Professional Experience

Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, MI: July 1-Present


  • Develop and implement a strong interdisciplinary vision for the museum that connects it both to MSU’s academic strengths and to broader community and global issues;
  • Serve as the Museum’s chief liaison with the university and global community, ensuring that the museum’s impact is felt campus-wide, locally, and internationally;
  • Manage the operational and administrative duties of the MSU Museum in close collaboration with other University units;
  • Develop a strategic plan for an innovative, interdisciplinary museum with broad buy-in;
  • Develop strategies for integrating the museum into the MSU educational experience and connecting with local communities;
  • Connect the museum and its staff to national and international organizations, and serving in leadership roles within those organizations;
  • Organize and overseeing an effective advisory board;
  • In collaboration with the Senior Director of Development for Cultural Arts, pursue an active fundraising strategy for the unit;
  • Provide fiscal oversight that is tied to the strategic goals of the unit;
  • Hire, supervise, and oversee the professional development of staff;
  • Build a cohesive, high-performing culture in the unit;
  • Provide leadership in the university’s evolving arts strategy.

Science Gallery (an initiative of Michigan State University), Detroit/East Lansing, MI: April 2020-Present
— Began this role on April 1, 2020 with the main charge of leading the organization as it transitions from a “startup” into a more established organization. On July 1, 2021, Science Gallery became a programmatic division of the MSU Museum aimed at experimentation and innovation at the intersection of science and art, and Devon was appointed as Director of MSU Museum.

  • Lead the development of Michigan State University’s Science Gallery, including:
    • Develop and drive vision, mission, values, and strategies for the organization
    • Fundraising and development
    • Annual operating plans and budgets that enable and fuel success
    • Financial planning and oversight
    • Hiring and supervision of all staff
    • Professional development for staff
  • Innovate and ideate new methods to utilize the global Science Gallery Network, serving as the primary liaison to Science Gallery International
  • Create an environment that produces high-quality intellectual programming and exhibitions
  • Increase the engagement of the target audience of 15-25 year olds
  • Seek new funding opportunities and partner collaborations with government agencies, community organizations, industry, foundations, and academia
  • Develop as a thought leader in the intellectual space of Science Gallery via modes of sharing work with public audiences

DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, Washington, DC: June 2018-July 2020
Senior Consultant

  • Provided coaching and mentoring for cultural organizations, executives, and nonprofit boards on arts management, strategic planning, fundraising, board development, institutional and programmatic marketing, community engagement, and artistic programming.
  • Provided monthly consultations for 44 small- to mid-sized arts organizations in Atlanta, Austin, Denver, District of Columbia, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ two-year Arts Innovation and Management program.
  • Taught a variety of subjects, including community engagement and fundraising, at seminars and through the Institute’s highly competitive, three-year Fellowship program.
  • Developed strategic plans for a wide-range of cultural institutions throughout the nation.
  • Served in interim leadership roles helping to run the day-to-day operations of a major symphony orchestra (six months) and a major children’s chorus (seven months) during organizational turnarounds.

Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, MI: 2013-2018

  • Led and inspired the AANM staff to work collaboratively to develop and implement strategic plans that actualize the institution’s mission, vision, and core values. Led the organization, setting vision and direction for future growth and success
  • Developed and oversaw a robust fundraising plan to ensure the financial stability and sustainability of the museum, including building the AANM endowment and its unrestricted revenue streams
  • Formed strategic alliances and partnerships with other local/national museums, cultural and educational institutions, and community-based organizations to achieve the museum’s goals
  • Established, nurtured, and sustained relationships with foundations, corporations, government agencies, and private donors
  • Worked with the National Advisory Board to further the museum’s mission and reach into the community throughout the nation
  • Led the staff to develop exciting, high-quality exhibitions and educational, cultural, and artistic programming that served the museum’s mission and expanded and diversified its audiences and support base
  • Managed financial oversight and monitoring, including budget discipline
  • Represented AANM as a thought leader by serving as a keynote, plenary speaker, and panelist at national conferences and other professional events both within and outside the nonprofit sector
  • Served as grants review panelists for national funding agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute for Museum and Library Services
  • Led efforts that resulted in AANM becoming southeast Michigan’s only Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, achieving accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, and being named Michigan’s singular member of the National Performance Network
  • Oversaw the physical expansion of the museum with the creation of the Annex, a new community arts space immediately adjacent to the AANM, and an artist-in-residency program at City Hall Artspace Lofts in Dearborn, MI

Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, MI: 2009-2013
Deputy Director – Manager of Operations

  • Managed the day-to-day business operations of the museum and ensured program goals were completed effectively, efficiently, and on time
  • Coordinated and supervised the daily activities of staff, including monitoring performance, conducting appraisals, and developing and monitoring work plans
  • Assisted with strategic planning, evaluating organizational needs, and developing goals and objectives in coordination with senior staff
  • Trained, coached, and mentored staff
  • Worked with the director and development staff to secure the financial stability of the organization and its long-term sustainability

Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, MI: 2005-2009
Curator of Community History

  • Planned, designed, and coordinated exhibitions for display at the museum
  • Wrote grant proposals for exhibition and collection projects and managed corresponding reporting requirements
  • Wrote exhibition scripts and label text, as well as pamphlets and exhibit guides
  • Designed policies and procedures for establishing the museum’s curatorial practice
  • Led advisory teams and contracted designers and fabricators to inform exhibition development

MotorCities National Heritage Area, Detroit, Michigan: 2004
Research Intern

Saginaw News, Saginaw, MI: 2000
Photojournalism Intern

Grand Rapids Press, Grand Rapids, MI: 2000
Photojournalism Intern


Master of Science in Historic Preservation Planning, Eastern Michigan University, May 2006

  • Sigma Pi Kappa, International Honor Society
  • Preservation Eastern, Director (Graduate student professional organization)

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Michigan State University, May 2000

  • Additional coursework in Art History and Studio Art

Civic + Professional Leadership

  • Board of Directors, American Alliance of Museums, Washington, DC: 2017-Present
  • Board of Directors, Artspace, Minneapolis, MN: 2017-Present
  • Board of Directors, CultureSource, Detroit, MI: 2015-2021
  • Board of Directors, The CivCity Initiative, Ann Arbor, MI: 2015-2018
  • Board of Directors, East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority, Dearborn, MI: 2017-2018
  • Advisory Board, Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies at N.C. State University, Raleigh, NC: 2015-2018
  • Advisory Council, Kresge Arts in Detroit, Detroit, MI: 2014-2018
  • Advisory Council, Smithsonian Affiliations, Washington, DC: 2014-2018
  • Community Relations Committee, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI: 2015-2017
  • Board of Trustees, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit, MI: 2013-2017
  • Public Arts Commission, City of Ann Arbor, MI: 2013-2015
  • Advisory Council, NewCo Detroit, Detroit, MI: 2013-2014
  • Community Advisory Council, Health Alliance Plan, Detroit, MI: 2012–2014
  • Board Member, Arts & Scraps, Detroit, MI: 2012–2013
  • National Programs Committee, American Alliance of Museums, Washington, D.C.: 2012–2013
  • Community Relations Team, Cultural Source, Detroit, MI: 2011–12
  • Board Member, Heritage Works, Detroit, MI: 2010–12
  • Master Gardener, Michigan State University Extension, Wayne County: 2008–10
  • Board of Directors – Chair, Project Grow, Ann Arbor, MI: 2007–09
  • Crisler Arena Coordinator, First Aid Support Team (F.A.S.T.), Washtenaw Co. Chapter of the American Red Cross, Ann Arbor, MI: 2008–09
  • Broadway Historic District Study Committee, City of Ann Arbor, MI: 2007–08

