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Susan Neal named executive director of Gilcrease Museum

The University of Tulsa is pleased to announce that Susan Neal has been named as the new executive director of Gilcrease Museum, which is owned by the City of Tulsa and managed by TU.

Neal has served as TU Vice President for Public Affairs, Research and Economic Development since May 2010. She also has served as chief operating officer of Gilcrease since 2014. She will retain her title and responsibilities as VP for public affairs for TU, as well as executive director of the museum.

Neal has more than 30 years of experience in management as well as government and community relations. While in Washington, D.C., Neal served as chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Mickey Edwards prior to her recruitment as a House and Senate lobbyist for the National Federation of Independent Business. Upon her return to Tulsa in 1984, Neal served as vice president of Downtown Tulsa Unlimited for seven years working in marketing and community development.

Neal operated her own public relations company before becoming director of Jumpstart, Tulsa’s comprehensive early childhood education campaign.

She was elected to serve two terms on Tulsa’s City Council after which she served on both Mayor Kathy Taylor’s and Mayor Dewey Bartlett’s management teams as director of community development and education. Neal continues to serve on numerous city and nonprofit boards in support of the Tulsa community.

Neal earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Oklahoma State University in 1976.

As COO of Gilcrease, Neal oversaw the final construction and opening of the Helmerich Center for American Research, which is connected to the museum, and the subsequent opening weekend celebration activities in September 2014.

“I am pleased to announce that Susan Neal has taken up the mantle of executive director of Gilcrease Museum. Susan has been involved in the life of Gilcrease Museum long before the university/city partnership was established in 2008. Susan’s passion for the legacy of Thomas Gilcrease and the gift he gave to the citizens of Tulsa is inspiring to us all. Her interim leadership of the museum in recent years during two transitions have made it clear to the TU community and its board of Trustees that the person we need at the helm of the museum is none other than Susan Neal,” said TU President Gerard Clancy.

“I am humbled to be named executive director of Gilcrease Museum. As a lifelong Tulsan, nothing could be more meaningful to me than leading the institution that is the single most valuable asset of the City of Tulsa, and championing its worth among the citizens who are owners of this extraordinary collection. It is with great anticipation that I look to working closely with the city, Gilcrease board, staff and volunteers on the upcoming $65 million expansion that is being funded through Vision Tulsa,” Neal said.