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A Farewell from AAM’s Departing President & CEO

Category: Alliance Blog

It has been an incredible honor to lead the American Alliance of Museums and to work with all of you for the last thirteen years. Throughout my tenure, I visited hundreds of museums and enjoyed meeting thousands of museum professionals—some of the hardest-working and most creative and passionate people I have ever met.

As I reflect on my time as AAM’s CEO and the many challenges and accomplishments we faced together in recent years, you are at the center. In every strategic plan, new initiative, Annual Meeting, and gathering, my primary motivation has been to support museum professionals, advocate for strong museums, and help steer our field forward.

I am immensely proud of the direction our field is headed in and the progress we’ve made in recent years. We are now prioritizing DEAI in all aspects of museum work as part of museum excellence, scrutinizing legacy business models, reassessing how we measure and communicate museums’ impact, and emphasizing service to communities and the roles museums can play in important societal issues. And in this rapidly changing world, we need to continue challenging outdated strategies that will not serve us best in the future—there is much work left for us all to do!

AAM will continue to be by your side, centering the needs of museum professionals. The entire AAM team—board and staff—are passionate about our mission to champion equitable and impactful museums by connecting people, fostering learning and community, and nurturing museum excellence.

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This important work could not be left in better hands than those of Brooke Leonard, who will continue to lead the AAM staff serving as interim CEO while the Board conducts a comprehensive search for our next leader.

I use “our” very deliberately here, as I transition to being a proud member of the Alliance in my new role as the chief Administrator at the National Gallery of Art. This new position continues to fuel my passion for lifelong learning, inspirational spaces and experiences, taking care of our planet, and the power of museums. While I will apply everything I’ve learned about national service and museum work in my new position, I will depend on our Alliance to connect, learn, and give back to this museum field that has given me so much.

Thank you for all your support. As I’ve said many times before, there is no Alliance without you.

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