Lawrence Pijeaux

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Lawrence J. Pijeaux, Jr (born c. 1944 in New Orleans, Louisiana) served as President and CEO of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute from 1995 to 2014.

Pijeaux graduated from a segregated public high school in New Orleans in 1962 and went on to earn a bachelor of science at Southern University and a master of arts in education at Tulane University. After Pijeaux earned his doctorate in education at the University of Southern Mississippi. He returned to New Orleans to teach art in public schools, and later served as an administrator there and in East Orange, New Jersey. During a 20-year career he was named "Outstanding Principal" and "Principal of the Year". He also conducted post-graduate research at the University of California and the Getty Leadership Institute for Museum Management.

He spent two years with the Indianapolis Museum of Art before BCRI board chair Odessa Woolfolk contacted him about coming to Birmingham. As director of the BCRI, Pijeaux forged partnerships with Iris Gross of the Birmingham International Center and Gail Andrews at the Birmingham Museum of Art to expand the institute's efforts into global issues and culture. He also partnered the Institute with the Mandela House and Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Pijeaux pursued BCRI's accreditation by the American Association of Museums in 2005 and oversaw a $2.5 million renovation and expansion which was completed in 2009.

Pijeaux was appointed to the National Museum and Library Services Board in 2010 and to the board of the American Alliance of Museums in 2013.

In October 2013 Pijeaux announced his retirement, which took effect in May 2014. Priscilla Hancock Cooper succeeded him as interim director.


  • Huebner, Michael (August 1, 2010) "Birmingham Institute chief Lawrence Pijeaux's climb mirrors civil rights progress." The Birmingham News
  • Reed, Jon (October 29, 2013) "Laurence Pijeaux Jr., president, CEO of Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, to retire at year's end." The Birmingham News
  • Huebner, Michael (June 3, 2014) "Lawrence Pijeaux reflects on nearly two-decade career at Birmingham Civil Rights Institute." The Birmingham News