Arts, Culture, and Humanities


Connecting the Past with the Future

aka Battleship IOWA Museum

San Pedro, CA


As a historic naval ship museum, we inspire civic engagement through Education, Veterans, and Community efforts. The Pacific Battleship Center (PBC) celebrates the American spirit through the preservation and interpretation of the Battleship IOWA. By sharing the accomplishments and sacrifices of American patriots and engaging visitors in unique and exciting ways, PBC brings the ship to life by connecting the past with the present and future.

Notes from the Nonprofit

Beginning in 2020, the Pacific Battleship Center will transition to become the National Museum of the Surface Navy at Battleship IOWA. Why? The United States Navy Surface Fleet has protected America’s interests and her citizens since 1775. The primary mission of the National Museum of the Surface Navy is to raise awareness of the importance of the Surface Navy's role in international relations, free trade, humanitarian assistance, and technological innovation. But the National Museum of the Surface Navy is envisioned to be much more. It will serve as a community-based, veteran-focused, and STEM-enriched facility to be located at the venerable Battleship IOWA in the Port of Los Angeles. Perfectly placed at the nexus of tourism in Southern California, the Battleship IOWA is already a “top 10” destination as both a museum and a tourist attraction.

Ruling Year


President & CEO

Jonathan Williams

Main Address

250 S Harbor Blvd

San Pedro, CA 90731 USA


museum, education, history, battleship, naval ship, maritime museum, field trip program, youth overnight program





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

History Museums (A54)

Museum & Museum Activities (A50)

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media


Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

The United States is experiencing a dilemma in student proficiency and veterans support. The Battleship IOWA Museum provides a unique in-situ environment for memorable and impactful education, veterans, and community programs within the Los Angeles region. As revealed by the Nation’s Report Card, the nation’s K-12 grade students are found to be lacking proficiency in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), history, and civics. As STEM jobs are expected to grow over the next five years by 21.4 percent, versus 10.4 percent in the overall job market, the youth of our country will be ill-equipped to compete in the nation’s job market. In addition, the low proficiency shown in understanding civics and history creates a void in the knowledge of our nation’s history, and the action needed to be taken to keep our nation strong. The importance of providing an environment in which students find those important subjects engaging and worth pursuing cannot be underestimated.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Youth Education

Volunteer Program

Veterans Reintegration Center

Community Events

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Goal 1: Provide an engaging, interactive, multicultural, and memorable guest experience that focuses on all ages. Goal 2: Maintain a sustainable process for the long-term preservation of the organization and Battleship IOWA. Goal 3: Deliver high impact educational programs which serve our visitors, crew, and the community. Goal 4: Be a key anchor of the LA Waterfront to generate tourism and economic activity resulting in a better quality of life for local residents. Goal 5: Provide a positive crew experience that creates a bond with our guests, the ship, and each other, particularly our veterans. Goal 6: Educate and inspire 500,000 people annually as a National Museum.

Goal 1: -Maintain a consistent presentation beginning at the arrival and continuing through the community. -Provide a safe and comfortable experience regardless of age, race, sex, or disabilities. -Create an interactive educational environment that tells the story and engages the visitor in memorable activities. -Provide an authentic American experience that relates to our vision that begins at main entry and continues through community. -Engage the visitors in an interactive experience that creates a bond between the guest, crew, and ship. -Create an emotional sense of arriving at something very special and American. The same type of feeling the crew had when they first arrived on board the premier Battleship in the Navy. Goal 2: -Create a financially stable situation through numerous revenue sources that permits for long term preservation of the battleship, artifacts, and stories related to it. -Create a brand that is memorable with minimal impressions, is fun to follow, and has long-term engagement. -Develop and implement a plan that maintains the hull of the ship under all circumstances to extend the definite life of the vessel. -Create and build on solid business foundations that provide for stable and focused growth. Goal 3: -Develop and implement an education program that is S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) focused and engages today’s youth in an interactive educational experience. An experience that utilizes components that are utilized in the day to day operation of a ship. -Develop a program that focuses on pride in leadership and has a component that engages at-risk youth in positive behavior and results. -Create and implement a multi-layered history program that allows all ages to engage in specialized battleship and maritime topics. -Bring Victory the Dog alive in telling the story of the American spirit and the Battleship IOWA. Goal 4: -Develop and maintain the LA Waterfront Passport program and unify existing stake holders behind project. -Develop and maintain cooperative relationships with the entire L.A. Waterfront community to focus on sustainability of the entire initiative. -Develop and implement a special events program that permits all levels of participants and brings IOWA to the forefront of being a community asset. -Work as a team with our partners to better the community and tell the stories of the Battleship IOWA and the American Spirit in a positive and supporting manner. Goal 5: -Maintain consistent communication and programs that keep the vision& mission in mind at all times. -Always stay unified as a crew by maintaining focus on the contributions of every member and not creating divisions based on tasks, jobs, and compensation. -Recognize efforts that go above and beyond in supporting the American Spirit. -Provide training and engaging opportunities that create fun growth opportunities. -Create an efficient environment utilizing just-in-time.

