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Sean M. Decatur, PhD

President, American Museum of Natural History

Sean M. Decatur became President of the American Museum of Natural History in April 2023, after nearly a decade of distinguished service as president of Kenyon College, during which Kenyon achieved significant gains in the strength and diversity of its student body, resources for financial aid, and the breadth and distinction of faculty; enhancements to the campus; and record enrollments despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has served on numerous advisory boards, including the Board on Life Sciences at the National Academy of Sciences and currently serves as chair of the Advisory Committee for the Center for the Advancement of Science Leadership and Culture at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, chairman of the Codon Learning scientific advisory board, and as a director on the board of directors of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) and the Joyce Foundation.

Prior to joining Kenyon College, Decatur was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oberlin College, where he was also professor of chemistry and biochemistry. Previously, he was professor at Mount Holyoke College, where he helped establish a top research program in biophysical chemistry, and a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has won research grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health and from private foundations, including the Alzheimer’s Association and the Dreyfus Foundation, and is the author of numerous scholarly articles. He has won numerous awards including the Foreign Policy Association Medal in 2023. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Decatur earned his bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and his Ph.D. degree in biophysical chemistry from Stanford University.