Former University President Knapp to leave GW to head museum group

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo

Knapp will leave GW to become the president of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.

University President Emeritus Steven Knapp will leave GW’s faculty in February to become the president of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.

Knapp, who served as GW’s president from 2007 to 2017, confirmed that he has accepted the position, which he will start in Feb. 1. In his new role, Knapp will oversee four museums located in Pittsburgh: the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Science Center and The Andy Warhol Museum.

“The Carnegie Museums will benefit from the kind of collaborative leadership Steve brought to the George Washington University,” University President Thomas LeBlanc said in a release. “His ability to forge connections across disciplines and between the University and D.C. institutions was a great asset to GW and redounded to the success of our students.”

Bill Hunt, the chair of the museum group’s board of trustees, said in the release that Knapp brings a wealth of experience and a new vision to the group. During Knapp’s tenure as GW’s president, the University acquired the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design and oversaw the construction of the Textile Museum’s building on G Street.

“Steve is such an accomplished and thoughtful leader, and a real champion of interdisciplinary collaboration and community engagement,” Hunt said in the release. “He’s a convener and an exceptional strategist, and he immediately stood out to us as the kind of visionary leader who will be a strong voice not only for Carnegie Museums but also within the greater Pittsburgh region.”

Knapp said the Carnegie Museums provide “extraordinary” opportunities in a city that has a “deep tradition” of valuing and supporting its cultural treasures.

“I can already see countless opportunities for creating partnerships between CMP and Pittsburgh’s rich array of universities and arts institutions,” he said in an email.

Knapp said he leaves the University with a “good deal of regret,” partly because his students at GW have been “among the best” he has ever taught.

“I will always be connected to GW, will watch its continuing development with keen interest, and will never miss an opportunity to tell prospective students and their families what an amazing experience they can have in the heart of our nation’s capital,” Knapp said.

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