Open 9 am - 6 pm
Sarah Hezel in front of Shedd's historic bronze doors.

Sarah Hezel

Vice President, Design and Exhibits

Sarah Hezel leads design and exhibits at the aquarium – overseeing the content and design of exhibits, experiences, and media that engage, delight and foster connections to the natural world and cultivate an ethic of care for wildlife.


B.A., English and art history, Earlham College

Before joining the Shedd Aquarium as VP of Exhibits & Design, Sarah Hezel was Director of Interpretation & Graphic Design at the Wildlife Conservation Society where she worked with a talented team of exhibit developers and designers to create and evaluate experiences and exhibits for the Bronx, Central Park, Prospect Park, and Queens Zoos; NY Aquarium; and WCS’s global conservation efforts. During her tenure at the Wildlife Conservation Society, she oversaw the interpretive development and design for exhibitions including: the Bronx Zoo’s Madagascar! (2008); Central Park Zoo’s Snow Leopard Exhibit (2009); New York Aquarium’s Conservation Hall (2011); An institution-wide rebrand (launched 2015); the Bronx Zoo’s Nature Trek and Treetop Adventure (2017); the New York Aquarium’s Ocean Wonders: Sharks! (2018) and Spineless (2020) and PlayQuarium (2020). Prior to her work at the Wildlife Conservation Society, she served as Head of Publications at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, where she led editorial and design projects such as Modigliani & the Arts of Montparnasse (2002) and Petah Coyne: Above and Beneath the Skin (2004) and oversaw a rebrand for the museum.

Sarah is a passionate advocate for museums and informal learning environments of all kinds and has spent her career connecting creative people to create books, brands, exhibitions, events, and experiences that fulfill missions and visitors. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Exhibition, a journal of the American Alliance of Museum and the National Association of Museum Exhibition and serves on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Marketing Committee.

Sarah attended Earlham College, where she studied English and Art History (BA); and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she did coursework in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory, and Criticism; and attended the Getty Leadership Institute’s Next Generation: Museum Leaders.