Laurie Sowd has been the Operations Director at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens for the past eight years. The Huntington is a 207 acre property near Pasadena, California, containing 15 specialized botanical gardens, a research and exhibition library, and three art galleries.
In her role at The Huntington, Ms. Sowd oversees security, facilities, information systems, risk management, safety, and emergency preparedness. She also participates in an institution-wide task force aimed at improving the visitor experience and manages institutional visitor surveys and studies. Ms. Sowd provides central consulting services for the institution in the areas of contract preparation and review, intellectual property and licensing, collection loan and acquisition agreements, and real estate transactions. Prior to joining The Huntington staff, she spent six years with the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Ms. Sowd co-authored the 1990 AAM Technical Information Service Resource Report, entitled "Visitor Surveys: A User's Manual." She is a member of the Executive Committee for SMnet, a collaborative project among The Huntington, the City of San Marino, and the San Marino Unified School District, which facilitates educational interaction among the participants. She also serves on the Boards of the Western Museums Association, where she chairs the Publications Committee; the California Association of Museums; and the Smithsonian Institution's National Conference on Cultural Property Protection.
Ms. Sowd has spoken at national museum, library, and cultural property conferences on security, loss control, emergency preparedness, and technology topics.
Ms. Sowd spent her early career as a professional pianist and holds an MBA with a focus in Arts Management from the University of California at Los Angeles.