Our Staff

Executive Office

Laura Lott
President and CEO

A results-oriented, entrepreneurial, strategic leader with a track record of leading transformative change in nonprofit organizations, Laura served as the Alliance’s chief operating officer for five years before becoming the chief executive officer in 2015. Laura led the 2012 re-launch of the Alliance, including rebranding the organization and redesigning its membership and excellence programs – leading to a 70% growth in membership and the organization’s first five profitable years in a decade. More recently, Laura led the development of the Alliance’s current strategic plan which emphasizes topics that Alliance members strongly believe are vital to the future viability, relevance and sustainability of museums: diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in all aspects of museums’ programs and structure; changing business models for financial sustainability; and museums’ growing role in the P-12 education ecosystem. Laura is also a passionate advocate for strong and engaged boards, speaking to numerous museum boards each year.

Prior to joining AAM, Laura served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of The JASON Project, an international nonprofit education program at the National Geographic Society with a mission to inspire and motivate students to learn science through great explorers. In the late 90s, Laura helped launch the MarcoPolo: Internet Content for the Classroom program at the former MCI Foundation and managed its partnerships with 50 state departments of education, as well as MCI’s community relations programs.

After studying in Tokyo, Japan during high school and graduating from American University in Washington, D.C., Laura gained public accounting experience at PricewaterhouseCoopers, with a focus on nonprofit clients. Laura is a Virginia-licensed CPA and a private pilot. She resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and daughter.

Robert Stein
Executive Vice President and Chief Program Officer

Rob leads AAM’s programming efforts in service to both national and global audiences. In this role, Stein is responsible for key strategic initiatives including the expansion of the Alliance’s role as a thought leader, content provider, and global catalyst for excellence in the field of museums. Rob is a sought-after author, speaker, and consultant, focusing on the impact museums can have in their communities, how technology efforts can change the dynamic of museum innovation, and how metrics and measurement can encourage excellence for the practice of museums.

Rob is active in service to the museum field having held positions as a board member of the Museum Computer Network, a member of the International Program Committee of Museums and the Web, and as a National Advisor to the Education Committee of AAM. He is currently a Senior Advisor to the National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University and a board member of the Institute of Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University.

A woman smiles at the camera with long brown hair.Brooke Leonard
Chief of Staff
(202) 289-9139

As AAM’s chief of staff, Brooke oversees key strategic priorities, internal functions, and board relations. She joined AAM in 2010 as a member of the international department. Previously, Brooke worked in Washington, DC, and Moscow, Russia, for an educational exchange program and then as the assistant director of a DC-based foreign policy institute. She once bought a one-way ticket to Siberia in the middle of January and lived among Russian circus performers until it got cold enough to go home.

Center for the Future of Museums

Elizabeth Merritt
Vice President, Strategic Foresight & Founding Director, Center for the Future of Museums
(202) 218-7661

Elizabeth is AAM’s vice president for strategic foresight, and founding director of the Center for the Future of Museums—a think-tank and research & development lab for the museum field. She is the author of the Alliance’s annual TrendsWatch report, and writes and speaks prolifically on the trends shaping the future of nonprofit organizations. (M.A. Duke University, B.S. Yale University, Museum Management Institute).

Communications and Public Relations

Joseph Klem
Director, Public Relations
(202) 218-7670

Joseph has been a professional communicator for more than 25 years, with experience as a news reporter, editor, technical writer, instructional designer, webmaster and online strategist. From his early years writing for local newspapers, through to his present role leading marketing, communications and public relations for the Alliance, he’s always been a strong advocate for the audience, whether called readers, end users, members, attendees, visitors, customers, friends or followers.

 

Josette Souza
Marketing & Communications Manager
(202) 218-7700

Josette coordinates and executes marketing efforts across multiple media platforms, including newsletters, email campaigns, and graphics. She came to the Alliance in 2017 after working in digital media and brings with her a passion for bachata dancing and video production.

Content

Megan Lantz
Director of Content and Community Engagement
(202) 218-7663

Megan is responsible for community engagement at the Alliance as well as oversight of key global and education-related initiatives. She joined AAM in 2015, bringing a background from the government and non-profit sectors that has included (and at times blended) projects related to international development, arts education, youth leadership, and story-telling through public radio. She has traveled to almost 40 countries and loves karaoke and outdoor adventures.

A man stands smiling at the camera wearing glasses and a striped shirt.Dean Phelus
Senior Director, Leadership Programs & Special Events
(202) 218-7674

Dean has oversight for editorial content for Museum magazine, book publishing, leadership programs and the Conference of the Americas. He has been at the Alliance for over two decades where he previously provided supervision for the meetings and professional development department and international programs. He enjoys travel, documentary films, and great stories.

Cecelia Walls
Content & Editorial Strategist
(202) 218-7713

Cecelia is responsible for publishing content on the Alliance blogs and website. She also manages the AAM Information Center. Cecelia started her career as a registrar in museums and came to the Alliance as an accreditation coordinator in 2008. Her favorite animal is a Giant Panda.

