Scott Stephenson, who has been the curatorial and educational face of the Museum of the American Revolution since it began operations a year and a half ago, has been named president and chief executive, the museum announced Tuesday.
Stephenson steps into the spot vacated by Michael C. Quinn, who stepped down earlier this year after successfully guiding the $120 million redbrick museum through its founding capital campaign and construction effort at Third and Chestnut Streets.
Quinn is now president emeritus.
Retired Air Force Gen. John P. Jumper, museum board chair and acting chief executive who headed the nationwide search before zeroing in on his own backyard, called Stephenson "the ideal candidate" to head the whole show.
Stephenson, who holds a doctorate in American history from the University of Virginia, has been running the interpretive and collection operations for over a decade — since the early planning stages for the building.
"Over the past decade, Scott's vision for the museum experience profoundly shaped the final product," Jumper said in a statement. "As we look forward to our nation's 250th anniversary in 2026, our board of directors believes that Scott will advance our vision to transform the nation's relationship with its revolutionary history and ideas. He is a gifted intellectual leader, a compelling spokesman, and is well known to our supporters and respected among our partners in Philadelphia and around the nation."
Stephenson said he was honored to take over the post "at a time when many Americans are looking to history to find the common bonds that have held us together as a people."
Before joining the museum as first director of collections and interpretation in 2007, Stephenson developed and collaborated on exhibits, films, and interpretive programs for numerous historical sites and organizations including Colonial Williamsburg and the Smithsonian. He takes up his new post at the beginning of November.