The Bishop Museum’s Melanie Y. Ide on the Future of the World-Class Institution

Melanie Y. Ide, the President and CEO of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum who took the helm of the museum in January 2018, is itching to activate its untapped potential.

This story originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of our sister publication, Hawai‘i Business Magazine.

  Melanie Y. Ide

Photo: David Croxford


Ide, who took the helm of the museum in January, wants to get the word out on what many researchers and other people-in-the-know believe: Bishop Museum is a world-class institution on par with more famous museums. She is itching to activate its untapped potential and pull back the curtain on resources that the general public has not fully experienced.


Ide: My work right now is about doing a whole lot of listening. It is a fruitful process because once you gather all of that information, you can synthesize it and organize it, make plans and move forward.


SEE ALSO: O‘ahu Museum Ideas: Sleep Next to a Volcano at Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum


Q: What are you hearing?

Ide: I have learned people fundamentally want the same thing: They want their cultural heritage cared for. They want this to be the resource it already is – just more of it. More open. More accessible. A feeling that it is theirs.


Q: Where are the areas of untapped potential?

Ide: What people don’t know about Bishop Museum is that it is in the top 10 around the world, in the top five in this country and No. 1 in the Pacific in terms of its importance, its significance, its collection, its work. Relative to other museums, we fly under the general public’s radar.


Continue reading on