After an extensive search, the Santa Barbara of Museum of Natural History has named Luke Swetland as its next president and CEO. Most recently the interim director at the Gene Autry Museum, Swetland will replace the museum’s longtime director Karl Hutterer, who is retiring at the end of this year.
In addition to inheriting the nearly 100-year-old museum’s rich history and vibrant community involvement, Swetland will also become the face for the institution’s ongoing expansion and renovation plan. That project, which is designed to take the museum into the next 100 years, is already ruffling some feathers in the neighborhood, and has the potential to become a serious political battle and financial challenge in the years to come.
Stay tuned to The Independent in the coming weeks for an outgoing interview with Hutterer and incoming interview with Swetland, who will make his first public appearance on January 24 at the annual state of the museum address.