Larry Dubinski is the President & CEO of The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, one of the premier and celebrated science centers in the nation, founded in 1824. Today, it holds the distinction of being the most visited museum in Pennsylvania.
Since assuming the role in 2014, Dubinski introduced experiences designed to engage diverse new audiences, increase attendance, bring science into the community, and significantly raise the profile of the Institute while upholding its educational mission.
In 2020, when faced with leading the venerable organization through the most challenging time in its history, he recognized COVID-19 as a moment to further elevate the importance of science through impactful educational opportunities, science communication, and recognition of scientific achievement.
Dubinski is a recognized national and international leader in the museum industry. In October 2021, he completed a two-year term as Chair of the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC). His leadership of the 600-member global organization during the onset of COVID-19 was influential in helping the museums and science centers collectively navigate the pandemic by sharing insight, real-time data, and creative solutions.
At the Franklin Institute, Dubinski led two major capital campaigns totaling $120 million: Turning the Key and Inspire Science, which resulted in the construction and completion of the 53,000 square-foot, $41 million transformative expansion—the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion in 2014. In preparation for The Franklin Institute’s bicentennial in 2024, Dubinski is leading the planning, development, and activation of a comprehensive master plan and strategic vision that will transform and redefine the science center.
Under his leadership, the Franklin Institute has grown as a national leader in informal science education through its direction of grant-funded programs including Leap into Science, GSK Science in the Summer™, and Mission2Mars that garner national acclaim for combining impactful programming, professional training, and broad participant reach.
The development of strategic partnerships and a string of curatorial and exhibit exchanges have led to the procurement of artifact loans and subsequent world-class traveling exhibitions, including Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor, Vatican Splendors, Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, the 2022 world premiere of Harry Potter™: The Exhibition, and the 2023 world debut of Disney 100.
Over the years, the Institute has significantly enriched its digital landscape, most recently in 2022 unveiling Beyond, a digital content platform to debut and house the Institute’s first-ever podcast and video series. At the onset of the pandemic, the Institute developed Franklin@Home, a comprehensive digital suite of science programming. In 2015, the museum experienced a substantial upsurge in millennial interest because of Dubinski’s push for engaging experiences like escape rooms, virtual and augmented reality, after-hours adult programming, and speaker events that, together with the internationally celebrated Franklin Institute Awards program, have delivered notables such as Jane Goodall, Bill Nye, Indra Nooyi, Alan Mulally, Frances Arnold, and Jennifer Doudna to the Institute’s expanded audience.
These initiatives, which focus on a new strategic business model approach while maintaining support for the Institute’s mission to inspire a passion for learning about science and technology, have earned Dubinski global recognition. In 2021 he was elevated to the “Power 10” of the international Blooloop 50 Museum influencer list. In 2022, he was named to the “Power 100” of the Philadelphia Business Journal for superior leadership of the organization through the global pandemic. Previous honors include “Fundraising Executive of the Year” by the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, “Circle of Excellence Award” from SmartCEO, “Most Admired CEO” from the Philadelphia Business Journal, and a two-time Mid-Atlantic Regional Emmy Award winner.
Dubinski contributes to some of the most purposeful boards in the region and beyond, including the renowned Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany. In Philadelphia, he is on the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce board, where he is a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and the CEO Access program, the board of the Satell Institute, where he is also Vice-Chair. He is a Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) member.
Previous board affiliations include the Parkway Council of Philadelphia; Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, where he was on the Executive Committee and Chair of the Audience Engagement Committee; the Executive Committee of the Temple University Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Chair of the Services and Promotions Committee; and Congregation Rodeph Shalom, where he was Vice President and on the Board of Directors.
He holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from the Temple University Beasley School of Law. Dubinski spent four years (2000-2004) at global law firm Morgan Lewis, and returned to The Franklin Institute in 2004.
Before beginning his role as President & CEO in July 2014, Dubinski served as Senior Vice President of External Affairs and General Counsel, Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer of The Franklin Institute.