Josh Basseches

Director and CEO, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto ON

JOSH BASSECHES became the Director and CEO of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in March 2016. Basseches is a distinguished leader with more than two decades of experience transforming museums, enriching their visitor experience, and guiding institution-wide initiatives that bring collections and research to audiences worldwide. His bold vision for the ROM includes taking it from one of Canada’s great museums, to its next level as a globally renowned innovator and thought leader. Basseches is inspired by the ROM’s singular capacity to integrate and connect the disciplines of art, culture, and nature.

Prior to his ROM appointment, Basseches was Deputy Director of the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts. At PEM, he played a central role in the institution’s decade-long reinvention into one of America’s leading museums, as well as in its recent capital campaign, helping to raise more than $600 million (CDN). Before joining PEM, Basseches served as Executive Director of the Harvard Museum of Natural History (HMNH), where he launched the repositioning of the HMNH from a prestigious, but internally-focused university museum, into a vibrant, public-serving institution. In addition, Basseches has been active in the museum professional community, having spent ten years on the board of the New England Museum Association (NEMA), most recently, as President.

Basseches holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, an M.A. from Boston University, and a B.A. from Amherst College. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in the History of Art and Architecture at Boston University. His research and writing focuses on international artistic and cultural exchange.