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EXECUTI VE TEAM

Donald W. Murphy, Chief Executive 0fficer


Donald W. Murphy, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Underground Railroad Fre edom Center, is the former deputy director of
the National Park Service. He was appointed deputy director of the National Park Serv ice in September 2001 and assisted in managing
390 national park units covering approximately 84 million acres, more than 23,000 empl oyees, and a total budget of more than $2.3
billion. Murphy's priorities with the Park Service focused on preserving the nation's treasured cultural resources and protecting wildlife
and its habitats.
He served for seven years as the director of California State Parks, the nation's larg est and most diverse state park system. He began
his career as a California state park ranger, serving in various capacities including the superintendent of the parks along the Big Sur
coast where he partnered with the Ventana Wilderness Sanctuary (VWS) to establish a bi rd banding and youth education center at
Andrew Molera State Park. Later, as director, he traveled to Alaska with the VWS to c ollect eaglets to repopulate the Ventana
Wilderness.
Murphy has extensive management experience with museums and cultural and historic site s. He was responsible for security at heavily
visited national historic sites, including the Statue of Liberty, Mt. Rushmore and Ind ependence Hall. During his tenure at California
State Parks, Murphy managed the world-renowned California State Railroad Museum, the H earst Castle State Historic Monument, and
several other state museums.
Raised in Los Angeles, CA, Murphy earned a BA degree in Biology in 1975 at the Univers ity of California, San Diego. After graduating
he attended graduate school in physiology and pharmacology at UC San Diego, where he s erved as a graduate research assistant at
the world renowned Salk Institute. He later transferred to UC Irvine where he worked on his Ph.D. until hired as a ranger.
Murphy is married to LaRena Romrell Murphy. They have six children; three boys and th ree girls: Damien age 34, Kina age 33,
Christopher age 32, Liv age 31, Timothy age 18 and Anna age 17. Murphy is a published poet and has authored a number of articles.
Backpacking, writing, and golf are among his hobbies.

Dr. Spencer Crew, President


Spencer R. Crew spends his life making history accessible. On November 5, 2001, he was appointed President and Chief Executive
Officer of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and h as built the cultural institution from the ground
up. The Center, which opened in August 2004, illustrates the pro-active way African Am ericans sought freedom and the way a diverse
group of people united in support of the belief that freedom was important to preserve for everyone.
Dr. Crew made a name for himself as a curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. His
1987 exhibition Field to Factory documented the migration of southern blacks to northe rn cities in the years during and after World War I
and sparked a national discussion on the impact of migration and race. In 1994, he was named director of the museum, becoming the
youngest and the first African American director of a major Smithsonian museum. Dr. Cr ew also helped develop the Smithsonian's
popular permanent exhibition on American presidents and oversaw the preservation of th e flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write
The Star-Spangled Banner. Among his publications are Field to Factory: Afro-American M igration 1915 - 1940 (1987), and Black Life in
Secondary Cities: A Comparative Analysis of the Black Communities of Camden and Elizab eth, N.J. 1860 - 1920 (1993). He
co-authored The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden (2002) and Unchained Memories: Readings From The Slave Narratives
(2002).
Dr. Crew is an active member of the academic and cultural communities, serving on many boards that work to generate enthusiasm for
history among the general public. He is the Past Chair of the National Council for His tory Education and serves on the Board of the
National Trust for Historic Preservation as well as the Board of the American Associat ion of Museums. He has published extensively in
the areas of African American History and Public History.

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Executive Team http://www.freedomcenter.org/about/executive-team/

Before his tenure at the Smithsonian, Dr. Crew was assistant professor of African Amer ican History and American History at the
University of Maryland Baltimore County. He graduated from Brown University and holds a master's degree and a doctorate from
Rutgers University. In 2003 he was inducted into the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alu mni.
Paul Bernish, Chief Communications Officer (pbernish@nurfc.org)
· Public Relations/Marketing/Advertising
· Private Events
· Web Site
Ernest Britton, Chief Officer for Community Engagement (ebritton@freedomcenter.org)
· Volunteers – Freedom Conductors
· Freedom Stations
· Community Programs
Gary Dowdell, Chief Financial Officer (gdowdell@nurfc.org)
· IT/AV
· Finance
· Building & Grounds
Greg Landsman, Director of Sales, Guest Services and Special Projects ( glandsman@nurfc.org)
· Guest Services
· Membership
· Group Sales & Reservations
Yolanda Sherrer, Human Resources Manager (ysherrer@nurfc.org)
· Human Resources

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