Honolulu museum hires new leader from New York City firm

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu’s Bishop Museum has selected its next president and CEO from a museum planning and design firm in New York City.

The Polynesian cultural and natural history museum named Melanie Y. Ide, who is a principal at Ralph Appelbaum Associates, as its new leader, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday.

Through the firm, Ide has worked on museum projects across the country. Most recently she has led the interpretive planning and exhibition design for the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago.

Ide is no stranger to the Hawaii museum as she led a team to restore two of its galleries from 2005 to 2014. She also led the first-phase development of a master plan to reinvigorate the museum last year.

Ide, who grew up in California and lives in New York, has deep roots in Hawaii. She said her grandparents and parents were born and raised in the state, and she would visit for three months each year as a child.

Ide said the museum has great potential and it’s ready for a change.

“The resource has been underappreciated for a long time, and it’s ripe for transformation,” Ide said.

Museum Board President Anton Krucky said Ide has the credentials, and her connections in the museum community will benefit the Hawaii institution.

“We share Melanie’s vision for a thriving and relevant Bishop Museum for Hawaii’s next generation and look forward to great things with her leadership,” Krucky said.

Ide is expected to start the job in January, taking over from Linda Lee Kuuleilani Farm, who served as the interim president since April 2016.


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