Andy Masich is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Senator John Heinz History Center and Chairman of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The History Center is the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and accredited by the American Association of Museums. The PHMC is Pennsylvania’s official history agency, overseeing archives, museums, and historic preservation efforts across the state.
Since 1998, he has provided leadership for Pittsburgh’s nationally acclaimed 370,000 square-foot History Center and museum system, which includes the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum; Detre Library & Archives; Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, the oldest site of human habitation in North America, located in Avella, Pa.; the Fort Pitt Museum; and most recently, the nine-story Museum Conservation Center adjoining the History Center.
Under Andy’s leadership, the History Center has been recognized for its award-winning exhibitions and innovative educational programs. He has forged strategic partnerships with organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Allegheny Conference for Community Development, Boy Scouts of America, VisitPittsburgh, and Neighbors in the Strip (NITS).
In 2011, Governor Tom Corbett appointed Andy chairman of the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission (PHMC) which now coordinates Civil War 150 activities and other programs in collaboration with hundreds of museums in Pennsylvania. He also serves on the American Association of Museums Accreditation Commission (which accredits the top museums in the U.S.). His lively lectures on subjects ranging from American Indians to American innovation have entertained and educated audiences from coast to coast. A recognized authority on the preservation and creative interpretation of history, he has been a faculty member of the prestigious Seminar for Historical Administration. Among his popular presentations are “Unknown Stories of the Civil War,” “History of Innovation,” “Young George Washington,” and “Lighten Up!” (humor therapy for directors and other humor impaired museum professionals). He makes regular television appearances on KDKA, including the popular “Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures” programs, and WQED, where he has won Emmys for his historical documentaries, and as an expert for a variety of national media outlets, including the Associated Press, The New York Times, and The History Channel.
He has authored or co-authored award-winning books including Cheyenne Dog Soldiers: A Ledgerbook of Coups and Combat (University Press of Colorado, 1997); Halfbreed: The Remarkable True Story of George Bent - Caught Between the Worlds of the Indian and the White Man (Da Capo Press, 2004, winner of the Colorado Book Award); and The Civil War in Arizona: The Story of the California Volunteers, 1861-1865 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2006, named Southwest Book of the Year), and Dan Rooney: My 75 Years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL (a collaboration with Dan Rooney and Dr. David Halaas, was a New York Times bestseller).
Read Andy Masich's article "Inside the 'Black Museum,'" by clicking here.
Watch Andy Masich speak about his childhood museum for the Center of the Future of Museums: