Fort Collins Museum of Discovery Announces New Executive Director 

The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. Image courtesy of

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery (FCMoD) has announced Laura Valdez will be the new Executive Director of the Nonprofit Partner starting March 2, 2020. After an extensive national search, the museum selected Valdez to co-lead the organization with the current Executive Director, Cheryl Donaldson, who represents the City of Fort Collins Partner. Valdez has more than a decade of combined leadership experience in the nonprofit, education, and public sectors, supported by a Masters of Public Administration focused on local government and nonprofit management.

Laura Valdez is the new New Executive Director of Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.

“The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery staff are excited to welcome Laura into our organization. Laura’s dedication and commitment to community impact and strong organizational management will complement and support the work of the team,” says Cheryl Donaldson. 

Valdez will be joining the museum after eight years working at the City of Elgin, Illinois, most recently as the Assistant City Manager. She has a proven track record of success in leading collaborative, inclusive efforts to further collective goals and achieve shared success. In her work, she has consistently built and maintained excellent relationships among diverse groups to facilitate understanding, awareness, and action on community-wide concerns and initiatives.

“I am thrilled to join the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. It’s energizing to see what the staff, board, donors, and volunteers have already accomplished. I look forward to working hand in hand with the team and greater community as we take the museum to the next level,” says Valdez. 

Since merging operations between the City of Fort Collins Museum (established 1941) and the nonprofit Discovery Science Center (1989) and opening a new facility in 2012, FCMoD has welcomed over 820,000 visitors from all 50 states. Valdez will be joining FCMoD at a very exciting time as the museum presents Geek Week over spring break in March, concludes their current special exhibition Game Changers at the end of April, hosts a variety of educational and engaging public programs over the summer, and gears up for the groundbreaking exhibit Mental Health: Mind Matters opening in October of this year.

Board President, Donn Hopkins, says, “The Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Ms. Valdez to the organization. We are confident she will be an excellent match for this position, a strong asset, and complement to the existing museum team, as well as a vibrant member of the Fort Collins community.”

Valdez echoes this sentiment, saying: “The mission and vision of the museum align directly with the values that have driven my work, and I am excited to bring my range of experiences to a professional team who embody stewardship and are on a path of inclusion, innovation, and excellence.” 

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is an innovative cultural and educational institution designed to engage people in hands-on and collections-based explorations in science and culture. FCMoD is located at 408 Mason Court in Fort Collins. For information about the museum, exhibits, and future program opportunities, please visit

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