After 25 years in newspaper journalism, where he served for more than 10 years as Editor in chief of The Globe and Mail inToronto, Mr. Thorsell was appointed Director and CEO of theRoyal Ontario Museum in August, 2000.
While Editor in Chief of The Globe and Mail, Mr. Thorsell led the newspaper through a complete redesign and revised circulation and marketing strategy. During this tenure, The Globe’s staff of 320 won significant awards for design, journalistic excellence, public service and marketing. As a member of The Globe’s editorial board between 1984 and 2000, Mr. Thorsell specialized in national politics, law and constitution, economics and culture. He also wrote monthly book reviews for Report on Business Magazine.
He continues to write as an occasional contributor to The Globe and Mail.
At the ROM, Mr. Thorsell led the museum’s Renaissance ROM project, which saw the construction or renovation of more than 350,000 square feet of galleries, education facilities and public amenities by its final completion in 2010. This includes renovation of several heritage buildings, and the construction of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, designed by Daniel Libeskind onBloor Street. Twenty-seven new galleries were created through Renaissance ROM, covering both its mandates of World Cultures and Natural History.
The Michael Lee-Chin Crystal includes the ROM’s new entrance lobby onBloor Street, eight new galleries, retail, restaurant and event space, and opened in June 2007. By the time of its completion, Renaissance ROM will spend $300-million on the museum’s physical plant, concluding the largest cultural fundraising campaign in Canadian history.
Mr. Thorsell was invested into the Order of Ontario in January 2008. He was also invested as Chevalier, Order of Arts andLetters,France, 2010.