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The third time seems to be the charm for Hilary Van Alsburg, who returned to the Children’s Museum Tucson |Oro Valley as executive director at the beginning of the month.

Van Alsburg returns to the museum from the University of Arizona, where she served as director of development for UA Libraries. She replaced Michael J. Luria, who left to join the UA. A previous museum employee, Van Alsburg served as director of development from 2011-2013 and as director of philanthropy and learning from 2014 to 2017.

During her most recent tenure with the museum, Van Alsburg secured funding for and helped create some of the institution’s popular and enduring programs, including Art after Dark, MyTime Inclusion Hour and the “I am a Scientist!” after school program.

Van Alsburg said she was “absolutely thrilled” to return to the museum, as the company and its staff feel like home and family.

“This institution is so important to the children of Tucson and Southern Arizona,” she said. “Educational resources and opportunities are in high demand throughout the state, and the Museum will continue to work to fill in the gaps and provide access that spurs curiosity and a love of learning for all kids. I am excited to build on the incredible legacy that Michael, and all the directors and staff, have built over the past 33 years.”

Van Alsburg began her career helping nonprofits as a community volunteer and consultant in 2006. Since 2011, she has made that her career, with her focus on development. Van Alsburg was honored as the 2018 Outstanding Fundraising Executive by the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. 

Her dedication to helping Tucson reaches beyond her workplace, however. She is a 2019 Tucson Public Voices Fellow and currently volunteers or serves on committees for Arizona Public Media, AFP and the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona. She has served on the boards of directors for the Educational Enrichment Foundation, Planned Giving Roundtable, Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, Teaching Applied Whole Language and Association of Fundraising Professionals. She also brings experience as an educator, business owner and attorney.

“We could not have found a better fit for the Museum than Hilary,” said Amy Welander, chair of the Museum’s Board of Directors, in a release “Her deep well of experience will continue to carry the Children’s Museum Tucson | Oro Valley into a bright future as the region’s only hands-on educational museum for kids. We are gratified for the seamless leadership transition, and look forward to seeing Hilary’s vision for the Museum take shape.”

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