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  6. Margaret Beckel Appointed New Director of the Canadian Museum of Nature

Margaret Beckel Appointed New Director of the Canadian Museum of Nature

Updated on March 17, 2011.

Ottawa, March 9, 2011—Margaret Louise Beckel has been appointed Director of the Canadian Museum of Nature for a five-year term. The announcement was made March 9, 2011, by the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

"I am pleased to welcome Ms. Beckel to her new position," said Minister Moore. "Her proven leadership skills and vast knowledge of arts and culture will greatly benefit the museum." Effective in June 2011, Beckel will be responsible for revisiting and overseeing the museum's strategic direction, increasing the museum's public value, nationally and internationally, and securing the long-term sustainability of the museum through the demonstration of public accountability, value, fiscal effectiveness and robust revenue generation strategies.

Beckel joins the museum from the University of Waterloo where she has held the position of Vice-President, External Relations, responsible for Development, Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs, and Government and Institutional Relations since 2007. Beckel presently leads a team responsible for the advancement of the university's institutional and faculty-based fundraising campaigns, the engagement of its more than 150 000 alumni and galvanizing interest from students, community, government, media, industry and employers in the mission and objectives of the university.

"We are elated that Meg, with her experience in senior administration, fundraising and finance, as well as her previous experience as the COO and Board Secretary for the Royal Ontario Museum from 1999–2007, has accepted the position. The Search Committee was extremely impressed with Ms Beckel's strategic vision of what the Canadian Museum of Nature could be, and her superb entrepreneurial and operational skills that will help realize this new direction," said Florence Minz, Chair of the museum's Board of Trustees. "Meg's extensive knowledge and experience, as well as her proven ability to provide inspirational leadership has earned her a reputation for being direct, transparent, committed, honest, tenacious and fair."

"I'm very pleased to accept this important position with the Canadian Museum of Nature, and I look forward to building upon the momentum experienced after the reopening of the museum's public exhibition site, the Victoria Memorial Museum Building, in May 2010," said Ms. Beckel. "I hope to take the museum experience to the next level, through digital strategies and the latest technology that will expand the virtual presence of the museum, thereby making the museum and its treasures accessible to all Canadians."

No stranger to the arts, Beckel began her career as a Development Associate for the National Ballet of Canada, Toronto, Ontario, and as the Director of Development for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre and the Vancouver Symphony Society and Foundation in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her role as Executive Director, External Relations, at the University of Victoria was followed by her appointment first as Executive Director and President of the Royal Ontario Museum Foundation, and then as COO and Board Secretary of the ROM.

Beckel presently serves as a director on the boards of the National Ballet School of Canada, and TheMuseum in Kitchener, Ontario (formerly Waterloo Region Children's Museum). Beckel has a BA in political science from Queen's University and a master's of business administration from the University of Western Ontario.

The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada's national museum of natural history and natural science. It promotes awareness of Canada's natural heritage through signature and travelling exhibitions, public education programmes, ongoing scientific research, a dynamic web site, and the maintenance of a 10.5 million-specimen collection. A founding member of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, the museum is working with partners to expand its national service and to develop national programmes about the natural environment.

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