Awards and Recognition

  • American Express NGen Fellow, Independent Sector, 2016-17
  • 40 Under 40. Crain’s Business Detroit, 2013
  • Leadership Detroit, Class XXXIV, Detroit Regional Chamber, 2012-2013
  • Emerging Leaders (Class IX), Michigan Nonprofit Association, 2009
  • Emerging Museum Professionals Fellowship, American Association of Museums, 2008
  • Diversity Fellowship, American Association of Museums, 2006
  • Keepers Preservation Fund Fellowship, Society of Architectural Historians, 2005
  • Diversity Scholarship, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2004

Select Lectures and Presentations

  • Museums Fighting Racism/Xenophobia panel presentation at the American Alliance of Museums’ 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting in on June 1, 2020.
  • Facilitator for the CEO Summit, Creating a Culture of Innovation in an Era of Rapid Disruption, at the American Alliance of Museums’ 2019 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana on May 19, 2019.
  • Diversity and Inclusion in Museums. University of Kansas Museum Studies Program Speaker Series in Lawrence, Kansas on November 17, 2018.
  • CulturePop Workshop: Navigating Partnerships presented by CultureSource in Detroit, Michigan on September 27, 2018.
  • A Change in Elevation: Museums Rising to the Challenge of Equity panel presentation at the American Alliance of Museums’ 2017 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona on May 9, 2018.
  • IDEA LAB plenary presentation at the Grantmakers in the Arts’ 2017 Annual Conference in Detroit, Michigan on October 30, 2017.
  • Detroit Inside and Out: Refugees and Immigration Tour at Independent Sector’s 2017 Annual Conference in Detroit, Michigan on October 25, 2017.
  • Taboo Talks: Challenges of Tackling Islamophobia lecture delivered at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 11, 2017.
  • Interpreting Oppression: An Uncomfortable Opportunity panel presentation at the American Alliance of Museums’ 2017 Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri on May 8, 2017.
  • Keynote Presentation at the National Council for Public History’s 2017 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 22, 2017.
  • Music and Culture of The Quarters: Cultural Heritage and Empowerment panel presentation at City/Cité | France/United States: What is the Future of Urban Democracy? presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and Institut Français in Paris, France on December 10, 2016.
  • Lecture on the role of community-based museums given to Museums 301: Museums and Society class at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan on November 28, 2016.
  • Community Building with Arts and Culture panel presentation at CityLab Miami, presented by The Atlantic, The Aspen Institute, and Bloomberg Philanthropies, in Miami, Florida on October 24, 2016.
  • The Art of Immigration: How Immigrant Artists Enrich America panel presentation hosted by the Middle East Institute and the Institute for Immigration Research at George Mason University in Washington, D.C. on October 19, 2016.
  • Saluting Our Past, Shaping Our Future panel presentation at the Smithsonian Affiliations’ 2016 National Conference in Washington, D.C. on October 18, 2016.
  • Interculturality to Advance Cultural Equity at the Michigan LatinX Arts Summit, presented by National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, in Detroit, Michigan on October 7, 2016.
  • Decolonizing Institutions panel presentation at REMAP: Detroit, presented by Arts in a Changing America, in Detroit, Michigan on October 6, 2016.
  • Creating Safe Spaces online panel presentation hosted by the Cultural Exchange Lab on September 22, 2016.
  • From the Neighborhood Up: Arts & Culture for a Just and Equitable City panel presentation at the Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts (NOCD-NY) Citywide Summit in the Bronx, New York on October 23, 2015.
  • Interpreting Difficult Subjects: The Art of Engagement panel presentation at the Smithsonian Affiliations’ 2015 National Conference in Washington, D.C. on June 16, 2015.
  • Building Community Across Cultures panel presentation at the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures’ regional arts workshop in Detroit, Michigan on June 6, 2015.
  • Museums and Their Communities: Relationships and Relevance panel presentation at the American Alliance of Museums’ 2015 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia on April 28, 2015.
  • Is There a U.S. Audience for Contemporary MENA Arts panel presentation at Arts and Culture in Transformative Times: Expanding the Philanthropic Dialogue on the Middle East and North Africa, organized by ArteEast, in collaboration with the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and the British Council in New York, New York on October 29, 2013.
  • Cultural Sensitivity in Museum Stewardshippanel presentation at the 2011 International Registrars Symposium, presented by the Registrars Committee of the American Association of Museums (RC-AAM), in Houston, Texas on November 5, 2011.
  • Connecting Cultures and Communities Through Museum Collaboration panel presentation at the Michigan Museums Association’s2008 Annual Conference in Traverse City, Michigan on September 24, 2008.
  • Small But Mighty: The Work of Small Museums panel presentation at the Smithsonian Affiliations’ 2008 National Conference 2008 in Washington, D.C. on June 3, 2008.
  • Cultural Expression and the Dream House panel presentation at the Michigan Historic Preservation Network’s28th Annual Historic Preservation Conference in Dearborn, Michigan on May 9, 2008.
  • Where Perception and Reality Meet lecture at the Alliance of National Heritage Areas’2007 International Heritage Development Conference in Detroit, Michigan on June 2007.
  • Minorities in Michigan: Documenting Diversity panel presentation at the Michigan Archival Association’s48th Annual Meeting in Frankenmuth, Michigan on June 22, 2006.
  • Ellis Island Scholars’ Roundtable on Immigration hosted by the S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, at the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration on February 9, 2006.
  • Ethnic Museums: The New Voice of the Disenfranchised!panel presentation at the Michigan Museums Association’s 2005 Annual Conference in Dearborn, Michigan on October 5, 2005.

