Neil Gordon

Neil is the former CEO of Discovery Museum in Acton MA.  At the Discovery Museum, Neil led a successful $8.8M capital campaign resulting in the creation of Discovery Woods, an accessible nature-based playscape, an expansion and renovation of the museum doubling the museum’s size, as well as a sustainability effort that resulted in the museum producing 100% of it electricity needs via on-site, museum-owned solar.  During Neil’s tenure the museum’s audience more than doubled, its revenue more than tripled, membership grew four-fold and the free or subsidized audience more than doubled.

Neil served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Boston Children’s Museum, where he worked for 14 years.  He oversaw planning, program development, exhibits, collections, visitor experience, community, and education programs.  He was responsible for day-to-day oversight of the museum’s 2007 $50 million expansion and renovation and the $5 million renovation in 2000.  He completed a public planning process resulting in a Conceptual Plan for the development of Children’s Wharf Park. During his 14 years he also managed facilities, finance, information technology, grant development and management, human resources, annual giving, marketing, and public relations.  Neil served as interim CEO as well. Prior to that, Neil was the Budget Director for the City of Boston for two years, having served as the Deputy Director for five years.  In these positions, he developed numerous new revenue programs as well as significant cost savings initiatives. Previously he was the Associate Director for the Mayor’s Office of Jobs and Community Services in Boston focusing on issues of workforce development and human service delivery through nearly 200 community-based organizations.

Neil is Past Chair of the Board of the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) and a past Board member of the New England Museum Association (NEMA), the Metrowest NonProfit Network, and the Middlesex West Chamber of Commerce, Founding President of the Friends of Fort Point Channel, and a current Board member and Treasurer of the Wade Institute for Science Education. Neil is the past Treasurer of the NEMA and of the Museum Management Committee of the American Association of Museums. Neil has received the New England Museum Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the John R. Heerwagen Non-Profit Leadership Award, the Fred Rogers Institute Helper Award  and the Nonprofit Excellence Award in Leadership by Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and the NEMA Excellence Award. Neil has presented on numerous occasions at national conferences of the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of Museums, Architecture Boston Expo, and the Building Museums Conference, as well as at the annual conference of the New England Museum Association and other local organizations.  Neil has written for the publications of ACM and NEMA, and consulted with several museums on strategic, visitor and exhibit projects and financial matters. He has also taught graduate level public management and public finance courses.

Neil’s has been directly involved in many aspects of museum, non-profit, and governmental leadership, including the development of revenue, new programmatic initiatives, as well as the planning and management of two major museum expansions. In addition, Neil is experienced in municipal, state, and non-profit planning, finance, and budgeting, fiscal analysis, and management initiatives. Neil holds a Masters degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a BS from Dickinson College.

LinkedIn: Neil Gordon