Dr. Christine Conte has been named the new executive director of Tohono Chul Park, the park's board of directors announced Friday.
Conte comes to Tohono Chul after five years as director for the Center for Sonoran Desert Studies and cultural ecologist at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. In that position, "she was pivotal in developing, funding and positioning the center as a major institute for public education and conservation science with a staff of 18 and approximately 200 volunteers," a release said.
Conte conceived episodes of the Emmy Award-winning PBS series "The Desert Speaks!," and was managing editor and contributing writer of "sonorensis," the museum's annual conservation science publication.
Prior to her years at ASDM, Conte spent 14 years as director of marketing and communications for The Nature Conservancy, where she acted as a major fundraiser —planning major donor events, building relationships for donor cultivation and soliciting in-kind donations in addition to major marketing and public relations accomplishments.
Conte came to Tucson in 1974 to attend graduate school at the University of Arizona in museum studies and anthropology. She subsequently held curatorial and collections management positions at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and at the Museum of the American Indian in New York.
In 1986, after two years with the Smithsonian Institution, she returned to Tucson and accepted the position of executive director at the nascent Old Pueblo Museum in the Foothills Mall, where she developed and managed the 5,000 square-foot educational center dedicated to the presentation of programs of art, culture, science and natural history.
Conte begins her tenure at Tohono Chul on Sept. 7.
Tohono Chul Park is entering its second 25 years. It is located at 7366 N. Paseo del Norte, one stoplight west of the intersection at Oracle and Ina.