TRENTON, N.J. – Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno today announced that New Jersey State Museum Executive Director Anthony Gardner will leave state service to take on the role of Vice President of Community Engagement at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Fine Art Curator Margaret O’Reilly, who has been with the Museum for more than 20 years, will serve as Acting Director while a nationwide search is conducted for a new Executive Director.
“Anthony has promoted the very best of New Jersey through his passion for engaging audiences of all ages in the stories of our shared history,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “We are grateful for his service and proud that he has been recognized for his leadership and his dedication to ensuring that the lessons of September 11th are never forgotten. I join his family, friends and colleagues in congratulating him on this well-deserved opportunity.”
Under Gardner’s direction, Museum attendance increased by more than 63%. In addition to his many other accomplishments, he managed the renovation and reopening of the Museum’s Archaeology Collections Galleries, developed strategic STEM education partnerships and led the Museum in the development of “Remember 9/11: Reflections and Memories from New Jersey.” Gardner’s brother, Harvey Joseph Gardner, III, was a victim of the September 11th attacks.
“Leading the State Museum and contributing to its renewal over these last four years has been an absolute gift and I will always be grateful to Lt. Governor Guadagno and the Museum Board of Trustees for giving me this opportunity to advance this important institution,” said Gardner. “I leave here proud of all that we have been able to accomplish together to advance a strategic vision that has made the Museum more visible, visitor-centered, engaging and impactful.”