Areas of Expertise
- New Museum Building Project
- Museum Collections, Approx 1.5 Million Objects
- Museum Industry Trends
- Business Planning and Fundraising
- Biology - Evolution of Small Mammals
Sarah George, Executive Director, joined the Natural History Museum of Utah in 1992. Drawing upon her vast experience as a scientist and with museums, George has guided the efforts of the staff and board through times of significant challenges, growth and change. Under her leadership, the operating budget has grown from $900,000 to more than $8,000,000, visitorship has increased five-fold and the Museum now serves communities across the state of Utah with exhibits and educational programs.
One of her outstanding accomplishments was opening the $103 million new home for the Museum, the Rio Tinto Center, in 2011. The new Museum has since won 27 regional and national awards for design, construction materials, safety, exhibitions, media and public art.
George began her science career by receiving a B.S. in Biology with honors from University of Puget Sound, a M.S. in Biology from Fort Hays State University, and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of New Mexico. She was the associate curator of mammals at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and held adjunct faculty appointments at USC and UCLA, prior to making the jump to museum administration in her current position.
Currently, George serves on the Council of Academic Deans and Directors at the U of U, the Advisory Board of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at BYU, and is a member of the Utah and International Women's Forums. She has provided her professional expertise to many science and civic organizations including the American Society of Mammalogists, the Natural Science Collections Alliance, the National Science Foundation, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, Rotary Club and the Swaner Nature Preserve, among others. She also serves as an external reviewer for the Accreditation Commission of the American Alliance of Museums.
She is a co-editor of the book Visions of the Grand Staircase-Escalante: Examining Utah's Newest National Monument and has a number of scientific publications on the evolution of small mammals. George was recognized as a “Pathfinder” in 2012 by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and was awarded the 2013 Director’s Chair by the Western Museums Association.