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Friends of Balboa Park Appoints Kathleen Stoughton First Executive Director

The 24-year non-profit administrator takes the helm to raise awareness for the organization and initiate park-wide projects
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    SAN DIEGO, CA, December 22, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Friends of Balboa Park, the non-profit organization committed to preserving Balboa Park's legacy for future generations through park-wide projects, has named Kathleen Stoughton it's first executive director. Stoughton is an accomplished director, curator, educator and development specialist, and has worked at some of the country's most renowned art institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American Art.

Stoughton's role encompasses educating the public about Balboa Park assets and needs, and initiating park-wide projects.

"Balboa Park is one of San Diego's greatest assets and it is a privilege to work on behalf of the Park, said Stoughton. "The Park's Centennial Anniversary Celebration in 2015 is a catalyst for the many restoration, education, Water-Wise, and beautification projects the Friends will be undertaking in the coming months and into the future."

Stoughton has taught undergraduate art history and museum studies classes at UC San Diego, the University of Southern California, and San Diego Mesa College. In 1988 she founded San Diego's first museum studies program.

"Our organization has been growing at a prolific rate. It was time to select our first Executive Director to manage our growth effectively," said Ann Wilson, president of the Friends of Balboa Park Board of Directors. "Kathleen Stoughton's experiences and leadership with non-profits and cultural organizations is a perfect fit for our organization. She has the energy and intellect to take the Friends of Balboa Park to the next level."

For nearly 12 years, Stoughton directed the University Art Gallery at UCSD. As the director, she launched a number of new programs including an international exhibition program, an artist-in-residence program, and an international travel program for her gallery benefactors. During her career, she has created numerous publications, curated more than 40 exhibitions and organized over 180 educational arts events.

"This position provides the perfect opportunity for me to pursue my keen interest in art, architecture, education, historic preservation, and horticulture," continued Stoughton.

Stoughton is the recipient of a number of awards and accolades including the coveted Smithsonian Outstanding Achievement Award, the YMCA's Tribute to Women in Industry Award, the San Diego Industry-Education Council's Outstanding Educator Award, San Diego Magazine's "People to Watch" and a three-year full fellowship from the University of Southern California for graduate study.

For 24 years, Stoughton has been a devoted volunteer for the San Diego community serving on the board of directors and committees for more than 20 local organizations including the Salvation Army, Girl Scouts, San Diego Center for Children, Scripps Hospital, Moore's Cancer Center, Mayor O'Connor's Advisory Council, San Diego-Tijuana Sister City Society, La Jolla Music Society, Mainly Mozart, InSite, Balboa Art Conservation Center, and Friends of Balboa Park among others.

Friends of Balboa Park is committed to protecting, preserving and enhancing Balboa Park's legacy for future generations through park-wide projects. Friends of Balboa Park was born out of the same commitment to civic-minded philanthropy that motivated San Diego's leaders in the early part of the last century. Founded in 1999 by a group of longtime park volunteers, Friends of Balboa Park is dedicated to Balboa Park as a whole, initiating park-wide projects that transcend individual institutions and address human-scale needs.

For more information, visit or call (619) 232-2282.

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