions of world-class quality, innovation, and scholarship such as the present show J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate, the most comprehensive collection of Turner watercolors ever displayed in this country.
White served as the president of the International Congress of Maritime Museums from 2015 to 2019, and Gov. Dannel Malloy named White Connecticut’s Tourism Leader of the Year in 2015.
“Steve’s impact on Mystic Seaport Museum is best seen in the strong sense of community he fostered, both inside the Museum and in its external relationships with the world at large,” says Michael S. Hudner, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “We are grateful for his steady, confident leadership and for the zeal and imagination with which he advanced the Museum’s mission.”
The Board of Trustees of Mystic Seaport Museum will establish a search committee headed by former Board chairman Barclay Collins in January 2020 to find White’s successor.