Academy Museum appoints Brendan Connell Jr as COO

The under-development Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has named Brendan Connell Jr as its new chief operating officer.

Taking up his position on 20 June, the former Guggenheim Museum deputy COO is a veteran of the museums sector. Working at Guggenheim for 18 years, Connell Jr served in both managerial and legal roles. During his time at the institution, he 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 restoration of the museum completed for the building’s 50th anniversary.

"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," said Kerry Brougher, director of the Academy Museum.

The long-awaited Academy Museum is scheduled to open in April next year. Designed by Renzo Piano, the US$388m (€329.2m, £288.7m) project is split into two parts – the newly named Saban Building and a 130-foot glass sphere featuring a theatre and terrace. Once open, The Academy predicts a total of 860,000 visitors to the museum on an annual basis, with 150 permanent jobs created.

“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," said Connell Jr. "I look forward to building a team dedicated to innovations that energize the visitor’s experience at this extraordinary institution.”

Prior to taking up his Guggenheim position in 2000, Connell Jr was legal director at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. which is the nation’s largest legal services organisation for professional artists. He also previously held the position of litigation associate at the New York City law firm Reid & Priest. Connell replaces Rich Cherry who resigned from his position as COO in January after just a year in the role.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures  Brendan Connell Jr  Kerry Brougher  Guggenheim 
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The under-development Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has named Brendan Connell Jr as its new chief operating officer. Taking up his position on 20 June, the former Guggenheim Museum deputy COO is a veteran of the museums sector. Working at Guggenheim for 18 years, Connell Jr served in both managerial and legal roles. During his time at the institution, he launched a number of initiatives to reimagine the visitor experience
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Connell Jr spent 18 years at the Guggenheim
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