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 for a five-year term. See the position description to learn more.
For a list of fomer Commissioners and terms of service, click here.
Interim Chair July 2022-March 2023
South Carolina State Museum
Amy is the Executive Director of the South Carolina State Museum (SCSM) in Columbia, SC. Located in an 1894 former textile mill listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places, the museum explores the diverse history of South Carolina through its art, cultural history, natural history, and science and technology collections and programs. Before joining the SCSM, Amy spent over twenty years at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in a variety of leadership roles overseeing education, public programs, digital engagement, visitor services, exhibition interpretive planning and strategic initiatives, including co-leading the Museum’s 2020-2030 strategic planning process focused on diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion (DEAI). She served as Accreditation Commission Chair 2018-2020 and has held leadership roles in EdCom, the Museum Education Roundtable, the National Council for History Education, and in efforts to inform museum standards and best practices and DEAI. She was also the founding director of two arts nonprofits – The London International Gallery of Children’s Art and Children’s’ International Art Outreach. Amy has a B.A. in Anthropology and Education from the College of William and Mary, a MAT in Museum Education from the George Washington University, and is a graduate of the Getty Museum Leadership Institute and the Smithsonian Leadership Development Program.
Rebekah (Becky) Beaulieu
Commission term: 2019-2023
Louise Semple Taft President and CEO
Taft Museum of Art
Prior to leading the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, OH, Becky had been Director of Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT since 2018. At the Bowdoin College Museum of Art she served as the Assistant Director of Museum Operations then Associate Director, where she managed all administrative activities including staffing, finances, communications, visitor experience, and operations; and played an important role in expanding the number of exhibitions and programs offered and broadening access to the museum and its collections. She also served as the first Executive Director of the Winchester Historical Society (MA), where she managed operations for the Society and its cultural site, the Sanborn House Historical and Cultural Center. For the Alliance she is an active Accreditation/MAP Peer Reviewer and board member for the Historic Houses and Sites Professional Network. She is also on the boards of the New England Museum Association and Connecticut Humanities, on the faculty of AASLH’s History Leadership Institute, and a Peer Reviewer for the IMLS and NEH. Becky is the author of Financial Fundamentals for Historic House Museums (2017). She holds an M.A in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and in Arts Administration from Columbia University; she earned her Ph.D. in American and New England Studies at Boston University.
Commission term: 2020-2024
President and CEO
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. Since 2004 she has 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.
Lisa Tremper Hanover
Commission term: 2023-2027
Independent Professional, Former Museum Director & CEO
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.
Commission term: 2018-2023
Frank E. Duckwall President & CEO
Tampa Bay History Center
C.J. has served as the President and CEO of the Tampa Bay History Center since September of 2005. He led all facets of the planning, construction, and opening of the museum, which welcomed its first visitors in January of 2009, and went on to lead the museum successfully through its first accreditation review. Prior to assuming his role with the Tampa Bay History Center, he was the President and CEO of the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Savannah, Georgia; led the team that built and opened The National World War II Museum in New Orleans; and served as Director of the George C. Marshall Museum at the Virginia Military Institute. C.J. has actively served as an Accreditation and MAP Peer Review reviewer for more than a decade and a grants reviewer for IMLS and the State of Florida Department of Cultural Affairs. He has taken an active role on the boards of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, and as a member of the University of South Florida’s Florida Studies Center Advisory Council and the CEO Council of Tampa Bay. He received his B.A. in History and Folklore and an M.L.S. from Indiana University, and he is a graduate of the Getty Museum Management Institute, the Seminar for Historical Administration and Leadership Tampa.
Commission term: 2020-2024
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).