News Release: Elizabeth L. Hillman Named President

Memorial Logo

August 4, 2022

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum Selects Veteran, Historian and Higher Education Leader Elizabeth L. Hillman as Next President and CEO

New York, NY — The National September 11 Memorial & Museum announced Elizabeth L. Hillman – veteran of the U.S. Air Force, respected historian, advisor to the U.S. Armed Forces, college president, and higher education leader with experience managing organizations through complex challenges – will be the institution’s new president and CEO. Hillman is succeeding Alice M. Greenwald, who has led the museum since January 2017.

The Board of Trustees engaged in an extensive national search process after Ms. Greenwald announced earlier this year she would be stepping down. The search focused on finding a leader with the ability to engage with diverse stakeholders, ensuring new generations who did not experience the tragedy firsthand learn the lessons of 9/11.

Since its inception, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum has welcomed more than 56 million visitors to the Memorial and more than 18 million visitors to the Museum. It spans a 16-acre site with more than 100,000 square feet of exhibition space containing more than 90,000 artifacts, images, videos, documents and oral histories. More than 100 heads of state and other dignitaries have visited the institution.

Michael R. Bloomberg, Chairman of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, said: “As the Memorial & Museum honors its sacred obligation of paying tribute to those we lost, saluting those who sacrificed to save lives and chronicling the events and impacts of the 9/11 attacks, we are also increasingly focused on educating new generations who did not live through 9/11 and its aftermath. And in Beth Hillman we found the right leader to marshal our efforts and lead the Memorial & Museum’s next chapter. Beth brings a rare set of skills from her experience as a college president, managing large institutions through challenging times, as a veteran who is still relied upon by our armed services, as a historian whose deep sense of service is grounded in a lifelong commitment to learning and as a trailblazer who has fought for justice and equality her entire career. She has the right background and expertise to lead us to the 25th anniversary, and into the next 25 years.”

Elizabeth L. Hillman said: “The tragic events of 9/11 forever changed all of us and their significance continues to have a deep impact on who we are as Americans. I am honored and humbled to serve an organization that has successfully honored such a sacred trust – telling the story of 9/11 and its continuing impacts, shining a light on the heroism we saw and honoring those who perished. I look forward to working alongside the families and first responders at the heart of this institution, in addition to the incredible staff, board members, curators and broader community, to build upon the foundation established at the Memorial & Museum. Following last year’s 20th anniversary, it is our solemn obligation to ensure over the decades to come that we continue to tell the story of 9/11, perhaps most importantly, to generations who do not have any memory of 9/11 or connection to the events of that day.”

Admiral William H. McRaven, Trustee of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, said: “From day one of her professional life, Beth Hillman has worked to serve our country, and her decision to join and lead this institution is the next chapter in a lifetime commitment to service. More than 20 years later, the events of 9/11 continue to have a deep impact on our country, shaping who we are as Americans, guiding how we interact with the world and informing what our future may bring. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum has deep responsibilities, which now include ensuring new generations understand what transpired in 2001 and absorb those lessons. Beth Hillman’s entire career – as a military officer, an advisor to the armed forces, a historian, an educator and higher education leader – has prepared her to lead this institution and meet those sacred responsibilities.”

Jeh Johnson, former United States Secretary of Homeland Security and Trustee of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, said: “Beth Hillman brings an extraordinary background serving our nation in uniform and proven leadership navigating institutions through challenging times to the Memorial & Museum. I am confident that under her leadership, we will build on the strong foundation already forged, commemorating the loved ones and heroes who perished on 9/11, while also engaging a new generation of Americans around the tragedy that forever changed our country and world.”

Paula Berry, Trustee of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, whose husband, David Berry, was killed on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center, said: “Beth Hillman is a patriot with the skills, experience and passion to lead the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. With a career grounded in service to country and community, Beth emerged as a clear stand-out during this search process. We are fortunate to have her leadership, courage and tenacity as we approach the 25th anniversary and beyond.”

Alice M. Greenwald, President & CEO of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, said: “It has been my greatest honor to serve as President and CEO of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. With the effort and commitment of so many, the Memorial & Museum has become one of the nation’s most consequential and impactful institutions, and with the selection of Beth Hillman, both the Museum and the Memorial will continue to thrive in service to our nation as a landmark site of commemoration, education and inspiration. From her leadership in the military justice system, to her transformational impact in higher education, to her historical expertise, Beth Hillman brings a unique combination of skills and experience to lead the 9/11 Memorial & Museum into the future.”

Emily Rafferty, Vice Chair of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and CoChair of the Search Committee, said: “At the start of this search process, we had an ambitious goal of finding someone with demonstrated leadership who also had an ability to bring diverse stakeholders together. From the moment we met Beth – with her commitment to service and her experience navigating complex organizations towards a common vision – we knew that we had found that person. We are proud that she has continued her record of service by joining the 9/11 Memorial & Museum as president and CEO and look forward to supporting her leadership for years to come.”

Russ Carson, Trustee of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and Co-Chair of the Search Committee, said: “The 9/11 Memorial & Museum is at a pivotal moment as we move towards the 25th anniversary, work to engage new generations around the tragedy and further establish it as a historic American institution. It was clear in getting to know Beth that managing through moments of change with assuredness, humility and open-mindedness is nothing new. In fact, it’s been a defining feature of her career. With Beth at the helm, we feel confident that the Memorial & Museum will continue to fulfill its critical duty of commemorating and educating Americans of all ages about the tragedy and humanity of these events.”

Elizabeth L. Hillman is a nationally recognized leader in higher education, history, justice and equality, and an expert on the U.S. military justice system. Hillman began her career as a space operations officer in the U.S. Air Force, which she served for seven years, including two years as an instructor of history at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Most recently, Hillman served as the 14th president of Mills College, the first women’s college west of the Rockies, where she oversaw a reduction in tuition to protect access in response to the rising cost of college and spearheaded a transformative merger of Mills College with Northeastern University, to increase opportunity for students and safeguard Mills’s future for generations to come. She was recently appointed Chairperson of the U.S. Department of Defense Military Justice Review Group, which conducts comprehensive reviews of the Uniform Code of Military Justice to ensure the military justice system most effectively and efficiently conducts justice consistent with due process, good order and discipline. Hillman is the recipient of the U.S. Department of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service and the CalVet Trailblazer Award from the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Hillman previously served as provost, academic dean and law professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. She also served as law professor at Rutgers Law School. She received her Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Duke University, a Master of Arts in history from the University of Pennsylvania, a JD from Yale Law School and a PhD in history from Yale University.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is the nonprofit organization that oversees operations for the 9/11 Memorial and 9/11 Memorial Museum. Located on eight of the 16 acres of the World Trade Center site, the Memorial and Museum remember and honor the 2,983 people who were killed in the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993. For more information or to reserve a ticket to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, please visit

Lee Cochran/Grant Kinsaul