July 9, 2024

Retired Vice Admiral and Navy SEAL Captain Assume Roles at Upcoming Navy SEAL Museum

San Diego Museum Continues to Hire Staff and Make Other Board Appointments

SAN DIEGO – The upcoming Navy SEAL Museum San Diego’s Board of Directors has appointed Vice Admiral Tim Szymanski, USN (Ret.) to serve as its chairman for the next term. Szymanski served most recently as the Deputy Commander for United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) after previously serving as the Commander of Naval Special Warfare (NSW). In both roles he oversaw the manning, equipping, training, and employment of NSW and Joint Special Operations Forces.

The Museum’s Board has also appointed Jim Skeen, Jr. to serve as its secretary. Mr. Skeen is Founding President and CEO of Lockton San Diego, a provider of insurance, risk management, and employee-benefit solutions. He has over 40 years of experience in the Risk and Resiliency Solutions space and serves on the board of The Honor Foundation.

Captain (SEAL) Brian “Beef” Drechsler, USN (Ret.) has been hired to oversee operations of the Museum and serve as Deputy Executive Director. Drechsler retired from active duty on June 1 of this year and was awarded the Navy’s 2017 Stockdale Leadership award and will bring those guidance skillsets to NSMSD. Mr. Drechsler previously commanded the Naval Special Warfare Center overseeing the production of all new SEALs and Special Warfare Combat Crewman.

Executive Director of NSMSD, Captain (SEAL) Todd Perry, USN (Ret.) mentions, “Vice Admiral Szymanski and Captain Drechsler were both incredible leaders and SEALs throughout their careers, and Jim has devoted himself in the civilian world to our special operators’ well-being. All bring a valuable perspective to round out the story were telling as Navy SEAL Museum San Diego marches ahead for our planned opening in early 2025.”

The Museum has also hired longtime San Diego museum professional, Matthew Schiff, as assistant marketing director. Schiff has most recently served as the marketing director for the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park and previously with the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Outgoing Board Chairman, Don McClure, stated, “At the end of my term, I feel that our promise—to inspire all people who visit this Museum through storytelling, education, experience, remembrance, and community service—is going to be even stronger with the expansion of our team in San Diego.

The Navy SEAL Museum San Diego is currently building out its exhibition space at 1001 Kettner Blvd., the former downtown location of the Museum of Contemporary Arts. The Museum plans to open in early 2025. For more information or to learn how you can support the mission, visit

About Navy SEAL Museum San Diego (NSMSD)
Navy SEAL Museum San Diego (NSMSD) is the second museum, with its sister location located in Ft. Pierce, Florida, dedicated solely to preserving the history of U.S. Navy SEALs and their predecessors. NSMSD will create a venue of inspiration, reverence, and education that honors the service of the Frogmen, from World War II to the present day, central to Naval Special Warfare Command. Built to honor the men who served with fortitude and ingenuity, the main objective of the Museum is educating the public by providing the opportunity to explore the history of Navy SEALs and their predecessors through interactive exhibits, while honoring the fallen at the Navy SEAL Memorial and caring for those warriors’ families through its Trident House Charities Program.