The New Children’s Museum adds prominent civic leader to its staff

By SDCN Editor

San Diego, CA–The New Children’s Museum announced on July 19 that it added a prominent civic leader to its staff.

Rebekah Hook-Held will join the museum’s leadership team as chief strategic advancement officer on August 28 following nearly 10 years with the San Diego LGBT Community Center as chief public affairs and civic engagement officer. 

During her tenure at the center, Hook-Held led their public affairs, advocacy, communications and marketing, leadership development, and community empowerment programs. Additionally, as part of her role on the center’s senior team, she was part of the Catalyst Committee which played an integral role in developing the center’s current strategic plan. She is a fierce advocate for policies that reduce barriers and enhance fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all community members. 

Hook-Held is an accomplished San Diego civic leader with over 15 years of experience in public affairs, community engagement, and advocacy.

In the newly created position of chief strategic advancement officer, Hook-Held will be responsible for high-level, integrated leadership of The New Children’s Museum’s development, membership, events, and marketing and communications departments. She will serve as a key thought partner and sounding board to Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Yang-Hellewell in all areas of external and government affairs. Working closely and in concert with the leadership and external teams, Hook-Held will lead the Museum’s fundraising efforts and work to increase the visibility and impact of the organization within the larger San Diego community. 

“Rebekah is a passionate community advocate and the ideal person to lead telling the stories of impact at The New Children’s Museum,” said Yang-Hellewell. “As we celebrate our 40th anniversary this year, we are poised for our next transformative phase of growth and organizational development. Rebekah will play a key role in furthering our mission to spark creativity, exploration, and a sense of belonging for all kids and families in our community.” 

“As a parent of two young kids myself, I understand the transformative impact The New Children’s Museum has had on generations of San Diego youth,” said Hook-Held. “I am excited to work with this incredible team to shape and share the Museum’s stories, including the world-class art installations, creative and educational programming, and accessibility opportunities that bring enriching museum experiences to more kids and families, within and beyond our walls.”

Sarah Thompson of Blair Search Partners assisted The Children’s Museum with the executive search process. 

Hook-Held is a current member of the San Diego County Community College District’s Trustee Advisory Council. She holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Political Science from Western Washington University, where she met her wife Shawna. They have been married since 2015 and they are proud parents to their two young children.

In 2015, Hook-Held was honored as “Women of the Year” by then-Speaker of the California Assembly Toni Atkins. In 2022, she was recognized as a “Woman of Distinction” for San Diego City Council District 7 by Councilmember Raul Campillo.

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