Professional Review Panels

  • Peer reviewer for the Institute for Museums and Library Services’ (IMLS) Museums for America Program (Community Anchors), 2021.
  • 2018 Kresge Eminent Artist Award review panel for Kresge Arts in Detroit in Detroit, Michigan from October to December 2017.
  • Grant review panel for the Institute for Museums and Library Services (IMLS) on June 26-27, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
  • 2017 Kresge Eminent Artist Award review panel for Kresge Arts in Detroit in Detroit, Michigan from October to December 2016.
  • Grant review panel for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) on December 6, 2016 in Washington, D.C.
  • Grant review panel for the Institute for Museums and Library Services (IMLS) on June 27-28, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
  • 2016 Kresge Eminent Artist Award review panel for Kresge Arts in Detroit in Detroit, Michigan from October to December 2015.
  • 2015 Kresge Eminent Artist Award review panel for Kresge Arts in Detroit in Detroit, Michigan from October to December 2014.
  • National Programs Committee for the American Alliance of Museums 2013 Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland on October 11-12, 2012.

Articles and Chapter Contributions

  • “8:46:40.” Chapter contribution to the book, “The Inclusive Museum Leader.” To be published in early 2021 by the American Alliance of Museums and Rowman & Littlefield.
  • “Curatorial Statement” in Epicenter X: Saudi Contemporary Art in Dearborn, MI. (Dearborn, MI: Arab American National Museum, 2017), pp. 10.
  • “Cultural Relevance.” Canvas: Arts and Culture from the Middle East and Arab World. March/April 2017 (Volume 13, Issue 2), pp. 177.
  • “Connecting Communities: Dispelling Stereotypes and Building Community History.” The Radical Museum: Democracy, Dialogue, and Debate. Ed. Gregory Chamberlain. Stony Stratford, United Kingdom: Museum Identity, 2011. pp. 115-125.

Book Reviews

  • Review of Killing Ground: Photographs of the Civil War and the Changing American Landscape, by John Huddleston. Material Culture: The Journal of the International Society for Landscape, Place, & Material Culture, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Spring 2006), pp. 91-93. 
  • Review of City Spaces: Photographs of Chicago Alleys, by Bob Thall. Material Culture: The Journal of the International Society for Landscape, Place, & Material Culture, Vol. 37, No. 2 (Fall 2005), pp. 72-74. 

Last updated on July 9, 2020.