AASLH Council Members

AASLH is governed by a twenty-one-member Council elected by the membership of the Association. The Council is comprised of leaders in the field of public history, with wide-ranging specialties. Council members serve two years.

Executive Director at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center since 1998, Katherine Kane directs programs and outreach using the Center’s extensive collections and historic buildings. Stowe was an internationally-known author and advocate and the Center uses her story to inspire social justice and positive change. The Center’s innovative programs include award winning Salons at Stowe bringing the public into the parlor for conversations around contemporary issues; and the biennial Harriet Beecher Stowe Prize for writing promoting social justice. Ms. Kane was a senior manager at the Colorado Historical Society (now History Colorado) where she worked for 16 years, and special projects director at the Denver Art Museum. She has a B.A. in sociology from the University of Denver, an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Colorado and participated in the Getty Trust’s Museum Management Institute. She has been an officer of the American Association for State and Local History, a member of the American Association of Museums Accreditation Commission, and is involved with several Hartford community organizations.

Katherine Kane

Chair (2016-2018)*

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

John E. Fleming joined the museum profession in 1980 as the founding director of the National Afro-American Museum and as a senior staff member of the Ohio Historical Society. He is the former director of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the Cincinnati Museum Center. He served as the president of the Ohio Museums Association, the Association of African American Museums, and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He served on numerous committees of the American Association of Museums including on the Executive Committee. He was director of the International African American Museum in Charleston and senior consultant for the development of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson. Currently he is the director of the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville. He is a graduate of Berea College where he serves on the Board Trustees. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Howard University. He was awarded distinguished service awards from Berea College, The National Peace Corps, the Association of African American Museums, and the AASLH.

John Fleming

Vice Chair (2016-2018)*

National Museum of African American Music

Julie Rose is Director and Curator of Homewood Museum. She  was formerly Director of the West Baton Rouge Museum, an assistant professor in museum studies at Southern University of New Orleans, and an instructor at Louisiana State University for museum studies. The majority of Julie’s professional career has been at regional history museums as a curator of education, including the East Tennessee Historical Society, the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge, Magnolia Mound Plantation, and the Columbia Historical Society. Julie earned her doctorate from Louisiana State University and her Master of Arts degree in museum education from The George Washington University. Julie completed internships at the National Portrait Gallery, the Museum of American Folk Art, and the Nordic Heritage Museum. She has published several books and articles on American slavery issues and museum education. Julie currently is a Commissioner on the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area Commission, and serves on the Louisiana State Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, Louisiana Association of Museums Board, the Friends of Magnolia Mound Plantation Board, and the Lagniappe Dulcimer Society Board.

Julie Rose

Immediate Past Chair (2016-2018)*

Homewood Museum

As the Hunter J. Smith Director of Education and Visitor Programs at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, Linnea is honored to lead a team of over one hundred dedicated interpreters and manager who aspire to engage all visitors in conversations about Jefferson’s ideas. Previously, she held positions at the Supreme Court of the United States, the Loudoun County Heritage Farm Museum, the Fairfax County Park Authority, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, and the Museums of Old York. Her formal education is from the Cooperstown Graduate Program where she earned a M.A. in history museum studies and from the Seminar for Historical Administration. Linnea and her husband met on their first day of college at William and Mary. They now enjoy living on the outskirts of Charlottesville with their daughter in a home with views of Virginia’s mountains.

Linnea Grim

Secretary (2016-2018)*

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Norman Burns, President and CEO of Conner Prairie Museum in Fishers, Indiana, is an entrepreneurial leader, museum and non-profit management executive with a 29 year history of successfully developing innovative approaches and compelling visions for operating history and general museums. As the Executive Director and CEO of six different historic sites and general museums in Tennessee, Virginia and Indiana, Burns has developed nationally recognized-award winning interpretive and educational programs, conferences, concert series, publications, and exhibitions. Burns is a highly effective communicator, educator, and fundraiser who has developed visionary strategic, business, development and marketing plans allowing organizations to experience stages of developmental growth in operational and capital income, physical plant, and programming. Burns has served on various boards and committees for local, state, regional, and national cultural organizations and is a long-time reviewer for IMLS, NEH Challenge Grants, and AAM Accreditation and MAP programs. He has his B.A. and M.A. in History from Middle Tennessee State University.

