Forever Balboa Park Leadership Transition

From Doug Kerner, Board Chair and Trustee, Forever Balboa Park

“On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, it is with deep gratitude that I wish Elizabeth Babcock all of our best as she assumes a new role as Director of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum in Washington, D.C. Elizabeth served as the inaugural President & CEO of Forever Balboa Park during a period of transition. We had recently completed an organizational merger and needed a leader who shared our passion for parks but also knew how to build an organization. Elizabeth was able to harness the energy of our trustees, volunteers, donors, members, and staff and establish the foundational elements for our organization to thrive. From crafting our new strategic plan and securing our comprehensive special use permit with the city to advancing our Botanical Building and Gardens Campaign and launching new initiatives, Elizabeth has helped ensure Forever Balboa Park is poised for growth and continued impact in Balboa Park. Thank you, Elizabeth!”

From Elizabeth Babcock, President & CEO, Forever Balboa Park

“I am so grateful for the exceptional people I have worked with during my tenure at Forever Balboa Park. Balboa Park is visited by people from across our region and beyond, and it has been an honor to be a steward of this exceptionally historic, nature-rich, and diverse park. From the hundreds of trees we planted to the hundreds of thousands of park visitors we served during my time here, I have been struck by the passion and love people have for the park and their willingness to volunteer, donate, and advocate for it. Forever Balboa Park will continue to improve and advance Balboa Park so people and nature thrive together.”

Transition Plan

The Board of Trustees of Forever Balboa Park looks forward to selecting a search firm to assist in a national search for the next President & CEO. In the meantime, Forever Balboa Park will be led by two senior staff: Jackie Higgins, currently VP of Planning, and Phillip Sammuli, currently VP of Institutional Advancement. They will serve as Interim Co-CEOs upon Elizabeth’s departure until a new President & CEO is named. Inquiries can be directed to

Photo: Debora Cartwright at delmarPhotographics

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