Accreditation Commission

The Accreditation Commission is the body responsible for making independent decisions regarding a museum’s accredited status. It meets three times per year and is made up of museum professionals whose collective experience and expertise represent the range of diversity in the museum field.

Commissioners have significant leadership level experience, have an understanding of a wide range of museum operations, have experience with accreditation, and demonstrate a commitment to standards and building excellence across the field. Commissioners serve in a volunteer capacity. See the position description to learn more.

For a list of former Commissioners and terms of service, click here.

Marise McDermott
Chair 2023-2024
President emeritus, Witte Museum
San Antonio, TX
Joined Commission: 2020

Marise McDermott has 30 years of experience in museums and cultural arts in roles ranging from director to curator to editor and journalist to board chair. From 2004 -2023, she had been the President and CEO of the Witte Museum. Her other roles at the Witte have included Vice President of Strategic Planning and Director of Humanities and Science Center. She also served as the Executive Director of The History Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for three years; and was the editor of the Texas Committee for the Humanities’ bi-monthly magazine. Marise recently oversaw the successful $100 million transformation of the museum and campus expansion and is now engaged in its $100 million endowment campaign. The Witte is also a participant in the Facing Change: Museum Board Diversity and Inclusion cohort of museums. She is a long-time Accreditation Peer Reviewer who has done numerous site visits and oversaw the Witte’s last two reaccreditation processes. She is actively engaged in several San Antonio tourism boards, including Visit San Antonio, San Antonio Visitor Alliance, and the Chamber of Commerce, among other community leadership roles. And she is engaged with TAM in a variety of ways and been speaker at a number of regional and discipline-specific conferences. Marise is the recipient of many local and state awards. She was named 2013 Executive Woman of the Year by the San Antonio Greater Chamber of Commerce; the 2015 Texas Patriot Award by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Alamo Mission Chapter; Texas State University Liberal Arts Alumni of the Year in 2016; and the 2017 Business Person of the Year by the San Antonio Business Journal. She holds a M.F.A in cultural narratives from Texas State University and B.A. from Queens College, City University of New York.

Greta Brunschwyler
Executive Director, Millicent Rogers Museum
Taos, NM
Joined Commission: 2023

Ms. Brunschwyler has been the executive director of the Millicent Rogers Museum since 2020. Before arriving in Taos, she was the Executive Director of Briar Bush Nature Center, the Leslie Science and Nature Center, Nevada State Museum-Las Vegas, and the Novato History Museum. Previous positions also include Curator of Exhibits at the Southern Oregon Historical Society, and the Exhibits and Facilities Manager at the San Diego Museum of Man.

She has deep ties to the Excellence Programs. In addition to twenty years of active service as a MAP and Accreditation Peer Reviewer, she helped inform the 2009-2013 Accreditation Reinvention project, served on the MAP Advisory Committee, and was awarded the Excellence in Peer Review Service Award from AAM/IMLS. And she’s led her museums through MAP and CAP reviews. Outside of AAM, she was extensively involved in working with two organizations that were striving to achieve accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Ms. Brunschwyler is a collaborative leader with a history of growing resources, improving facilities, and ensuring, sound, impactful, organizations, while facilitating community-focused, needs-based programming. Her current institution is a Lead Pilot Participant in the NEH-funded Climate Resilience Resources for Cultural Heritage – Communities of Practice Model being tested by FAIC. She is also a recent recipient of the Inspirational Woman Award from Girls’ Inc., Santa Fe and the Oregon Governor’s Award for the Promotion of Cultural Tourism.

She is active across the field on the national and local level. She is currently on the boards of the Mountain-Plains Museum Association and New Mexico Association of Museums, and previously served as President and Vice-President of the Western Museums Association, and Vice-President of the National Association of Museum Exhibitions. She also has a long record of engagement and service on a variety of science, environment/ conservation, and arts related committees and boards.

She has an M.F.A in Museum Exhibition Design and Planning from University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Norman Burns
President and CEO, Conner Prairie
Fishers, Indiana
Joined Commission: 2024

Norman Burns has been the President & CEO of Conner Prairie since 2016, where he led its successful reaccreditation in 2022. Over the course of his 36-year career as the CEO and executive director of six different historic properties and general museums in Tennessee, Virginia and Indiana, Burns has served the history museum field and its professional development in many capacities. While on the AASLH Council he helped refine and improve the AASLH STEPS program. As a board member for The Livestock Conservancy (TLC), he is working with the staff and education committee to create a best practices webinar series for a membership certification program that will evolve into an accreditation program for TLC. He has been an active Accreditation and MAP Peer Reviewer for two decades and served in other AAM volunteer roles, including the National Program Committee.

As an educator, historian, and entrepreneurial leader, Burns has helped to develop nationally recognized-award winning exhibits, interpretive and educational programs, and innovative approaches and compelling visions for operating museums. This includes the development of Preschool on the Prairie and a Resident Teacher Program that is an innovative model for museum school education.

