Press Release

The National WWII Museum Appoints WWII Veteran C. Paul Hilliard to Chairman of its Board of Trustees

NEW ORLEANS (September 24, 2018) – The National WWII Museum announced the appointment of longtime Trustee and WWII veteran Paul Hilliard to the position of Board Chairman. In his new leadership role, Hilliard, who has been a transformative influence in Museum initiatives since joining the Board in 2006, will focus on the completion of the Museum’s $400 million campus expansion in New Orleans and the growth of its national education offerings. In addition, Hilliard will assist in the Museum’s ongoing commemoration of historically significant milestones, including the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in June 2019.

“During this pivotal time for the Museum, there is no one better prepared to lead this organization than Paul Hilliard,” said Stephen Watson, President and CEO of the Museum. “Over the years, Paul has been a great champion and supporter of our institution, working tirelessly to help educate millions of Americans about our shared history. As a WWII veteran who served in the Pacific, Paul has a special understanding of the importance of preserving the personal stories of the war. His experience, passion and captivating storytelling ability will play an integral part in continuing to bring the Museum’s mission to life.”

At 17 years old, Hilliard left his hometown in rural Wisconsin to volunteer for the US Marines, serving for more than three years, including a tour of the Pacific. A radioman and gunner in SBD Dauntless Dive Bombers, he flew 45 combat missions and was twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in addition to receiving the Air Medal with six bronze stars. Following his service, Hilliard earned his law degree from the University of Texas before beginning a long career in the oil and gas industry at corporations including Chevron, H.L. Hunt and his own, Badger Oil Company.

“Having worked with the talented team at The National WWII Museum for more than a decade, it’s an honor to be named Chairman of the Board,” said Hilliard. “Our legacy is to live up to the mission set forth by America’s president early in the war, when victory appeared to be many difficult days ahead. On February 12, 1943, President Roosevelt issued this statement:  ‘We have faith that future generations will know here, in the middle of the Twentieth Century, there came a time when men of good will found a way to unite, and produce, and fight to destroy the forces of ignorance, and intolerance, and slavery, and war.’”

In addition to serving on the Executive Committee of the Board, Hilliard has served as Chair of the Board’s Collections and Exhibits Committee, where he oversaw the initiative to digitize the Museum’s collections for online accessibility. Hilliard and his wife Madlyn’s generous financial support has contributed to the Museum’s collection of oral histories, the restoration of several artifacts and the acquisition of macro-artifacts, including a C-47 aircraft, a Douglas Dauntless Dive Bomber and numerous other weapons and artifacts. As a noted WWII veteran and business executive, Hilliard brings special credibility to the Museum’s leadership, and members of the Hilliard family have long been enthusiastic participants in the institution’s major public events.


The National WWII Museum’s Board of Trustees is currently comprised of 57 members, including four new appointments:

  • Clifford S. Asness, Managing Principal and Chief Investment Officer at AQR Capital Management, LLC, in Greenwich, CT
  • Hunter G. Hill, New Orleans Market President for IBERIABANK in New Orleans, LA
  • Jane T. Olson, Former Chair of the International Board of Human Rights Watch in Pasadena, CA
  • W. Gray Stream, President of Matilda Stream Management in Lake Charles, LA

For a complete list of Board Trustees, please visit

The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world—why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today—so that future generations will know the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front. The 2018 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards ranks the Museum No. 3 in the nation and No. 8 in the world. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit