ROM Welcomes New Director & CEO with Bold Vision for a 21st Century Museum

Josh Basseches begins as ROM's new Director & CEO on March 29, 2016

TORONTO, March 29, 2016 /CNW/ - The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) welcomed its new Director & CEO, Josh Basseches, today. Basseches, previously the Deputy Director of the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts, was appointed to the ROM this past November by the Museum's Board of Trustees. 

"We are thrilled to welcome a cultural leader with Josh's stature to Toronto and the ROM. Josh brings a unique mix of talent, leadership, and expertise in the art and science of museum management. The ROM's vision is to be counted among the top tier of museums in the world and to inspire visitors to experience its wonder both in person and digitally. Josh's proven leadership in both art and natural history museums and background as a strategic management consultant uniquely qualify him to lead the ROM," said Bonnie Brooks, Chair of the ROM Board of Trustees.

Basseches joins the ROM at a pivotal moment. The Museum is well-positioned to build on its recent successes, including increased attendance of more than one million visitors in 2015, and its recent Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano exhibition which attracted close to 275,000 visitors. The ROM's upcoming calendar features the highly-anticipated openings of Tattoos: Ritual. Identity. Obsession. Art. on April 2, 2016, and Chihuly on June 25, 2016.

A transformational leader for more than two decades, Basseches brings an extraordinary depth of global museum insight to his new role. His goal is to leverage the ROM's unique capacity to be a truly interdisciplinary museum by not only presenting, but integrating and connecting the disciplines of art, culture, and nature. His vision includes enhancing the relevance and impact of the Museum by throwing the doors of the institution wide open and dramatically strengthening all aspects of the visitor experience. 

"It is a tremendously exciting time to be at the ROM. I am inspired by the Museum's vast collections, extraordinary exhibitions and programs, and the important role it has played for generations of visitors. This is a strong foundation on which to build and to take the ROM from one of Canada's great museums, to its next level as a globally renowned innovator and thought leader," said Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO. "At the same time, I am eager for the ROM to play an even more vital role in the life of Toronto and Ontario."

Prior to his ROM appointment, Basseches was Deputy Director of the PEM and was central to the institution's decade-long reinvention into one of America's leading museums, as well as in PEM's recent capital campaign, helping to raise more than $600 million (CDN). Basseches was the Executive Director at Harvard University's Museum of Natural History and held senior roles at TDC, a management consulting firm for nonprofit organizations, and at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He also served as President of the New England Museum Association. Basseches holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and is completing a PhD in the History of Art & Architecture at Boston University. His research and writing focuses on international artistic and cultural exchange. 


Opened in 1914, the ROM is Canada's largest museum of natural history and world cultures and has six million objects in its collections and galleries showcasing art, world cultures and natural history. The ROM is the largest field research institution in the country, and a world leader in research areas from biodiversity, palaeontology, and earth sciences to archaeology, ethnology and visual culture - originating new information towards a global understanding of historical and modern change in culture and environment. For tickets, memberships and 24-hour information in English and French, visit or call 416.586.8000.

SOURCE Royal Ontario Museum

Image with caption: "Josh Basseches. Image courtesy of Royal Ontario Museum. (CNW Group/Royal Ontario Museum)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Josh Basseches. Image courtesy of Royal Ontario Museum. (CNW Group/Royal Ontario Museum)". Image available at:

For further information: Media Contact: Marnie Peters, AVP PR & Publications,, 416.562.1635; Social Media: Like: ROM Facebook, Tweet: @ROMToronto, Instagram: romtoronto, Watch: ROM YouTube, Blog: ROMblog


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