Monday, March 19 , 2018, 9:28 pm | Fair 55º


MOXI The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation Names Its First CEO

MOXI The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation is proud to announce the appointment of Steve Hinkley as the museum’s first chief executive officer, effective March 2.

Steve Hinkley (Clint Weisman photo)

Hinkley comes to MOXI after seven years as vice president of programs at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas, where he spearheaded the development of exhibit content and directed all aspects of the museum’s exhibitions and educational programs.

In his new role, Hinkley will transition MOXI from infancy to institutional maturity, building its reputation as a world-class leader in the science-focused children’s museum arena.

Hinkley will oversee the museum’s operations, finances, outreach, staffing, construction and programming. As MOXI’s visionary leader, he will cultivate relationships with donors, business and civic leaders, schools, community content partners, media and national organizations to promote MOXI’s mission and programs.

"Steve’s experience as both a science educator and a museum executive makes him the perfect visionary to lead MOXI, and will ensure we are creating a first class institution for our community," said Jill Levinson, MOXI board president. "We are excited to welcome him and his family to Santa Barbara."

The extensive yearlong search led by board trustee Susan McMillan attracted impressive candidates from top-ranked museums across the nation.

“I am honored to be joining the wonderful and talented MOXI team as its inaugural CEO," Hinkley said. "MOXI will bring fun, world-class, hands-on science experiences to Santa Barbara, and we will strive to become a treasured part of every family’s photo album and memory bank. The Central Coast is a collaborative, creative place, and we are looking forward to reflecting the members of our community in the museum’s exhibits and programs — making our space welcoming, relevant and dynamic.”

Hinkley played a central role in the $185 million expansion of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in 2012, creating innovative educational exhibits, programs and partnerships that reached more than 1.2 million visitors annually. His wealth of experience and passion for combining excellent science education with engaging experiences directly aligns with MOXI’s mission, poising Hinkley to bring energy and economic benefit to Santa Barbara and surrounding areas.

Hinkley’s background is deeply rooted in science education and curriculum design. Prior to his work at the Perot Museum, he spent a decade working in the field of science education as a physics, biology and physiology teacher and science department head at preparatory schools in Dallas, Texas, and Los Angeles. Hinkley strongly believes that science museums serve essential roles in developing educated, compassionate and creative communities.

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education for all students is a foundational component of our nation’s future prosperity. A strong STEM proficiency provides the critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills necessary to excel in the global marketplace. Whether today’s students pursue careers as artists, doctors, engineers or politicians, they will require STEM competency to find solutions to the 21st century’s greatest challenges. MOXI will be an important, new addition to Santa Barbara and California’s educational offerings, providing inspiring, relevant, hands-on STEM learning to children of all ages.

 “It’s going to be an incredible adventure,” said Hinkley, who with his wife, Morgan, and newborn son are excited to join the Santa Barbara community where his father has lived for 20 years during his tenure as a recently retired professor of statistics at UCSB.

MOXI The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation is a 21st-century children’s museum that will ignite learning through innovative, interactive experiences that empower curious minds. A playground for the brain, MOXI makes science accessible and engaging, better preparing the next generation of creative thinkers and critical problem solvers.

The museum’s iconic 17,000-square-foot museum was designed by the late Barry Berkus and will be Santa Barbara’s first LEED-certified museum. Located at 125 State St., MOXI will be ideally situated in the heart of Santa Barbara’s redeveloped downtown tourist area. The interactive exhibits, designed by award-winning museum planning firm, Gyroscope Inc. are devised to align with the national agenda to boost student achievement in math and science, by making these disciplines accessible and appealing.

Geared to children of all ages, MOXI is scheduled to open in late 2016. MOXI is in the midst of a $25 million capital campaign to fund the design and construction of the building and exhibits, as well as an endowment for the future. To learn more, contact MOXI at 805.680.7235; email [email protected] or visit

— Ann Pieramici is a publicist representing MOXI The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation.

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