Kris Nesbitt is currently an independent consultant and was most recently Chief Strategic Initiatives Officer at Chicago History Museum. There she coordinated large scale initiatives across the Museum, including the implementation of the major construction of the Richard M. and Shirley H. Jaffee History Trail and renovation of Russell L. Lewis, Jr., Research Collection Facility.
At Shedd Aquarium, Nesbitt provided operational oversight and strategic vision for Shedd’s exhibition planning, library and archive, exhibit maintenance and horticulture departments, ensuring a welcoming and inspiring experience for Shedd’s 2M visitors each year. She spearheaded new exhibition projects and capital renovations including Underwater Beauty, winner of the overall excellence award from American Alliance of Museums in 2019, as well as creative renovations of permanent exhibitions. Nesbitt initiated and led Shedd’s transformative Accessibility and Inclusion initiative, an organization-wide effort to improve the experience for people with disabilities, which won both the AAM and American Zoo and Aquarium Association Diversity and Inclusion awards.
Nesbitt was a steering committee member of the Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium from 2015-2019, and now serves on its board. In 2019, she received the American Alliance of Museum’s John Cotton Dana Award, a lifetime achievement award for exemplary leadership designed to recognize those outside the field of museum education who promote the educational responsibility and capacity of museums.
Ms. Nesbitt holds an MA in Folklore from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a BA in English from Haverford College.