Burns has served in many leadership positions in the museum, conservation, and historic preservation profession at local, state, regional and national levels, including the Tennessee and Virginia Association of Museums, SEMC, and various roles on the AASLH Council, where he is currently immediate past chair. He is also Partner and Faculty, and graduate of, the History Leadership Institute (formerly Seminar for Historical Administration) and serves on the Board of Directors of Made By US (MBU).  He has also worked with numerous cultural tourism agencies, conservation, and preservation groups in Tennessee, Virginia, and Indiana. He holds an M.A. in History from Middle Tennessee State University.

Quantia “Key” M. Fletcher
Museum Director, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
Little Rock, AR
Joined Commission: 2023

A native New Orleanian, Quantia (“Key”) Fletcher, makes it her mission to ensure that the beauty, value, and significance of the African American experience in Arkansas is curated and celebrated. Key assumed the Museum Director role at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in 2021 after serving as Deputy Director for ten years and the Director of Education for four. The museum is the only state-funded museum devoted solely to African American history in Arkansas. She played a major role in achieving national accreditation for the museum in 2020 and led the idea of the development of the museum’s first children’s gallery. She successfully completed a multi-million-dollar funding campaign in 2022, the first of its kind for the museum, bringing in new interactive exhibits and updated technology. She is an Accreditation Peer Reviewer, and previously worked as an interpretive ranger for the National Park Service at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.

Key has taken a major role in shaping the trajectory of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Arkansas Black history and culture, both locally and regionally. She has active roles with the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism; the Black Philanthropic Collaborative (ABPC) board; and her team has collaborated with Arkansas PBS to create Emmy nominated content on oral histories and storytelling.

Known for her financial management, business development, strategic planning, and relationship building skills, Key was named one of Arkansas’ 250 Most Influential Leaders in 2022 by Arkansas Business, and one of Arkansas Business Publishing Group’s Top 100 Women of Impact in Arkansas for 2023. She has been a featured keynote speaker at multiple national museum conferences, and under her leadership, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center was awarded the Arkansas Museum Association exhibition of the year. She is also involved with local and national educational and community organizations, including Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., and Jack and Jill of America Inc. She has an M.A in English: Folklife & Southern Culture from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and is a graduate of the Jekyll Island Management Institute.

Lisa Tremper Hanover
Independent Professional, Former Museum Director & CEO
Doylestown, PA
Joined Commission: 2023

In her 40 years as a museum professional, Lisa Tremper Hanover has initiated physical, programmatic, and operational transformations for the organizations in her charge. Hanover was named Director & CEO of the James A. Michener Art Museum (2012-2017) after a successful tenure as Director of the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College (1987-2012). She served as the Interim Director of Operations for the Berman Museum of Art (2020-2021). She started her career in the corporate sector as the Associate Registrar for the Armand Hammer Foundation/Occidental Petroleum. Hanover has been an active Peer Reviewer for AAM’s Excellence Programs for 18 years and has conducted nearly two dozen site visit assignments for Accreditation and MAP. She currently serves the cultural field as a consultant specializing in organizational reviews, strategic planning, collection assessments, and accreditation.

In addition to presenting at numerous regional and national conferences, Hanover is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable public speaker, with presentations to over 300 regional and national organizations. She has served as President of the Association of Academic Museums & Galleries (AAMG), President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Museums & Historical Organizations and juried over 100 art exhibitions and public art commissions. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Wayne Art Center, The Baum School of Art, The Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce, The Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations, and was recently elected to the Board of the Bowman Hill Wildflower Preserve, Bucks County and the Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia.

Scott Harris
Executive Director, University of Mary Washington Museums
Fredericksburg, VA
Joined Commission: 2023

Since 2018 Scott Harris has been Executive Director of Museums at the University of Mary Washington – a division comprised of Gari Melchers Home and Studio, the James Monroe Museum, the Papers of James Monroe publication project, and the artifact collection in the University president’s residence. He oversaw the consolidation of these units under one administrative structure while he was the director of the James Monroe Museum in the preceding six years. Previously, Mr. Harris spent thirteen years as Director of Historic Resources and Curator at the Manassas Museum System—a seven site city-run system—and a decade as Director of the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park (Virginia Museum of the Civil War). His museum career has also included roles as historical interpreter for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and historian for the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (Preservation Virginia).

Mr. Harris has been an active Peer Reviewer for both MAP and Accreditation for nearly three decades and was part of the AASLH team that developed the Standards of Excellence for History Organizations (STEPS). In addition to publishing, teaching, and lecturing extensively, Mr. Harris has served on the board of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries and the Virginia Association of Museums. He is currently an Editorial Advisor to the White House Historical Association’s White House History Quarterly and President of the Fredericksburg Museums Council.

Mr. Harris has an M.A. in History from the College of William and Mary and completed the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries Summer Leadership Institute and Seminar for Historical Administration certificate programs.

