Holly Menninger: Executive Director

Holly Menninger

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – Holly Menninger has been named Executive Director of the University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum, the state’s natural history museum. She has been serving as the Bell Museum’s Interim Executive Director since April 2023.

Previously, Menninger was the Bell’s Director of Public Engagement and Science Learning and provided leadership and direction for a new museum department during a period of transformational change. In this role, she supervised all aspects of the Bell’s interpretive efforts, including staff who developed and delivered authentic science learning experiences through exhibitions, planetarium shows, and on-site and virtual programs for youth, adult and family audiences.

As Executive Director of the Bell, Menninger will continue to oversee the curation of a scientific research collection containing more than 1.2 million specimens and the expansion of institutional efforts to engage diverse communities statewide. She will also continue to further the Bell’s science mission by supporting the work of scientific curators, collection managers and graduate students to steward the museum’s collections.

The Bell Museum is part of the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Established by the Minnesota legislature in 1872 and held in trust by the University of Minnesota, the Bell Museum is the state’s official natural history museum and planetarium. For more than a century, the museum has preserved and interpreted Minnesota’s rich natural history and served learners of all ages. Its scientific collections contain over one million specimens, representing every county in the state and various locales around the globe. For more information, visit https://www.bellmuseum.umn.edu/.