New Administrator Named for Division of Museums & History

Dan Thielen has been named the new administrator for the Division of Museums and History, a promotion from his post as director of the Nevada State Railroad Museums. 

For 15 years, Dan has worked for the State of Nevada’s Division of Museums and History, most recently managing the three railroad museums in Nevada located in Carson City, East Ely, and Boulder City. He oversaw 15 employees and 150 volunteers. His work in that capacity was key in the recent growth of the programs, including the funding of a new interpretive center in Boulder City, capital improvements to the Freight Building in Ely, and a 30% increase in visitation in Carson City. 

Dan graduated with a BS (Cum Laude) from Utah State University in Social Studies and Secondary Education. He completed a MS degree from USU in American Studies with a focus in living history at the RV Jenson Living Historical Farm in Cache Valley, Utah. As part of this work, he restored and operated a 1905 Case steam traction engine.  

Dan is a retired Nevada Army National Guard Major and deployed as the Director of the Tactical Biometrics Cell-Afghanistan (2012-2013) in Operation Enduring Freedom. Dan was also qualified as a combat photographer and Army Historian.  

“We are fortunate to have Dan on staff and ready to take on this leadership role with the seven state museums now in his purview,” said Brenda Scolari, Director of the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. “His in-depth knowledge of capital improvement projects will be central to the success of the department’s work with the exciting expansion plans on the horizon.”

Dan will begin the new role on October 2. He is replacing outgoing administrator Myron Freedman, who served in the position since 2020. Myron will be the new executive director of the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum.