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AAM Welcomes Three New Board Members and New Board Leadership

Category: Press Release

For Immediate Release

ARLINGTON, VA – The American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the only organization representing the entire scope of the museum community, today announced that three leading professionals from the museum field have been newly elected to the board of directors, serving three-year terms beginning this May. The incoming board members are:

  • Jessica Chavez, Chief Learning Officer, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas, TX. Dr. Chavez joined the Perot Museum in 2021 from the Arizona Science Center where she expanded digital education programs to create access and equity for educators across the state. She holds an Ed.D in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University and has worked in education ranging from early childhood to adult learning for over 15 years. 

  • Larry Dubinski, President & CEO, The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, one of the nation’s premier science centers and most visited museum in Pennsylvania. Since assuming the role in 2014, Dubinski has introduced experiences designed to engage diverse audiences, increase attendance and economic impact, as well as implement educational programs with national reach. As a recognized leader in the museum industry, he completed a two-year term in 2021 as Chair of the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC).

  • Patsy Phillips, Director, IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA), Santa Fe, NM. Phillips is Cherokee (and Irish) from the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and has served as Director of MoCNA since 2008. The museum elevates contemporary Indigenous art through exhibitions, collections, programs, partnerships, and new research. She joined the museum from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) where she directed contemporary art initiatives such as the museum’s participation in the Venice Biennale.

Appointed as AAM’s incoming Chair of the Board is Jorge Zamanillo, Founding Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino. “I am honored to serve the Alliance and the museum field alongside an extraordinary group of leaders,” said Zamanillo. “Energized by our 2022-2025 Strategic Framework that centers equity and impact, and our recent one million dollar investment into the museum community, I look forward to continuing to work with the AAM Board of Directors as we plan for the future of our Alliance.” Zamanillo previously was the executive director and CEO of HistoryMiami Museum. He joined the museum in 2000 as a curator and subsequently served in several leadership positions before becoming its director. Chevy Humphrey, President & CEO of the Museum of Science and Industry and Chair of AAM’s Board from 2020-2023 will remain as Immediate Past Chair of the Board through Zamanillo’s term.

In addition to Zamanillo’s appointment as Chair, the Alliance announced:

  • Nathan Richie, Director, Golden History Museum and Park, as Vice Chair & Secretary 2023-2024. Richie has served as Director of the Golden History Museum and Park since 2010 and has held previous positions at the McCormick Freedom Museum in Chicago and Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute, Indiana.

  • Devon Akmon, Director, Michigan State University Museum and CoLab Studio, as treasurer 2023-2024. Akmon has served as a Senior Consultant with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, and as the Director of the Arab American National Museum during which the museum was named an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

The board also welcomes four returning board members for their second terms (2023-2026):

  • Carrie Rebora Barratt, Director, LongHouse Reserve, East Hampton, NY

  • Frederic Bertley, President & CEO, Center of Science and Industry, Columbus, OH

  • Alison Rempel Brown, President & CEO, Science Museum of Minnesota, St Paul, MN

  • Charles Katzenmeyer, Vice President, Institutional Advancement, Field Museum, Chicago, IL

See the full list of the Alliance’s board of directors.

The Alliance is grateful to the board members whose service ends this year: Christine A. Donovan, Director, Northern Trust Charitable Giving Solutions, Northern Trust Company; Julie Stein, Emeritus Executive Director, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture; and Kippen de Alba Chu, Former Interim President and Chief of Staff, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, who served as board chair from 2018-2020. Their leadership has been instrumental in fulfilling the Alliance’s mission and strategic goals.

About the American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) is the only organization representing the entire museum field, from art and history museums to science centers and zoos. Since 1906, we have been championing museums through advocacy and providing museum professionals with the resources, knowledge, inspiration, and connections they need to move the field forward. For more information, visit


Media Contact:

Natanya Khashan

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