Institute Speaker/Panelist Bio

Nicole Small

President, Lyda Hill Foundation

Nicole G. Small, 45, serves as chief executive officer of LH Holdings, Inc. and president of the Lyda Hill Foundation, related entities which use their resources to fund game-changing advances in science and nature, empower non-profits, and to improve the local communities of greatest importance to the organizations’ founder, Miss Lyda Hill. In these roles since early 2014, Ms. Small is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of both entities, including their financial and investment activities, as well as their philanthropic initiatives.

From 2011 through 2013, Ms. Small served as the inaugural Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer of Dallas’ Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Ms. Small joined the Dallas Museum of Natural History in 2001, having first served as a member of the Museum’s expansion team from 2001 until she was named CEO in April 2002. In 2006, Ms. Small spearheaded the merger of the city’s three, then-existing nature, science, and childrens museums (the Dallas’ Museum of Natural History, The Science Place and the Children’s Museum), into a sole museum which later became the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Victory Park. Ms. Small worked with the Board, the community and the Museum team to raise over $200 million, which included achieving their $185 million fundraising goal – and provided for the site acquisition, exhibition planning and design, construction of the new building, education programs and an endowment – more than a full year before the Museum’s planned opening. These achievements, along with many others, earned the Perot Museum widespread acclaim both for its innovative design and programming excellence.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Small held positions with several technology, venture capital and consulting firms, including serving as the founder and CEO of an internet start-up, an Entrepreneur in Residence at a California-based business incubator, and as an analyst with McKinsey & Company.

Ms. Small received an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She currently is a member of the Dallas Assembly, YPO, Charter 100, and International Women’s Forum. She serves on the Boards of the A.H. Belo Corporation, Southwestern Medical Foundation, Communities Foundation of Texas and on the strategic planning committee for The Hockaday School in Dallas. Ms. Small resides in Dallas with her husband, two daughters and a dog.

IF SHE CAN SEE IT, SHE CAN BE IT