A Wisner, Neb., native with nearly 30 years of military experience is the new executive director of the Strategic Air and Space Museum in Ashland.
Michael McGinnis replaced Scott Tarry, who left the museum in October after about two years as executive director. Deputy Director Ken Schroeder served as acting director in the interim.
McGinnis comes to the museum from the Peter Kiewit Institute, where he was the executive director.
Gary Gates, chairman of the museum's board of governors, called McGinnis “a proven leader with broad academic experience.” He said McGinnis is an effective team leader and program builder who has guided several organizations through significant transformation and expansion.
“These skills will serve him well as he leads the Strategic Air and Space Museum into a new era of accomplishment which will have a tremendous impact within the community, state and region,” Gates said.
McGinnis holds a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; master's degrees in applied mathematics and operations research from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; a master's in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College; and a doctoral degree in systems and industrial engineering from the University of Arizona.
He was the head of the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center at Old Dominion University in Virginia and spent seven years as professor and head of the Systems Engineering Department at West Point.
He also served in the military for 29 years, retiring as a brigadier general.
McGinnis started the position with the museum Thursday.