Sean Kelley

Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy


Sean Kelley is the Parks Conservancy's Vice President of Visitor Programs and Services. He oversees the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the organization's interpretive programs throughout the Parks Conservancy, with a particular focus on Alcatraz. Approximately 1.8 million people visit Alcatraz annually to engage with themes related to incarceration, justice, and the impact on communities. In his role, Sean also explores ways to implement additional revenue generating park programs for the organization.

For nearly 30 years, Sean was the Senior Vice President and Director of Interpretation at the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, where he was dedicated to creating challenging and meaningful museum experiences for broad audiences. Under his leadership, the team developed a groundbreaking hiring program to bring formerly incarcerated people into the organization, many of whom worked directly with visitors in the education department.

A sought-after speaker on museums' changing role, broad civic engagement, and community-centered museum practice, Sean has been widely published and has received national awards for his museum exhibits and programs. He has consulted with aspiring Sites of Conscience, including the Old Idaho State Penitentiary Museum, the Whitney Plantation, and the National Summit on Slavery Interpretation. Sean also serves on the Board of Directors of Museum Hue, a national non-profit organization creating pathways to leadership for emerging BIPOC museum professionals.

Sean holds a bachelor's degree in English from Villanova University and is a Getty Leadership Institute Fellow. He has served as an adjunct professor at Rutgers University and the University of Pennsylvania, teaching public history and museum studies.

Sean Kelley is the Parks Conservancy's Vice President of Visitor Programs and Services