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Micah Parzen named Museum of Man executive director

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)– Following a nation-wide search, San Diego native Micah Parzen, Esq., Ph.D., has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the San Diego Museum of Man. Dr. Parzen will draw upon his unique professional background and skill set–including a Ph.D. in Anthropology, significant nonprofit leadership experience, and expertise as an employment attorney and business counselor–to lead the Museum into a vibrant new chapter. 

Board of Trustees Chair, Justice Richard Huffman states, “We are thrilled to bring Dr. Parzen on as our new Executive Director.  The Board of Trustees looks forward to partnering with him to revitalize the Museum in the years to come.”  

Parzen, a partner at Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps, LLP, where he serves as the firm’s Pro Bono Program Coordinator, is an established leader in the San Diego community. No stranger to the nonprofit world, Parzen was a long-time board member of ElderHelp of San Diego, a social services agency for seniors, where he led the organization as its president for two years.  In addition, he currently sits on the board of the San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program, the county’s oldest and largest pro bono legal services provider, and has a long history of representing nonprofit organizations throughout San Diego County. 

Dr. Parzen’s name is also found among prestigious lists of local community members such as the San Diego Metropolitan Magazine’s “40 Under Forty” and the San Diego Daily Transcript’s “Top Young Attorneys.”

As an academically trained anthropologist with significant experience in applied settings, Parzen looks forward to implementing a vision for the Museum that recasts it as a relevant, innovative, and essential cultural institution for the San Diego community and beyond.  This vision for the Museum will build upon its rich history, existing stakeholder base, and extraordinary collections to transform the institution into a vibrant, family-friendly cultural venue that attracts, engages, and inspires visitors.  Parzen’s primary charge will be to fulfill this vision in a sound and fiscally sustainable manner. 

According to Parzen, realizing the Museum’s true potential is a matter of taking its mission to the next level.  “As a cultural institution dedicated to ‘teaching people about people,’ the Museum of Man is uniquely positioned to explore issues that are directly relevant to our lives as cultural beings and, thus, to our community,” he explains.  “Margaret Mead once said, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’  That, in a nutshell, is what the Museum of Man is all about.”

Parzen earned his law degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law and his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.  He earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University, with specializations in psychological anthropology, medical anthropology, cross-cultural socialization, applied anthropology, and experiential education.  He has conducted extensive fieldwork with the Navajo Nation and is a long-time human rights advocate with considerable experience in the field of mental health.  Parzen lives in Point Loma with his wife Marguerite and two sons, Abner (age 7) and Oscar (age 2).  He will take the helm of the Museum, the region’s only museum of anthropology and archaeology, on August 9, 2010. 

Preceding provided by San Diego Museum of Man

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