July 11, 2023

Discovery Place Selects Dr. Nikole L. Hill as Chief Learning Officer Effective Monday, July 24 

Media Contact: Sarah Wheat | swheat@discoveryplace.org 

CHARLOTTE, NC (July 11, 2023) – Discovery Place has named Dr. Nikole (Nikki) L. Hill as the organization’s new Chief Learning Officer (CLO), effective July 24, 2023. As CLO, Hill will lead all programs, experiences, exhibits and related activities for Discovery Place – Kids while working to advance the organization’s network of children’s museums. She joins her peer Heather Norton, Chief Science Officer, as the organization’s two leaders of content and experiences for Discovery Place Museums. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Nikki as a trusted colleague on our senior leadership team,” said President & CEO of Discovery Place Catherine Wilson Horne. “With more than 20 years of experience as a senior leader in children’s museums, combined with her work as a community connector and passion for education, we look forward to the contributions she will bring as we envision the future of our children’s Museums.” 

Hill began her career teaching kindergarten in Richland School District One in Columbia, SC before joining the South’s largest children’s museum, EdVenture, as the afterschool manager in 2005. During her 14-year tenure, she quickly elevated through the ranks and was instrumental in helping the museum become a recipient of the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service by enhancing the museum’s program offerings and building an emphasis on health and wellness education. Serving as Executive Vice President of EdVenture from 2013-2019, she was the first African American executive for the organization and received one of the highest honors a children’s museum executive can obtain—a Noyce Fellow. Hill has also been an active member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) and was twice honored by the national organization as a Diversity Fellow. 

“I’m excited to return to work in the children’s museum field and build upon my passion to ensure all children have an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe and effective environment,” said incoming CLO of Discovery Place Nikki Hill. “Discovery Place has been instrumental in educating children across the Carolinas for the past 75 years, and I’m proud to join a team with such strong community relationships and commitment to education.” 

In 2019 Hill founded Village First Consulting, where in her role as president she acted as a community connector working with schools, governments, companies and non-profits across North and South Carolina. In 2023 she earned a PhD in Organizational Leadership from Columbia International University in Columbia, SC. She holds a master’s degree in Reading and Literacy in early childhood, primary and secondary education from Walden University and a B.A. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Columbia College. 

About Discovery Place 
Discovery Place brings science, nature, and design together to create transformative experiences that enable the community to understand, enjoy and apply science to their lives. Discovery Place is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and leader in STEM education to the Carolinas through four distinct museum experiences—Discovery Place Science, Discovery Place Nature, Discovery Place Kids Huntersville and Discovery Place Kids Rockingham. Discovery Place serves over 750,000 people a year—through Museum visitations, interactive educational programming, professional development training and community outreach initiatives—shaping a future where people embrace science to create opportunities, build hope, solve problems and bring positive change for our world. In 2017, Discovery Place was named as a finalist for the National Medal by the Institute for Museum and Library Science. Discovery Place is supported, in part, by the Infusion Fund and its generous donors.