Jessica Hanson York
Jessica Hanson York. Photo by Katie Gardner, Mingei International Museum

Jessica Hanson York has been tapped to succeed 16-year veteran Rob Sidner as executive director of the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.

Hanson York, who is deputy director and chief advancement officer, will assume her new role on July 1.

“There is no better person to lead this organization than Jessica,” said Sidner. “Having worked side-by-side with her for over ten years, I have seen how well she embraces the Mingei philosophy. She has the experience, passion, warmth and talent to lead our team forward.”

Sidner has worked at the Mingei for 29 years, including the last 16 as the folk art museum’s executive director.

“I’m thrilled that it’s time to move on and that it’s time for new leadership,” he added. “I’m just eager to watch what happens with Mingei and with a new director. The museum is full of possibilities and full of promise. I’m eager to watch it unfold and believe the museum is on the cusp of some very important things.”

Hanson York takes over the museum less than a year after completion of an acclaimed $47 million renovation.

“I am humbled and thrilled to lead Mingei into its next chapter,” she said. “As someone who has spent my career in locally-focused nonprofits, I believe that art can play a meaningful role in building community.”

A Connecticut native and graduate of Emerson College, Hanson York has been a San Diego resident since 2005. She received a master’s degree in nonprofit leadership and management from University of San Diego and currently serves as adjunct faculty member. 

The museum collects, preserves and exhibits folk art, craft and design from all eras and cultures of the world.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.