Leonard “Leni” Leon was appointed the Executive Director of the NMI Museum starting July 1.  

“His passion for Chamorro, Carolinian, and Pacific Island histories and cultures is rooted in his exposure to the CNMI’s rich and diverse communities,” the NMI Museum Board said in its press release. 

They added that Leon, who is of Marshallese descent, immigrated to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in 1990 and has since called Saipan home.

“I am incredibly humbled and honored to be part of the NMI Museum Team. I hold great respect for the NMI Museum’s commitment to preserve and share Marianas history and heritage. I see the great opportunities for the Museum to bridge communities through culture, history, and art through collaboration with our local and Pacific-wide partners," Leon said in a statement to the media. 

Leon graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he studied film and cultural anthropology. He recently managed projects and grants at the CNMI Office of Planning and Development. He is also a shell carver, photographer, and filmmaker. 

Leo Pangelinan, the Museum’s Board Chairperson said, “The Board is looking forward to working in partnership with Mr. Leon to strengthen and elevate the NMI Museum as a community cultural pillar.”

Pangelinan added, “We are excited to have someone of his caliber and experience to lead the stewardship of our cultural and historical artifacts and implement innovative programs and spaces for our local communities and visitors alike to learn from and appreciate our NMI history and culture."