The Battleship IOWA has a number of significant assets that can be leveraged to help reach our goals. They are: 1. Significant achievements in American history that include being the Battleship of the Presidents, engineering achievements, thousands of US sailors that served aboard, and a worldwide record of protecting democracy. 2. Victory the Dog as a mascot that was actually on board from 1943 to 1949. We currently utilize Victory the Dog in child-friendly scavenger hunts. 3. Volunteers and staff that are passionate about telling the story of the IOWA and service that provide a memorable experience. 4. A natural STEAM learning environment that will establish the IOWA as an educational platform in the Greater Los Angeles region. Our Day of Discovery Program in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District has been underway for several years and is growing.

• Random surveys of visitors and program participants to review the progress.
• An increase in attendance and involvement in programs, tours, and initiatives.
• Fundraising will be reviewed by positive and repeat involvement in initiatives.
• Crew participation will be measured on turnover and recruitment.
• Relationship with the community will be reviewed based on consistent branding and reaching permanent fixture status at the L.A. Waterfront.
• Long-term preservation and sustainability will be measured through improvements, engagements, and repairs to the vessel and foundational systems being proven successful.

At the end of 2017: -We began plans to transition into the National Museum of the Surface Navy. -We welcomed over 425,000 guests between museum visitation and LA Fleet Week to celebrate the American Spirit. Overall: -Since 2012, over 150,000 veterans have been impacted by our programs aboard Battleship IOWA. -Military veterans make up 50% of our crew and benefit tremendously through improved job skills, camaraderie, and a sense of family. -The Pacific Battleship Center utilizes the in-situ environment of Battleship IOWA to address national deficiencies and spur interest in STEM, history, civics, and leadership through innovative education and museum programs. Our "Day of Discovery" Program in partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District continues to grow. In 2018: -We launched our proprietary "STEAM at Sea" Program and aligned our curriculum with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to provide a unique and relevant learning experience for students as well as NGSS teacher training aboard the IOWA. -A new exhibit, Lost at Sea, in partnership with Dr. Robert Ballard opened in late fall highlighting many of the world’s historically noted underwater ship wrecks found by the explorer. -We have increased attendance and interest in community events and festivals especially Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Movies Under the Guns, the annual LA Fleet Week, and concerts on our pier featuring major musical acts. -We have had volunteers become employed due to their experience gained at Battleship IOWA. -We have increased our membership as a revenue stream and added additional benefits. -As part of our Community Giving Program, we donated thousands of tour tickets to local nonprofit organizations to support their own fundraising efforts. -We enhanced our Veterans Programs with several local and regional partners. One of our ongoing objectives is to support strong economic outcomes for Veterans, transitioning Servicemembers, and their families through elements such as a connection to meaningful career opportunities. To leverage best practices, tools, and technology for this population, IOWA is establishing collaborative partnerships with premier private- and public-sector organizations dedicated to furthering veteran employment.

External Reviews


Museum Ship of the Year 2013

Steamship Historical Society

Governor's Historic Preservation Award 2017

California Office of Historic Preservation

Gold for Mobile Apps/Sites-Education; Silver for Mobile Features-Best Streaming Audio 2018

13th Annual W3 Awards

Certificate of Excellence 2013


Certificate of Excellence 2014


Certificate of Excellence 2015


Certificate of Excellence 2016


Certificate of Excellence 2017


Top 10 Regional Attraction 2018


Best Exhibits to See with Your Kids in Los Angeles 2017

CBS Los Angeles

Affiliations & Memberships

American Association of Museums - Member 2015

Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums 2015

SoCal Museums 2018

Historic Naval Ships Association 2018

Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce 2018




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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?