Familiar Face Assumes Museum Director Role

Ruth Ann Hattori

The Texas Historical Commission and Admiral Nimitz Foundation are pleased to announce the appointment of Karen Bassett Stevenson as the museum director of the National Museum of the Pacific War. While new to this position, Stevenson is not new to Museum staff or visitors, having served as Volunteer Manager in 2019 and Visitor Services Director for the past 18 months where she utilized her extensive background with cultural institutions to help NMPW expand its national recognition.

In her two years at NMPW, Stevenson formalized training for Visitor Services staff and volunteers and established a docent training program. Her stints as Volunteer Training Director for the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle and Training Director for Alamo Area Master Naturalists in San Antonio provided the expertise to quickly launch these programs. Her resume also includes marketing, fundraising and managerial positions at the Fort Bend Museum Association in Richmond, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, and the Oregon Trails Coordinating Council in Oregon, as well as, six years in the for-profit sector with Wholesome Sweeteners.

We are very pleased that Karen can step into this position, her past experience with interpretation and museum operations coupled with successfully leading the lion’s share of our frontline admission’s staff and volunteers through 2020, including our closing and re-opening, have prepared her for the task of managing the Museum.

Michael Hagee, President and CEO of the Admiral Nimitz Foundation which operates NMPW

Stevenson earned her bachelor’s degree in Park Administration, Landscape Architecture & Horticulture from Texas Tech University and an American History MA/ABT from Portland State University. She currently serves on the boards of the Astronaut Memorial Foundation/Center for Space Education in Space Center, FL and the Alamo Area Master Naturalists in San Antonio.

Growing up as part of an Air Force family, Stevenson moved around quite a bit, including several moves to and around Texas. Her family has Texas roots as far back as the 1880s, and with loved ones in the area, she was happy to settle here in Fredericksburg with her husband and their two dogs. Her love for Texas is evident in her simple statement

Texas has always been home, even though I’ve had a number of other addresses

Karen Stevenson, Museum Director

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Ruth Ann Hattori, Director of Marketing