National WW1 Museum at Liberty Memorial Names New President and CEO

The Liberty Memorial in KansasCity

The Liberty Memorial in KansasCity, Home of the National World War I Museum

Kansas City, MO May 13, 2013/–As the centennial of the Great War approaches, the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial takes a significant step toward its future with the naming today of Matthew C. Naylor, PhD, as President and CEO.

Naylor, a native of Australia, brings more than 20 years of leadership in the non-profit arena, most recently as Director of Advancement for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo. He begins his new role on June 17, 2013.

“We are very fortunate to have found an executive with extensive experience, one who is part of the Kansas City community yet has global connections,” said Mary D. Cohen, PhD, chair of the Museum’s Board of Directors and who is serving as interim CEO. “Matt is the ideal leader to take this organization through the World War I centennial events, to create and articulate our ongoing vision, and to showcase the Museum globally.”

Naylor had been with the Nelson-Atkins Museum since 2011, where he was part of the institution’s executive leadership team and had responsibility for development, marketing and donor services, among other duties. Prior to that, he spent more than nine years as president of Outreach International, an international humanitarian organization based in Independence, Mo. He also held leadership roles at Community of Christ, where he spent 16 years and was president of the Australia region for more than six years.

“I’m privileged to become part of the National World War I Museum at this significant juncture in its history,” said Naylor. “The Museum is a very important community asset, one that has no comparable institution anywhere in the world, and I look forward to charting its path into the coming years, locally, nationally and internationally.”

A search committee formed among members of the Museum’s Trustees managed the candidate identification process, led by Thomas W. Butch, executive vice president of Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc., who also serves as Development Chair for the Museum. EFL Associates assisted in the search, which was broad based and attracted candidates globally.

Naylor has a PhD in Health Sciences from Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia. He holds a Master of Theology from the University of Sydney, and a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University, Clayton, Vic, Australia.

For more information on the National World War I Museum, visit on the web.

National World War I Museum Hosts Centennial Conference


The Liberty Memorial in KansasCity

The Liberty Memorial in KansasCity

The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial will bring together WW1 scholars, authors, and  museum professionals from around the World to participate in a planning conference for the centennial of the First World War.  “A Century In The Shadow Of the Great War – An International Centennial Planning Conference” will take place from March 22-24, 2013 at the Kansas City, MO, museum.

The Liberty Memorial in Kansas City was dedicated in 1921 to the memory of those Americans who died in “The War to End All Wars.”  In 2004, the museum at Liberty Memorial was officially designated by Congress as the United States’ official World War I Museum.

To learn more about this exciting conference, visit the conference web page here.

World War I Centennial Commission Authorized by Congress

A gallery in the National World War I Museum, Kansas City.

A gallery in the National World War I Museum, Kansas City.

In the last days of December 2012 the United States Congress passed a bill creating a US World War I Centennial Commission that will be based on the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City.  The bill avoided the thorny issue in recent years where the designation of an official US World War I memorial is concerned – some calling for a memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and others arguing in favor of the National World War I Museum in Kansas City.   For more information, see the following news story in the Kansas City Star [Read more…]