A woman smiles at the camera with long brown hair.Sage Morgan-Hubbard
Ford W. Bell Fellow
(202) 218-7687

Government Relations and Advocacy

A woman smiles at the camera with short curly dark hair, wearing glasses a dark top and a red necklace.Ember Farber
Director, Advocacy
(202) 218-7703

Ember has been an @AAMer for several years and is perpetually impressed by the work of museums. Advocacy is a personal and professional passion. In her free time you’ll find her binge-watching The West Wing or Grey’s Anatomy reruns with a good cup of coffee, tea or wine in hand.

Development

Arthur Affleck
Vice President, Development
(202) 218-7684

Arthur leads all aspects of the Alliance’s fundraising programs and activities with the primary goal of building a culture of philanthropy in support of the Alliance’s 2016-2020 strategic plan. Affleck came to AAM from the Higher Education field, where he held a number of senior administrative positions.

Eileen Goldspiel
Director of Institutional Giving
(202) 218-7702

Eileen cultivates and stewards individual donors and foundations and develops strategic corporate sponsorships that support activities and strategic initiatives that benefit the museum field. Eileen started her career on Capitol Hill, worked at the Kennedy Center and came to the Alliance in 2001. Her favorite activity outside of work is reading books.

Shelagh Grimshaw
Development Director
(202) 218-7695

Shelagh joined AAM in 2017. Responsible for advancing the Alliance’s fundraising and donor relations, she raises revenue in support of our Annual Meeting, Museums Advocacy Day, the Center for the Future of Museums, and other priority projects such as AAM’s innovative leadership programs and research initiatives.  Shelagh came to the Alliance from an independent school where she served as director of annual giving, and previously she was a marketing and fundraising consultant for museums and other cultural institutions for 15 years. She loves art, cycling, whales, and the color yellow.

Excellence Programs

A woman standing outside with trees in the background smiles at the camera with short red hair wearing a patterned white and black collared shirt.Julie Hart
Senior Director, Excellence

(202) 218-7712

Julie provides leadership and oversight of AAM’s Continuum of Excellence including the Accreditation and Museum Assessment Programs, and other standards and ethics initiatives of the Alliance. She has been involved with accreditation and efforts to nurture institutional excellence throughout her 20 + year tenure at AAM, providing her with insight into the practices, issues, and challenges faced by museums and non-profits of many types and sizes.

A woman smiles at the camera in front of a grey backdrop wearing her hair up, dangly earrings, a red jacket and black shirt.Danyelle Rickard
Museum Assessment Program Officer
(202) 289-9106

Since 2014, Danyelle has worked at AAM with the Museum Assessment Program, she also manages our volunteer team of Peer Reviewers and works with AAM’s other Excellence programs. Prior to coming to AAM Danyelle worked at Winterthur Museum, the Delaware Historical Society, the Jewish Museum of Maryland, the Baltimore Museum of Industry and the Susquehanna Museum at the Lock House. She has a B.A. in History from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and an M.A. in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University. Danyelle is also the Vice-Chair for the Registrar’s Committee for MAAM.

Image of a woman smiling at the camera in front of a grey backdrop. She has shoulder length blond hair and blue eyes, wearing a pearl necklace and a tan colored sweater. with a white shirt.Martha Sharma
Accreditation Program Officer
(202) 218-7719

Ms. Sharma returned to AAM and the Accreditation Program in February 2014; she previously served as an Accreditation Program Officer from 2005-2008. Before joining AAM she served as the Exhibitions Registrar at the National Building Museum. Prior to her relocation to Washington, DC, she was Assistant Registrar for Loans and Exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, and Registrar at the David and Alfred Smart Museum at the University of Chicago. Ms. Sharma got her start in the museum field at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has a B.A. in Art History from the University of California, Irvine.

Allison Titman
Accreditation Program Officer
(202) 289-9103

Allison works with the museums participating in accreditation and AAM’s other Excellence programs. She came to AAM from a historic house museum in 2014 and is active in the leadership of the Small Museum Association. When not busy with all things museum, Allison knits and sews.

Susan Zwerling
Museum Assessment Officer
(202) 218-7714

Susan works with museums and peer reviewers participating in the Museum Assessment Program (MAP) to help strengthen operations, plan for the future and meet professional standards. She began her museum career in the education department and has a background in healthcare and staff training and development. She enjoys traveling, food, fiber arts, and visiting museums everywhere.

Finance and Administration

A woman smiles at the camera with shoulder length reddish brown hair wearing a white shirt and yellow sweater.Carol Constantine
Director of Finance & Administration
(202) 218-7686

Carol has been with AAM for over 35 years, starting in administrative support, progressing to office management, and more recently directing Finance and Administration. Carol earned a degree in Studio Art at the University of Maryland and previously worked at the Baltimore Museum of Art as a docent before joining AAM.

A woman smiles at the camera with London in the background. Taken from the top of the London Eye.

