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Alumna Named New Director at Ackland

Katie Ziglar ’79, who has nearly 30 years of experience as a museum professional, is returning to UNC to be the next director of the Ackland Art Museum.

Katie Ziglar ’79

Katie Ziglar ’79

Since 2003, Ziglar has been director of external affairs at the Freer|Sackler Galleries at the Smithsonian Institution. She starts her new job at the Ackland on July 6.

“We are delighted that Katie Ziglar will join the Ackland Art Museum as the new director,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “She brings significant experience from her work at the Smithsonian Institution, where she contributed to increasing visibility and financial stability. We look forward to her leadership and vision for the Ackland Art Museum.”

While at Freer|Sackler, Ziglar tripled annual fundraising efforts over a five-year period and participated in the leadership of the $1.5 billion Smithsonian fundraising campaign. She also has contributed to the management of other major cultural organizations, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and the National Gallery of Art.

“Katie Ziglar’s experience with the Smithsonian Institution, most recently at the Freer|Sackler Galleries, brings a great depth and knowledge of building community affinity groups in working with collections, especially their Asian collection,” said James Keith Brown, chair of the Ackland Art Museum’s national advisory board. “Her background is key for the Ackland, given our various constituents and our focus on Asian and contemporary works of art.”

Ziglar received her undergraduate degree in history from UNC, where she was a Morehead Scholar. She earned a master’s degree in Islamic art and architecture from American University in Cairo. She currently serves as a board member of the Morehead-Cain Scholarship Fund.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve as director of the Ackland Art Museum, and I look forward to returning to UNC-Chapel Hill in this position,” Ziglar said. “The Ackland is a vibrant, inspiring resource for this important global public research university as well as the entire Triangle community, the state of North Carolina and our nation. I am eager to build on the incredible work of the museum’s staff to further and deepen the Ackland’s role in scholarship and especially public engagement.”


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