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Ford Bell

Ford Bell, President and CEO of the American Association of Museums, has more than 30 years’ experience as a nonprofit executive, board chair, donor, trustee, educator and scientist.

Mr. Bell served as an advisory board member for more than 20 years at the Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota. He currently serves as chairman of the James Ford Bell Foundation and has been a trustee of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for nearly a decade. While board chair Mr. Bell helped raise $103 million as part of the institute’s "Bring Art to Life" capital campaign. From 1995 to 2005, he served as President and CEO of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, a prominent research organization and one of the largest providers of community heart health education in the United States.

Mr. Bell’s many public service endeavors underscore his commitment to developing organizations and strengthening communities. He was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota in 2006 and for more than two decades has supported a number of Minneapolis institutions. As a board member of Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches he recently helped build its Center for Families to support the growing number of people from West Africa in need of job training, health screenings and housing.

Among the boards Mr. Bell has served are the Special Projects Foundation, the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association Foundation and the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History.

Education has been a centerpiece of Mr. Bell’s life for nearly 40 years. A respected academic and researcher, he has lectured and published extensively. Since 1995, he has served as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Oncology at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and lectured on a wide variety of topics before foundations, medical associations and universities. He has advocated extensively for science learning, conservation and community health initiatives through his affiliation with a wide range of organizations. These have included Project EarthSense, the Humane Society, Community Health Charities Minnesota and the JASON Advisory Committee, a public-private elementary and secondary school science education initiative sponsored by the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History. Mr. Bell is also a long-time trustee of Connecticut College. He began his career in education as a Spanish teacher at the Blake School in Hopkins, Minn.

Mr. Bell received a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Minnesota and a D.V.M. from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. He also attended the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and Elbert Covell College at the University of the Pacific.

A native of Minneapolis, Mr. Bell resides in the Washington, D.C., area with his wife, Amy, and their children.


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