The Brooklyn Children’s Museum has appointed the first Black male CEO in the organization’s history. Atiba T. Edwards, who visited the museum as a child, is ecstatic for the opportunity to lead as president and CEO.

“Being at the helm of this storied institution as the first Children’s Museum in the world comes with a lot of excitement, a lot of expectation, a lot of opportunity, a lot of challenges,” Edwards told Brooklyn Paper. “To me, it’s just really a blessing in many ways to come full circle to a place that I grew up coming to as a child and was very formidable in my early years that helped me create this path of continuous curiosity.”

Edwards, a Brooklyn resident, holds degrees in engineering, poetry and musicology. He has also worked as a fixed-income research analyst at JPMorgan’s Investment Bank, focusing on the automotive industry. Edwards later served as director of operations at Brooklyn East Collegiate and co-founded a non-profit organization known as FOKUS, which aims to strengthen communities through arts.

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum became the first children’s museum in the world when it was founded in 1899.

“Building upon that foundation of beautiful memories to ensure that many people across Brooklyn and across the city and even further know we are an institution that they should add to their list when they are in town,” he said. “Just spending some time at this place to see that curiosity helps spark the future.”

Amanda Sue Nichols, the museum’s chair of the Board of Trustees, praised Edwards for rolling up his sleeves and getting to work immediately.

“Atiba has been a central player in the Museum’s success over the last four years, and was instrumental in guiding the museum through the Covid-19 pandemic,” Nichols said in a statement, per the Brooklyn Paper. “Atiba’s outstanding leadership during his time as Acting CEO and his proven dedication to the museum’s mission and the communities we serve make us confident that he is the right person to lead the Brooklyn Children’s Museum into the future.”

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum hosts daily events, along with fun programs and exhibits; standout installations include World Brooklyn, which allows kids to explore a model of a small city and take on various roles.

“The youth look up to the adults to help path and plan their future and as they see a wider array of adults and a wider array of who is working where, what they consider for the future really expands,” Edwards said. “So I’m happy to now add a Black male CEO as a potential path for them.”