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Bridget Coughlin, PhD

Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Programs and Adjunct Curator

Bridget Coughlin, PhD, is vice president of strategic partnerships and programs and adjunct curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Her passion is creating engaging experiences that bring out everyone’s inner scientist. Coughlin is responsible for the Museum’s fundraising and membership activities, overseeing a diverse array of innovative education programs and partnering with other organizations to bring the very best to our community.


Coughlin holds a bachelor of arts from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Iowa, and an executive MBA certificate from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Her past research on infectious diseases has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Her passion for the public understanding of science has resulted in numerous awards and national speaking and media engagements, including the World Health Organization’s Frontiers in Science speaker series.


Coughlin joined the Museum in 2005 after working for five years at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. At the Museum, she also served as the curator and science advisor on the team that conceived, designed, and built the award-winning exhibition Expedition Health.


Her volunteer time focuses on access to education and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. Coughlin serves on the boards of Clayton Early Learning and Denver Public Schools Foundation. Additionally, she is an alum of Leadership Denver, a member of the WiseWomen Council, and was awarded the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation’s Livingston Fellowship in 2010. A Colorado native, Coughlin grew up in Douglas County. Coughlin enjoys any activity that takes her outside, including hiking fourteeners, skiing, swimming, or, more sedately, watching her son’s baseball games. When forced indoors, Coughlin loves playing cards or board games, having a strong cup of coffee with her husband, and reading books to their sons.

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