Kari Watkins, a third-generation journalist, became the Oklahoma City National Memorial's first staff member as the communications director in March 1996. She was named executive director in 1999. Today, as president and CEO, she oversees the operations of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum and is race director for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. Watkins oversaw the design competition of the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial and the building of the Memorial Museum and worked with board and staff to raise $29 million for construction. In 2013, she recognized the future of museums was changing and the Memorial had to adapt to maintain relevance. As a result, the Memorial began the $10 million 9:03 Campaign to update and enhance the existing museum. Through the next two years, she led a team of board, staff, consultants and construction teams to design and build today’s award-winning museum. She serves on the board of directors for the OKC Convention and Visitors Bureau, MAPS3 Park Sub-Committee, Board of Visitors for the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism & Mass Communications and is an elder at Crossings Community Church.