Léa Major currently serves as the deputy director at Shangri La, working within the executive team to conceptualize, plan and advance the museum’s strategic initiatives. Major offers administrative, financial and operational leadership across the organization with attention towards an environment of civility, collaboration, efficiency, innovation, professionalism and a culture of health and safety. She provides direct supervision of Shangri La’s facilities/operations, security and administrative functions, and is responsible for developing and managing the annual operating and capital budgets along with monitoring contracts.
Since joining the Doris Duke Foundation in 2009, Major holds the stewardship of Shangri La paramount and supports aligning local and national partnerships to encourage the responsible use of the museum’s unique collection to bridge cultural divides and enhance understanding. She has participated in the organization of artist and scholar residency programs, traveling exhibitions, publications, convenings and other types of creative programming by the museum including the evolution of the public tour program. Further, Major has overseen more than ten year-long phases of renovations involving significant enhancements of existing features as well as the construction of new structures. Prior to joining Shangri La Museum, Major worked in both the private and public sectors, including at the California office of assembly member Jim Beall and at the City of San Jose’s human resources department as a risk management analyst.
Major’s studies in international areas at Saint Mary’s College of California led her to reside for short periods of time in both England and France. She earned a French Civilization and Language certificate from Sorbonne University in 2004 and a master’s degree in public administration from San José State University. She was born and raised on O'ahu’s neighbor island of Maui and brings that rooted connection to Hawai'i and the Pacific into her work at Shangri La.