20 Calendar

Photo: Nicole Ryan

MOHAI is a Catalyst

Promoting the region’s well-being through the exploration of the past, present, and future

The museum is a public place for relevant community conversation that enhances community engagement. By capturing these conversations and developing new collection initiatives, MOHAI is targeting the history that is being made today.

Kathleen Knies

MOHAI is Bold

Bringing bold and fresh approaches to history

History is not made in a vacuum; it is constantly progressing within communities. In order to both react to and make history, MOHAI imagines exhibits and programs as evolving experiences with an emphasis on local stories and digital components.

Photo: Nicole Ryan

MOHAI is Accessible

Broadening access to history and the museum through programs and exhibits

All people should have access to the stories that make up their history. MOHAI works to develop opportunities for students to experience the museum, as well as ensure that the resources easily accessed for all visitors.

Photo: Nicole Ryan

MOHAI is Sustainable

Building the capacity to achieve strategic goals

As an esteemed community resource, it is crucial for MOHAI invest in the community. Cultivating long-term relationships and maintaining the highest professional standards ensures the artifacts and stories of Puget Sound’s diverse history are preserved.

MOHAI's Mission

By collecting and preserving artifacts and stories of the Puget Sound region’s diverse history, MOHAI highlights our tradition of innovation and imagination. Through compelling exhibits, scholarship, education, public programs, and community engagement, MOHAI bridges the past, present, and future.


MOHAI is treasured locally and respected nationally as a vibrant resource where history inspires people to be their best, individually and collectively.

View MOHAI’s Strategic Plan

Racial Equity Statement

In January 2020, MOHAI completed the development of our Racial Equity statement and three-year workplan based on a year of staff and board racial equity training. The Racial Equity Statement and Goals were collaboratively created, along with a more in-depth workplan, over several months and reflect the cumulative work of every department. Our workplan will be updated regularly to ensure we are meeting the goals and expectations we have set for ourselves and to be responsive to feedback from our community partners.

View MOHAI’s Full Racial Equity Statement

Why Seattle?

Chances are, the software on your computer, the cup of coffee you enjoyed this morning, the jet you flew on your recent flight, the video game you just played, and the online store where you bought nearly everything you need-those fundamental innovations that made your day-all began right here in Seattle. It’s a fact: for 150 years and more, Seattle has been a city on the go, shaping and reshaping the way we live, work and play, and having an outsized impact on the world beyond. MOHAI shares that story.

But why Seattle? What is it about Seattle that makes it so important and unique? Start with the environment: mountains permanently snow-capped; lakes and bays formed by ancient glaciers; forests dense with evergreens; and archipelagos of islands, many of which can be reached only by water or air. The human response to that stunning environment has been a never-ending conflict between stewardship and exploitation, enjoyment and destruction-a push and pull that has important lessons for a world facing profound questions of sustainability.

There also are important lessons to learn from the history of the communities we build. The city’s population is drawn from many nations and enriched by many traditions, all coming together in common cause, but at other times pulling apart in conflicts over race and class. Seattle history sheds light on our increasingly interconnected world. After all, Seattleites traded with Asia long before the term “Pacific Rim” was coined; journeyed north to strike it rich in Canada and Alaska; and eventually did big business with the rest of the world. What does it mean to be a strong community? What does it mean to succeed on the global stage? The answers can be found, in part, in the story of Seattle.

Why Seattle? Because in a constantly changing world, Seattle’s long tradition of inventiveness and ingenuity illuminate what it means to be a place of innovation. Its history exemplifies what it takes to stay on the leading edge, be a community willing to take risks, collaborate across boundaries, and persistently aim for the Next Big Thing.

This is Seattle. And the lessons we can learn from this journey from wilderness to world stage open the window to the larger American journey as well-a story filled with the excitement of new opportunities but tempered by the challenges of constant, often difficult, change. The Seattle story sheds light on our own personal journeys, as well as what our predecessors can teach us about how to build on our history but not be bound by it.

Come and discover Seattle at MOHAI and learn about our community, our world, ourselves.

Leonard Garfield

Executive Director, MOHAI

2022 MOHAI Annual Report

Awards and Affiliations

MOHAI is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is a Smithsonian Affiliate.

