Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, MI
Director, July 2021-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
- Provide fiscal oversight that is tied to the strategic goals
- Hire, supervise, and oversee the professional development of staff
- Build a cohesive, high-performing culture
- Provide leadership in the university’s evolving arts strategy
Science Gallery (an initiative of Michigan State University), Detroit/East Lansing, MI
Director, April 2020-July 2021
- Developed and executed a strategic plan to transition the organization from a startup to a more established entity.
- Collaborated with staff to design and implement both virtual and in-person exhibitions and programs catering to diverse local and global audiences during the onset of the global pandemic.
- Navigated the organization through leadership changes and the introduction of new strategic priorities at Michigan State University.
- Assumed role as Museum Director in July 2021 when Science Gallery became a programmatic division of the Michigan State University Museum due to restructuring.
- Led the rebranding process of Science Gallery to the MSU Museum’s CoLab Studio.
- Guided CoLab Studio as a dedicated division within the MSU Museum with a focus on innovation and experimentation.
DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, Washington, DC
Senior Consultant, June 2018-July 2020
- Provided mentorship and consulting in arts management to over 70 arts and cultural organizations in strategic planning, fundraising, board development, marketing, community engagement, and artistic programming.
- Conducted monthly consultations for two years with 44 small- to mid-sized arts organizations across multiple cities through Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Arts Innovation and Management program.
- Taught subjects such as community engagement and fundraising in seminars and through a global fellowship program.
- Developed strategic plans for cultural institutions nationwide, contributing to their long-term success.
- Served in interim leadership roles during periods of transition for a major symphony orchestra (six months) and a major children’s chorus (seven months), overseeing day-to-day operations and supporting organizational turnarounds.
Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, MI
Director, July 2013-June 2018
- Led and inspired staff at AANM to develop and implement strategic plans aligning with the institution’s mission, vision, and core values.
- Assumed leadership following the founding director, providing clear direction and a compelling vision for future growth, advancing the museum’s mission nationwide.
- Developed and managed a comprehensive fundraising plan to ensure financial stability, establishing strong relationships with foundations, corporations, government agencies, and private donors.
- Forged strategic alliances and community-based partnerships with local and national museums, cultural institutions, and community organizations in collaboration with the National Advisory Board.
- Represented AANM as a thought leader, delivering keynote speeches and participating in plenary sessions and panels at national conferences and professional events.
- Served as a grants review panelist for esteemed national funding agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.
- Led AANM to significant milestones such as becoming a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate, achieving American Alliance of Museums accreditation, being designated Michigan’s sole National Performance Network member, and receiving the international TAKREEM Laureate for Cultural Excellence.
- Oversaw the physical growth of the museum by creating the Annex, a new community arts space adjacent to the AANM.
- Established an artist-in-residency program at City Hall Artspace Lofts in Dearborn, MI, enhancing the museum’s community engagement and offerings.
Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, MI
Deputy Director – Manager of Operations, October 2009-July 2013
- Oversaw daily business operations of the museum, ensuring efficient and timely completion of program goals.
- Coordinated and supervised daily staff activities, conducted performance appraisals, and developed and monitored work plans.
- Assisted with strategic planning by evaluating organizational needs and developing goals and objectives in collaboration with senior staff.
- Contributed to the museum’s long-term success and sustainability by providing valuable input and insights.
- Trained, coached, and mentored staff, actively supporting their professional development and enhancing their skills and expertise.
- Worked closely with the director and development staff to secure the museum’s financial stability by devising and implementing financial strategies and initiatives.
Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, MI
Curator of Community History, May 2005-October 2009
- Spearheaded the development of exhibitions and collections during the museum’s crucial formative years.
- Designed and implemented policies and procedures to establish a robust curatorial practice within the museum.
- Provided strong leadership and guidance to advisory teams, engaging community stakeholders in the collection building process.
- Collaborated closely with contracted designers and fabricators to create impactful exhibitions that resonated with the audience.
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
Professional Service and 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
- 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
Civic Service and Leadership
- Equitable Engagement Steering Committee, City of Ann Arbor, MI: 2021-2023
- Vision Zero Implementation Committee, City of Ann Arbor, MI: 2022-2023
- Public Arts Commission, City of Ann Arbor, MI: 2013-2015
- 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
- 1.5º Celsius: The Hottest Exhibition in Town panel presentation at the American Alliance of Museums’ 2023 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado on May 19, 2023.
- Museums Fighting Racism/Xenophobia panel presentation at the American Alliance of Museums’ 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting 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.
- 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 November 5, 2020.