ABOVE: Brooklyn Public Library. Courtesy Institute of Library and Museum Services.
Washington, DC, USA (March 13, 2015) — On March 10, President Obama nominated Kathryn (Kit) Matthew as Director of the Institute of Library and Museum Services.
Dr. Matthew is Chief Science Educator at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, a position she has held since 2014. She was a Principal Consultant and a Product Manager at Blackbaud, Inc. from 2008 to 2013, a Director at Historic Charleston Foundation from 2006 to 2008, and an Exhibits Consultant at Chemical Heritage Foundation from 2005 to 2006. Dr. Matthew was a Vice President at Please Touch Museum from 2003 to 2005 and a Director at The Nature Conservancy from 2001 to 2002. She was a Director at Reebok International from 1998 to 2001.
She also held senior positions at various museums, including a Director at Science City at Union Station from 1996 to 1998, Executive Director at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science from 1991 to 1994, Deputy Director at the Virginia Museum of Natural History from 1988 to 1990, and an Assistant Director at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History from 1986 to 1988.
Dr. Matthew received a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College, an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Today, Ford Bell, President of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) issued the following statement on the organization’s behalf:
“I am thrilled that President Obama has nominated such an experienced and dedicated museum professional to serve as director of the Institute of Museum of Library Services.
“Throughout her career, Kit has worked for a wide variety of museums, and she has amassed a great deal of knowledge about the breadth and diversity of the museum field. Her roles have included director, curator, educator, exhibit developer, fundraiser, volunteer, board member, and in strategic communications and collections management, all of which will be exceedingly valuable as she works to support museums in their educational and public service roles.
“Through her work as a peer reviewer for the IMLS-funded and AAM-administered Museum Assessment Program (MAP), Kit has helped numerous museums achieve success in community engagement, strategic planning, and financial stability. Kit has also served as a peer reviewer for the National Science Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and was awarded the AAM Excellence in Peer Review Service award in 2009.
“These experiences—combined with her work for environmental advocacy organizations, foundations, and in the private sector—make her an excellent choice to lead this vital agency that supports museums of all types.
“Kit is also acutely aware of the business trends in the museum field, and her experience in resource acquisition will be a critical asset to IMLS as the agency works to serve the entire museum field while federal funding for the agency currently falls far short of the Congressionally-authorized amount.
“I look forward to Dr. Matthew’s swift confirmation by the U.S. Senate.”
The federal Institute of Museum and Library Services and its Office of Museum Services (OMS) supports all types of museums—including aquariums, arboretums, art museums, botanical gardens, children’s museums, historic sites, history museums, military museums, natural history museums, nature centers, planetariums, science & technology centers, zoos and more—in their work to educate students, preserve collections, coordinate resources and digitize collections. The Institute of Museum and Library Services has strong bipartisan support, and has been lauded for its peer-reviewed, highly competitive grant programs. Grants are awarded in every state and congressional district.