Hudson Highlands Nature Museum Names New Executive Director
Board Selects Executive Director with Deep Connections to Museum’s Mission and Site.
Cornwall, NY- After an extensive search lasting more than three months the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum Board of Trustees has announced the selection of Thomas Bregman, a Cornwall resident, as its next Executive Director. The previous director, Jacqueline Grant, retired last fall after seventeen years of leadership that saw the Museum expand its nature-based preschool, its education programs and outdoor play (Grasshopper Grove) initiatives at the 177-acre Outdoor Discovery Center in the town of Cornwall and its Wildlife Education Center on The Boulevard in Cornwall-on-Hudson.
The new director comes to the Nature Museum with a broad range of leadership experience in multiple sectors including non-profit, corporate, campaigns and environmental advocacy. In 2010, Mr. Bregman was the initial hire at Energize NY, a newly formed Westchester-based clean energy municipal consortium. While there he helped build programs and the organization (a not-for-profit local development corporation) as the Director of Energize NY Residential. In that role, he worked closely with a foundation board, state and federal agencies, municipal and county governments and other NGOs to design, pilot and launch more than 15 community-based clean energy programs across the Hudson Valley. During his tenure Mr. Bregman secured over $3,500,000 in grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). A $3,000,000 Cleaner Greener grant to expand the Energize program throughout the region was given top marks and prominently supported by the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC).
Mr. Bregman holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations from SUNY Stony Brook and an MBA in Organizational and Environmental Sustainability from Antioch University New England. Additionally, the new director has deep connections to the organization, community and region. He served on the Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan and has been a member of two Cornwall Master Plan committees.
Mr. Bregman’s relationship to the community, the region, the Hudson Highlands and the Nature Museum is personal.
“I have a deep and abiding connection to the Hudson Highlands and the natural world. Cornwall has been my home for many years. It’s where I raised my sons to love, respect and appreciate the natural world. Both boys participated in various Museum programs when they were children, and they continue to love and respect the environment as young men. Additionally, I founded a community-based organization that analyzed the impact of a proposed high-density development on the 177-acre site where the Museum’s Outdoor Discovery Center is now located. That work and critical support from Scenic Hudson conserved and protected the property permanently. Today, the Museum uses it to educate the next generation of environmental caretakers. There is no job I would rather have than leading the Nature Museum in its next stage of growth, impact and development.”