“We are delighted to have Mr. Diller at the helm as our Executive Director,” states Marlene R. Miller, President, on behalf of the Board of Trustees. “He has proven himself to be an effective and inspired leader. His passion for Santa Barbara history and the arts combined with his education, expertise and experience are truly a rare combination we are proud to support.”
Douglas Diller responded, “I appreciate and respect the Board of Trustees for their continued trust in me to lead our institution into an innovative new chapter of our distinguished history. These are exciting times for the Museum - with record numbers of visitors, educational programming, and recent nationally recognized exhibitions, I am confident that our team of professional staff will continue to enrich the lives of our community by making Santa Barbara history a relevant source of pride in this great city.”
Mr. Diller has held the title of Acting Executive Director since April following the untimely passing of visionary Executive Director David S. Bisol, with whom he worked closely for nearly a decade. Mr. Diller previously held the position of Chief Development Director as well as Assistant Director where he was indispensable in guiding the Museum through numerous capital projects including renovation of the vaults and galleries, The Gift of History Campaign, and in the development of many noteworthy exhibitions by such artists as Henry Chapman Ford, Frank Wildes Thompson and Edward Borein. In 2008, he was recognized for his extensive research of Hon. Judge Charles Fernald with the prestigious Fernald Legacy Award.
A native of Ohio, Mr. Diller originally moved to Santa Barbara twenty-five years ago. His varied professional background includes project management, interior design, historic structure restoration, and business management. An avid world traveler, his passion for culture and adventure led him to accept a professorship of American History at the Pusan University of Foreign Studies in Korea early in his career. Later, his entrepreneurial spirit prompted him to develop a consulting business with projects in Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles.
He holds a M.A. in Organizational Business Management (with an emphasis in non-profit administration) from Antioch University and a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in History from Westmont College.
Mr. Diller’s appointment was celebrated at the Museum’s annual fundraiser, La Fiesta del Museo on July 28, 2012. Also announced was completion of funding for the future Edward Borein Gallery of Western American Art, which the Museum intends to open next summer in the Historic Adobe.
Santa Barbara Historical Museum
The Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting the material culture of the Santa Barbara region in all its diversity; to educating through lectures, tours, and in the classroom; and to encouraging research, scholarship, and publication of the history of the Santa Barbara community. The Museum is located in downtown Santa Barbara and features changing exhibitions along with the signature exhibition, The Story of Santa Barbara, which traces the evolution of the region from the days of the Chumash into the 21st century. The extensive collection includes historic artifacts including paintings, drawings, furniture, saddles, decorative arts, and one of the largest costume collections west of the Mississippi. The Museum also preserves the Covarrubias Adobe (1817), Historic Adobe (1836) and the Hon. Charles Fernald Mansion, all Santa Barbara Landmarks.