Dori Moorehead, OC native, took over role Monday
By Jim Shilander
The board of the Ocean Institute has named Dori Dennis Moorehead, an Orange County native, as its new president and chief executive officer.
Moorehead, 45, had previously served as executive director of The California Museum in Sacramento, the state’s official museum since 2011. She has also worked as an attorney, including as a Judge Advocate General in the Army. She replaces Dan Stetson, who had announced in December that he would be stepping down as president and now works in a fundraising role for the organization.
Moorehead began her tenure at the Ocean Institute on Monday.
“The biggest initiative we had there was getting kids excited about learning the history of California, and it’s the same focus here, inspiring kids,” Moorehead said.
In a release from the organization, Moorehead said she would be focusing her efforts on hands-on education, which she had experience in at the state history museum. She made the switch to the nonprofit world, she said, because it provided “a fun way to use my law degree.”
“I have long been an admirer of the Ocean Institute and its indispensable and unique outreach to visitors of all ages and backgrounds,” Moorehead said. “Due to my experience in hands-on education, the mission particularly resonates with me. I am looking forward to working with the Board and talented staff to enhance the presence and stature of this well-loved organization throughout Southern California and beyond.”
Moorehead, who grew up in Fountain Valley, said she remembered visiting the Ocean Institute on a third-grade field trip and had made a number of trips with her own children.
She described her first day as “pretty great” and said it was “great to be home.”
Board chairman Maurice Masson said the group chose Moorehead because of her background in hands-on learning
“As we start a new chapter for leadership of the Ocean Institute, I can think of no better person to lead than Dori Moorehead,” said Masson. “Her track record as a visionary, educator and experienced operator brings us the mix of skills, imagination and talent to continue to realize the considerable potential of the Ocean Institute as we look to its future.”