Kristen Hetherington
Accounting Manager
(202) 218-7667

Kristy has 10 years of experience in a variety of accounting functions, ranging from corporate taxation to forensic accounting. She manages the day-to-day operations of the accounting department.

Rachael Sexton
Accountant
(202) 218-7709

Human Resources

Katherine McNamee
Director, Human Resources
(202) 218-7669

Katherine has enjoyed managing “all things HR” at the Alliance since Halloween of 2005.  Prior to starting her association/museum career, she worked for a credit union in a variety of roles including opening new accounts, approving consumer loans and leading the recruitment process and orientation of new employees.  Outside of the office, you’ll likely find her biking along the Mt. Vernon trail.

Membership and Programs

Janet Vaughan
Vice President, Membership & Excellence
(202) 289-9120

Janet is responsible for membership, registration, and customer service. She also oversees the Continuum of Excellence programs. Prior to joining the Alliance in 2001, Janet was a museum director. An avid traveler, she is always planning her next trip.

Marjie George
Director, Member Services
(202) 218-7673

Lauren Griffin
Member Services Manager
(866) 226-2150

Lauren H. Griffin, membership services manager, is responsible for addressing the immediate needs of AAM’s members, including joining and renewals. She especially loves to help members access the myriad of resources available. Lauren started her career in membership services after several years working in museums as an educator. In addition to her passion for museum work, Lauren has a BFA in ceramics and is a practicing artist.

Headshot of a woman smiling at the camera with straight shoulder length brown hair wearing a white shirt and dark jacket. Brianne Roth
Registration Manager
(202) 289-9230

As Member Services Manager, Brianne works directly with AAM’s members to ensure seamless customer service and to connect them to resources available through the membership program. Prior to joining AAM, Brianne worked in community programming and museum education. She enjoys sharing her passion for museums and spending time outdoors.

Inclusion

A woman smiles at the camera with her head tiled slightly with long dark colored hair in braids wearing dangling earrings and a striped white and black top.

Nicole Ivy
Director, Inclusion
(202) 218-7704

Information Technology and Media

A man smiles at the camera with short blond/brown hair wearing a suit with a white shirt.Joshua Morin
Director, IT and Application Services
(202) 218-7689

Meetings and Events

Veronica Mooney
Director, Meetings and Events
(202) 218-7678

Veronica Mooney is the Director of Meetings and Events at AAM. Prior to joining AAM, Veronica was the Executive Producer of Events at New America where she oversaw the production of more than 200 events annually. Veronica produced and developed innovative event experiences and educational programs for the Solar Electric Power Association, Solar Energy Industries Association, and American Wind Energy Association. Veronica received her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation from the Convention Industry Council in 2011. She is a graduate of the George Washington University with a B.S. in Geosciences, and is a native New Yorker.

A woman smiles at the camera with long blond hair wearing a pink top and gold necklace.Clara Allen
Meetings and Events Manager
(202) 218-7708

Clara oversees all offsite and Headquarters Hotel events hosted during AAM’s Annual Meeting & Museum Expo. She also manages the annual meeting’s “Market Place of Ideas” which is a mini-expo and networking event for professional networks and attendees. Prior to joining AAM, Clara was an events associate at a think tank in Downtown D.C., supporting the production of more than 200 events each year.

Shelon Atwater
Assistant Director, Exhibits & Business Partnerships
(202) 218-7682

Shelon Atwater, assistant director, exhibits & business partnerships is responsible for the planning, management and execution of the exhibit hall at the AAM Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo.  She also assists with the management of non-dues revenue generating operations.  Shelon started off in member services at the Alliance in 1992.

Alicia Massey
Assistant Director of Meetings & Events
(202) 289-9119

Alicia is responsible for managing the convention center logistics and concurrent session process for the Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo.  Alicia has over 20 years of meeting management experience.  She has planned a wide-range of regional, national and international conferences and exhibitions for both associations and government agencies.

Strategic Initiatives

Evlyn Baker
Project Manager of Executive Office and Strategic Initiatives
(202) 289-9117

Evlyn is Project Manager, Executive Office and Strategic Initiatives at the American Alliance of Museums. She began working at AAM in 2016. Prior to AAM, she was the Director of Operations and Director of Member Services at the Arts & Health Alliance, and most recently a Membership Associate at The Phillips Collection. She currently serves as Chair of the Dance Metro DC board, the regional service organization for the professional field of dance, and is a past Furia Flamenca dance company member. Evlyn holds a MA in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Graphic Design and Art History from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

A woman stands in front of a concrete structure wearing a pink sweater, smiling.

Alexandra Roe
Project Manager of Strategic Initiatives
(202) 218-7694

Alexandra Roe is a program manager responsible for overseeing AAM’s strategic projects. She joined the Alliance in 2015, and for two years focused specifically on global exchange programs for both youth and museum professionals. She has a particular passion for studying East Asian art, and when she’s not running around the DMV, you can find her back in her home town of Jupiter, Florida exploring the mangroves and the intracoastal.

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