The Buffalo Museum of Science on Friday promoted its deputy director, Carroll Simon, to acting president and chief executive officer. She succeeds David E. Chesebrough, who is leaving to head COSI of Columbus, an Ohio science museum.
A Western New York native, Simon joined the museum as an exhibit designer in 1985 and became director of exhibits in 1989. Named deputy director under Chesebrough in 2001, she managed a two-year strategic planning process involving staff, board members and community stakeholders.
That resulted in such 2005 innovations as the Connections experience gallery at the museum and the Elmwood Science Spot.
Simon, who said she has "a passion for working with the community," plans to continue using the museum's extensive collection and ongoing research to build its audience and improve the area's quality of life.
She earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Pennsylvania State University and a master's in fine arts from Purdue University.
Before coming to the museum, Simon was a set designer for professional theater companies in Massachusetts and Missouri. After returning to Buffalo in 1982, she worked at Studio Arena Theatre, Theatre of Youth, Kavinoky Theatre and Niagara University's Department of Theatre Studies.
As a Science Museum exhibit designer and later director, she helped create "Whem Ankh: The Cycle of Life in the Circle of Egypt," the Bell Hall of Space Exploration and the "Kenyan Marketplace," and brought in various traveling exhibits.
The museum board is undertaking a national search for Chesebrough's permanent replacement.
The board of managers also named Susan Swiatkowski communications manager and Janine Tramont manager of volunteers and interns.
Swiatkowski previously was development and alumni relations director at Cardinal O'Hara High School. Before that she was the publications director of D'Youville College and assistant to the public relations director of Niagara University.
Tramont previously was small-business services manager of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, and before that development director of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.