Meet our Leadership Team

Douglass W. McDonald, President and CEO

Cincinnati is far from my hometown in rural Iowa, but I couldn’t be more passionate about this vibrant city that I now call home. I began my museum career as CFO at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, after spending several years on the museum’s board. I was named CEO of the Genesee Country Village & Museum in 1995, and joined Cincinnati Museum Center as president and CEO in 1999. During this time, I’ve been excited to bring world-class exhibits to Cincinnati , including Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Freedom’s Sisters, St. Peter and the Vatican, BODIES…The Exhibition, America I Am: The African American Imprint, and Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt. In the community, I serve as a board member for Wilmington College, Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Leadership Cincinnati USA, and CET Public Television Community Service Council. I am also involved with a variety of professional organizations, including serving on the board of the U.S. Committee of the International Council of Museums. The past 15 years have been an adventure, and there’s no other place I’d like to spend every day than Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, a community and historical icon, and a center for education and discovery. 

Dave Duszynski, Vice President of Featured Experiences and Customer Services

I came to the Museum of Natural History on Gilbert Avenue in 1985 as the Planetarium Director, just in time for Halley’s Comet. In 1990, along with the opening of Museum Center at Union Terminal, I assumed responsibility of the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater operations, and have been a consulting producer on many OMNIMAX® films during the past 20+ years. Currently, I am also responsible for customer service operations, retail operations, and for developing special exhibitions.

My degrees are in Astrophysics and Communications from Michigan State University. For me, working in a museum provides the ideal opportunity to spread knowledge about the wonders of culture, the wonders of science, and the wonders of the universe—and it keeps me learning, too.

Elizabeth "Lee" Simmons, Vice President of Institutional Advancement

I manage a team of 12 individuals who are charged with budget support through gifts, grants and special events, as well as Museum Center’s 800-strong volunteer base. As President of the Museum Center Foundation, I play a special role in strategic planning and managing our ambitious goals for endowment growth, capital project funding, and innovative strategies for increasing contributions for expanded programs and capital projects.

Prior to joining Museum Center, I spent nearly 18 years with Lee Hecht Harrison, Inc., a global leader in creating and delivering distinctive human capital solutions, where I served as Senior Vice President, Client Services and Regional Sales Director.

I serve or have served on numerous boards of trustees in the area, including the boards of the Cincinnati Ballet, Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Board of Overseers, Junior League, International Association of Career Management Professionals, Cincinnatus Association, and Leadership Cincinnati.


Elizabeth Pierce, Chief Operating Officer

I joined the efforts to support Cincinnati Museum Center in 2002 as a consultant and as a leadership volunteer. Throughout the years, I worked on the 2004 operating levy campaign, several Duke Energy Children’s Museum parenting lectures and Museum Center's board of trustees. I officially joined the executive team in the fall of 2007, leading our strategic communications, advertising and marketing. I am here because I love learning and the ways in which museums help us learn about the world and our role in it. I have earned a BA in history from Miami University and a MA in museum administration from The George Washington University. Before relocating to Cincinnati in 1999, I worked in fundraising at Chicago Children’s Museum, special projects at the National Endowment for The Arts and volunteered at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. I previously held strategic communication roles at Dan Pinger Public Relations and UC Surgeons. I am a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati Class 32 and serve on the PR & Marketing Committee of the American Association of Museums. I volunteer with my children’s schools, LifeCenter Board of Trustees, Impact 100, Kindervelt, Spirit of Cincinnatus Advisory Board, Jostin Construction Advisory Board and the marketing committee of the MS Society.


Clarence G. "C.G." Newsome, Ph.D., President, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Newsome was named president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in August 2013. He currently serves as a member of the Duke University Board of Trustees. He is past president of Shaw University, and he previously served as dean of the School of Divinity at Howard University and as a member of the Duke Divinity School faculty.  He has also served on several major committees of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and is a member and past president of the Society for the Study of Black Religion, a nationwide think tank of scholars engaged in studying the religious experience of African Americans.

Known for his academic work in African American history and culture as well as  religious history, Newsome oversaw the creation of a museum of religious art at Howard, acquiring more than $2.7 million in church artifacts and icons, with support from the Smithsonian Institution.

As a leader, Newsome is known for creating and implementing successful fundraising programs, building efficient organizational structures, forging strategic community partnerships and communicating compelling visions of the organizations he leads. Newsome is also a true team builder, inspiring volunteerism and encouraging an entrepreneurial leadership style within a nonprofit framework.

Newsome is a triple alumnus of Duke University, receiving a B.A. in religious studies in 1972, an M.Div. in 1975, and a Ph.D. in American religious history in 1982. While an undergraduate, he lettered in football and was the first African American scholarship athlete to graduate from Duke. In addition, he was on the Atlantic Coast Conference Honor Roll for outstanding academic achievement during athletic participation in ACC.

Newsome has provided leadership to a number of non-profit associations and organizations including:

  • Board of Directors, North Carolina Symphony.
  • Board of Directors, Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle.
  • Board of Directors, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, Vice Chairperson 2007-2009.
  • Board of Directors, Downtown Raleigh Alliance.
  • Board of Directors, Raleigh Capital City Dining Club.
  • Board of Directors, United Negro College Fund.
  • Board of Directors, Wake County Education Partnership.
  • Board of Directors, Alliance for Excellent Education, Washington, DC.
  • Member, North Carolina State Ethics Commission—only African American member of commission.
  • Member, White House Advisory Group on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, 2003-2009.

He and his wife, Lynne Platt Newsome, have two adult daughters and two grandchildren.