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The Director of the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) is directly responsible for the general administration of the museum. Responsibilities carried out by the director include, but are not limited to: directing the development of museum policy, ensuring that the museum’s mandate is met and carried out, overseeing budgets and funding, maintaining correspondence with potential donors and managing staff. The Director also administers facilities and building maintenance and is responsible for overseeing exhibits and special programming hosted by the museum. As a part of the University of British Columbia (UBC), the director reports to the Dean of Arts.
MOA opened in 1947 and Dr. Harry Hawthorn, a professor of Anthropology, was appointed the first director in that year. He remained in this position until his retirement in 1974, when Michael Ames became the second director. Ames was director until he retired in 1997, when Ruth Phillips became director. She left the position in 2002, at which point Ames returned to MOA as Acting Director until Anthony Shelton was appointed as director in 2004.