After a turbulent year, Worcester science museum The EcoTarium has announced Noreen Johnson Smith, an experienced community health leader, as its new president and CEO, according to a Thursday press release from the organization.
Smith will begin his role on Monday.
Smith has a 35-year career, with her longest role at the Family Health Center in Worcester, where she most recently served as chief strategy officer. She has also held leadership positions at the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts in Worcester and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
She sits on the boards of the Public Health Museum in Tewksbury, Massachusetts and the Worcester Community Action Council, and is the moderator for the City of Charlton.
“We are thrilled to have Noreen join our dedicated team at the EcoTarium as our next President and CEO. Noreen’s extensive professional experience and strong ties to the community will bring stability and thoughtful leadership to the museum,” said Sherri Pitcher, Chair of the Board of EcoTarium, in a statement.
The EcoTarium weathered the coronavirus pandemic with management changes and a major closure that resulted in an 80% loss of revenue.
The museum’s former president, Lucy Hale, stepped down in May 2021 after three years in the role. Since then, two different interim presidents have replaced Kerry Castorano and Michael Halperson, whom Smith will replace.
At the start of the pandemic, the museum laid off many of its employees. EcoTarium workers voted to join the AFSCME Council 93 union over the summer.