MOHAI has received the following prestigious awards:

2021 10Best History Museums Readers’ Choice
USA Today
2020 10Best History Museums Readers’ Choice
USA Today
2020 Finalist, General Nonfiction Category - “Seattle Style: High Fashion/High Function”
Washington State Book Awards
2018 Charles Redd Center for Western Studies Award for Exhibition Excellence Honorable Mention for Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith
Western Museums Association
2016 Leadership in History Award for The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop
The American Association of State and Local History
2016 Charles Redd Center for Western Studies Award for Exhibition Excellence Honorable Mention for The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop
Western Museums Association
2014 Buildy Award for Best New Construction
Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums with American Alliance of Museums
2014 City of Creativity Award
Mayor’s Arts Awards
2014 Muse Gold Award for Best Museum Experience for Our Neighborhoods
American Alliance of Museums
2014 Muse Best Museum Interactive Award, Interpretive Interactive Installations for the Bezos Center for Innovation
American Alliance of Museums
2013 Muse Bronze Multimedia Installation for The Great Seattle Fire
American Alliance of Museums
2013 LEED Platinum Certification
US Green Building Council
2013 Valerie Sivinski Award for Outstanding Rehabilition
Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation
2013 Award of Excellence for True Northwest: The Seattle Journey
Washington Museum Association
2013 Legacy Award
Association of King County Historical Organizations
2013 Beth Chave Preservation Award
Historic Seattle
2013 Community Service Award
American Institute of Architects Seattle Chapter
2009 Award of Merit for MOHAI Minutes
American Association of State and Local History
2009 Outstanding Public History Project for Blue vs. Gray: The Civil War in the Pacific Northwest
National Council on Public History
2009 Nonprint Media Award for Outstanding Use of Oral History for Speaking Out! Voices of Seattle’s Black Community
Oral History Association

Press and Media

Find press information, press kits, as well as other materials and resources for journalists and media.

Request Media Photos

High resolution images are available for editorial coverage. Request images, inquire about additional media, and request high resolution images.
Request Media Photos

Purchase Images

Photographs in MOHAI's Collection are available for purchase and can be custom produced according to specific sizes and finishes.
Order Photos


Contact the Marketing and Communications Department for additional inquiries or to be added to the press list.

Leadership and Board

The Leadership Team, Board of Trustees, and Foundation Board work to ensure that MOHAI remains an outstanding history museum representing the diverse communities of Puget Sound.

Leadership Team

Leonard Garfield, Executive Director

Stephen Yamamoto, Chief Financial Officer / Chief Operating Officer

Devorah Romanek, Chief of Exhibits and Interpretive Services

Jackie Durbin, Chief Advancement Officer

Governing Boards

As the governing bodies of MOHAI, the Board of Trustees and Foundation Board establish the museum’s strategic direction and oversees financial stewardship. Board members provide expertise for every aspect of the museum’s affairs, and they generously give their time, experience, and financial support.

Board of Trustees


Ben Straley

Vice President

Harald Becker


Maren Higbee


Bob Moser

Immediate Past President

Mike Stanley

Audit Committee Chair

Matt Tilghman-Havens

Collections Committee Chair

Roger J. Bass

Development and Marketing Committee Chair

Harald Becker & Maureen Frisch

Finance and Operations Committee Co-Chairs

Bob Moser

Nominating and Governance Committee Chair

Maja Larson

Outreach and Community Engagement Committee Chair

Enrique Gonzalez


Jon Bridge

Pauly Cabellon

Stephanie Cheung

Katie D’Amato

Maria Denny

Red Godfrey

Mark Kotzer

Hilary Laney

Tom McQuaid

Ana Pinto da Silva

Lawrence Pitre

Kate Rooney

Beth Rutherford

Rachel Shrewsbury

Chris Voorhees

Jeff Wolford

Curtis Wong

Ex Officio

Leonard Garfield

John Waterhouse

Stephanie Johnson-Toliver

Foundation Board


Lynn Lindsay


Andrew Bor


Maureen Frisch

Bill Grinstein

Susan Lindsay

Chuck Nordhoff

Chad Richardson


There are many ways to help MOHAI fulfill its mission of bridging the past and present in order to build a better future.

The MOHAI team of staff, interns, and volunteers are dedicated, thoughtful and talented and help make regional stories come alive for all visitors. By becoming part of the MOHAI community, there are continuous opportunities to learn, experience new things, and for personal growth.

View opportunities at the museum, get involved, and share skills and talents with the MOHAI community!

Employment Opportunities

MOHAI is committed to attracting, developing and retaining a highly qualified, exceptional workforce. The museum staff is a collaborative and diverse team that is dedicated to and passionate about the region’s history and its many communities. The museum is an equal opportunity employer that values authenticity, individual stories, inclusiveness, and innovation. Your interest is appreciated, and applications for available/open positions are welcomed.

When you submit your application, you will receive an automated message noting your materials have been received. Unfortunately, we cannot respond to individual applicants due to the high volume of resumes submitted. No phone calls, please.

Internship Opportunities

Internships are a way to gain professional skills, while working with talented team members at MOHAI. Internship opportunities will be posted as they become available.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are crucial in helping MOHAI reach its goals, and their skills and dedication make MOHAI a richer and more vibrant place.

Learn more about volunteering at MOHAI

Consulting Opportunities

MOHAI occasionally engages experts under individual contracts to work on short-term projects as a consultant or external advisor. We value the expertise these specialists bring to our work, improving the performance of museum staff and strengthening the systems in which they work.

We are currently seeking consultant(s) who have expertise in the following area(s):

Instructions on how to respond are included within each call for proposal.


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