Steven High
Executive Director, John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Sarasota, FL
Joined Commission: 2024

Steven High has been the Executive Director of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art since 2011 and is senior faculty at Florida State University. Prior to his appointment in Sarasota, he was the executive director of the Telfair Museums in Savannah, Georgia; the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno; the Anderson Gallery at the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University; and the Baxter Gallery at the Portland School of Art (now, Institute of Contemporary Art, Maine College of Art). He has coordinated two re-accreditation processes and has been an active MAP and Accreditation Peer Reviewer for 15 years.

At The Ringling, he has undertaken major strategic planning; launched design, construction, and the opening for the Chao Center for Asian Art, the Kotler|Coville Glass Pavilion, and the Monda Gallery of Contemporary Art. High is a museum leader and curator with a strong business and development background. During his over 35-year museum career, he has curated over 40 exhibitions on contemporary art with a particular focus on contemporary international art. He is also known for his community outreach, having served on boards of numerous civic, tourism, and arts organizations, as well as on the boards of AAM, WMA, and the Nevada Museum Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 Directors Chair Award from the Western Museum Association and under his leadership the Nevada Museum of Art received the 1999 National Award for Museum Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. He holds an MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University and an M.A. in Art History from Williams College and participated in the Museum Leadership Institute at The Getty Center in Los Angeles.

Laurie Norton Moffatt
Director/CEO, Norman Rockwell Museum
Stockbridge, MA
Joined Commission: 2023

Laurie Norton Moffatt has led the Norman Rockwell Museum since 1986, after serving as curator for several years prior. After taking the Museum through four MAP assessments, she led the Museum through its initial accreditation in 1997 and subsequent successful reaccreditation cycles. She has been an active Peer Reviewer for the Accreditation and Museum Assessment Programs for 20 years. She also has experience with accreditation in higher education and the medical field in her roles as a college trustee board member and director of a regional hospital system board. She is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors.

Through the years, Ms. Norton Moffatt has emerged as one of the museum field’s most visionary and
forward-thinking leaders. Lecturing widely and writing on Rockwell and illustration art, Ms. Norton Moffatt has deepened a field of research and scholarship, and repositioned 20th century views of the American art canon to reflect a broader and more inclusive American narrative. In 2008 she launched a new center for scholarship—the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies—that has provided support to dozens of scholars who have advanced knowledge, addressing illustration’s artistic and cultural significance. Under her leadership the Museum was awarded the National Humanities Medal, representing the only museum to have received this prestigious recognition at that time.

She has served on numerous civic boards, as President of the board of the Williamstown Art Conservation Center, as co-founder of the Berkshire Creative Economy Council, and as a board member of AAM, AAMD, and NEMA. She was one of 100 arts leaders selected to participate in a National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program 2011-2013. She currently serves as a trustee of Berkshire Health Systems, is a corporate director of Berkshire Bank where she chairs the board’s Corporate Responsibility and Culture Committee and is a trustee of the Berkshire Bank Foundation, and is an emerita trustee to her alma mater, Connecticut College. She holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, a BA in art history, and is a graduate of the Getty Museum Management Institute.

Melissa Russo
Retired Director
Rancho Mirage, CA
Joined Commission: 2020

Melissa Russo brings over two decades of executive level experience successfully managing both government and private nonprofit museums, along with diverse nonprofit board leadership experience in social services, education, public policy, and the arts. She is experienced in strategic planning, program planning and execution, fundraising, external relations, and non-profit policy and legal issues, and has a demonstrated talent for building partnerships and revenue generation opportunities. In 2022, Melissa retired as the director of the San Bernardino County Museum which she had lead since 2015.  She oversaw its successful reaccreditation process and was the museum’s first female director. Prior to that, she was the Director of Institutional Advancement at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, CA for seven years; and Executive Director of the Western Museums Association for ten. Along the way she also served as adjunct Museum Studies faculty at the John F. Kennedy University, participated on museum leadership search committees, and developed temporary exhibitions. She began her museum career as the Registrar at the Glessner House Museum in Chicago and went on to be the Executive Director of the Pardee Home Foundation and Museum in Oakland. Before entering the museum field, Melissa spent several years in the banking industry. Over her career Melissa has been highly active in the museum field at-large. She is a prolific speaker at local, regional, and national conferences, as well as a regular author for museum publications, on a wide range of practical topics and contemporary issues. She is an AAM Accreditation Peer Reviewer and IMLS, grant reviewer; and has served on AAM’s National Program Committee. Melissa has a M.A. in Art History from the University of Illinois, Chicago and a B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles. She is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and a Credentialed California County Senior Executive by the California State Association of Counties (CSAC).

AAM Member-Only Content

AAM Members get exclusive access to premium digital content including:

  • Featured articles from Museum magazine
  • Access to more than 1,500 resource listings from the Resource Center
  • Tools, reports, and templates for equipping your work in museums
Log In

We're Sorry

Your current membership level does not allow you to access this content.

Upgrade Your Membership

Subscribe to Field Notes!

Packed with stories and insights for museum people, Field Notes is delivered to your inbox every Monday. Once you've completed the form below, confirm your subscription in the email sent to you.

If you are a current AAM member, please sign-up using the email address associated with your account.

Are you a museum professional?

Are you a current AAM member?

Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription, and please add to your safe sender list.