David Mosena

Former President & CEO, Museum of Science & Industry

David R. Mosena served as the sixth President and CEO of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry for 23 years. One of the world’s largest, most popular and well-known science and technology museums, MSI welcomes an average of 1.5 million guests annually, presents a wide range of iconic and cutting-edge exhibits and offers strong education programs designed to inspire and motivate student interest in science and technology and train teachers to improve science instruction in primary and secondary schools. With 14 acres of floor space, the sprawling MSI, at 57th Street and the lakefront in Hyde Park, is Chicago’s second most popular museum in 2018, just behind the Art Institute of Chicago.

Mosena stepped down as President and CEO shortly after securing the museum’s largest-ever gift, $125 million from Chicago billionaire Kenneth C. Griffin in exchange for adding Griffin to the MSI’s official name. Mosena’s tenure also included a reworking of many of MSI’s largest exhibitions, including the development of the expansive hall for the U-505 WWII German submarine and the enduring permanent exhibits “Science Storms,” “You! The Experience” and, most recently, “Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze.”

Additionally, MSI has stayed fresh by bringing in and developing a steady supply of popular temporary exhibits ranging from looks at American icons such as Charles Schulz, Walt Disney and Pixar to different iterations of the blockbuster “Body Worlds” exhibits of plastinated human and animal corpses.In recent times the museum has added special science-themed nighttime events that have boosted revenue and drawn young adults. At the same time, MSI has retained a strong focus on working with students and science educators through numerous programs.

The Museum’s new exhibitions have won international acclaim, and its education programs provide life-changing experiences to 5,000 city youth each year. Courses provided to up to 1,000 science teachers annually are changing how science is taught in the classroom and improving student achievement. Mr. Mosena currently serves on the Board of the Association of Science Technology Centers in Washington, D.C. and the Discovery Park Advisory Council at Purdue University.

Active in Chicago’s civic and business community, Mosena served as Chairman of the Interim Board of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (which owns and operates McCormick Place and Navy Pier), Co-Chaired the Transition Committee for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau, a member of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Science and Letters Board of Overseers and a member of the Metropolis Strategies Board. He is also a member of the Commercial Club and the Economic Club of Chicago. He served as Chairman of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks from 1999-2010 and Chairman of the Board of the University of Chicago’s K-12 Laboratory Schools from 1993 to 1999.

Before his appointment to lead MSI in 1997, Mr. Mosena was President of the Chicago Transit Authority, the nation’s second largest transit system delivering bus and train service to the City of Chicago and 38 suburbs and providing 1.5 million rides per day. From 1992 – l996, Mr. Mosena served as Chicago Commissioner of Aviation, overseeing the expansion and operations of Chicago’s airport system, including O’Hare and Midway Airports. During his leadership of Chicago’s airports, O’Hare’s International Terminal was completed, along with the automated people mover system. At Midway Airport, he initiated the design, financing and construction of $1 billion in landside improvements, including the new terminal and its 41 gates.

Prior to being appointed Aviation Commissioner, Mr. Mosena served as Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Chief of Staff, coordinating the activities of all city departments, as well as focusing on issues of city development, and before that as Chicago’s City Planning Commissioner.

He holds an MA in city planning and a BA in business administration, both from the University of Tennessee.

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