Norman Burns, II

Treasurer (2016-2018)*

Conner Prairie Museum

Bill Adair is a program director at the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in Philadelphia. He has over two decades of experience as a practicing museum curator and educator, most recently at the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia, where he began an artist-in-residence program, commissioned several new media projects, and produced a range of educational and public programs. Bill has a BA in history from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in cultural planning and policy from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is co-editor of the book Letting Go? Sharing Historical Authority in a User Generated World (Left Coast Press, 2011) and co-founder of a new national initiative promoting LGBT public history.

Bill Adair

(Class of 2018)

Pew Center for the Arts & Heritage

Melanie Adams is the Senior Director, Guest Experience and Education for the Minnesota Historical Society. She is formerly Managing Director for Community Education and Events for the Missouri Historical Society. Her professional career includes working at the University of California-Berkeley, California State University-Northridge, Washington University, and as a consultant for nonprofit organizations. Ms. Adams participates in a variety of community organizations. She is a graduate of the Women in Leadership Program of CORO and the Leadership St. Louis program of FOCUS St. Louis.  She has served on the AmeriCorps St. Louis board, the Focus St. Louis board, the Women’s Society of Washington University, and the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation. She has served on the Special Administrative Board of St. Louis Public Schools and on the Black Leadership Roundtable. Ms. Adams earned a Bachelor’s degree in English/African American studies from the University of Virginia, a Master of Education degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Missouri St. Louis.

Melanie Adams

(Class of 2020)

Minnesota Historical Society

Dina Bailey is Director, Methodology and Practice with the International Coalition for Sites of Conscience, where she focuses on issues of diversity, equity, access, inclusion and empathy through memorialization and strategic planning efforts. Prior to joining Sites of Conscience, she was the CEO of Mountain Top Vision, LLC, a consulting company that focuses on supporting change management within organizations in the areas of diversity, inclusion, and strategic planning in order to further audience engagement. She has also been employed as the Director of Educational Strategies for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and as the Director of Museum Experiences for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Ms. Bailey holds an undergraduate degree in Middle and Secondary Education, a graduate degree in Anthropology of Development and Social Transformation, and a graduate certification in Museum Studies. She has been published in both the formal education and museum fields. Dina is proud to be on the council of the American Association for State and Local History, the board of the Association of African American Museums, the board of the Next Generation Men, and the Issues Chair for the American Alliance of Museums EdCom. and she tweets from @DinaABailey with a focus on human rights.

Dina Bailey

(Class of 2018)

Mountain Top Vision, LLC

Marian Carpenter is Associate Director of Collections/Chief Registrar at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. She was formerly Curator of Collections Management for the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, as well as Collections Manager at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN. She received a B.A. in History and Afro-American Studies from Indiana University and a M.A. in American History with a concentration in African American History from the University of Cincinnati. Ms. Carpenter’s museum career started at the Indiana Historical Society where she was employed as an Assistant Archivist. Ms. Carpenter then accepted a dual position as Educator Programmer of the Story Avenue Storytelling Gallery and Curator of African American Materials at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. She was the Curator and Registrar at the Banneker-Douglass Museum in  Annapolis, MD, and then Registrar at the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) located in Washington D.C. for which she traveled extensively around the country installing exhibitions. She is a Seminar for Historical Administration 2009 alumnus and past Captain for AASLH’s Tennessee State Leadership Team.

Marian Carpenter

(Class of 2019)

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

As an independent professional and futurist, Lisa Eriksen assists museums and cultural organizations by providing innovative foresight training and planning services with a focus on envisioning and creating a preferred future. After earning a certificate in Strategic Foresight from the University of Houston, Lisa served as the project director of the California Association of Museums’ Leaders of the Future: Museum Professionals Developing Strategic Foresight, an IMLS-funded program that provided innovative training to museum professionals. Lisa has been invited to lead workshops, write blog articles, facilitate planning initiatives, and give talks focusing on important future trends, such as serving aging populations, developing partnerships to promote community inclusion, and the transformations in, and the impact of technology on, how we work. She serves on faculty at the John F. Kennedy University Museum Studies program, where she earned her M.A., and Lisa is a founding member of the CAM Foresight Committee.

Lisa Eriksen

(Class of 2021)

Lisa Eriksen Consulting

Kim became deputy director of National History Day (NHD) in 2009. Previously she worked in museum education and administration at the Heritage Center of Lancaster County (Pennsylvania) and coordinated a regional NHD program. Passionate about history education and the informal learning that museums uniquely provide, she has presented about these topics and about NHD as an effective agent for improving history education at the annual meetings of AASLH, AAM, the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM), and other organizations. From 2008-2010, she served as president of MAAM’s board. With Beverly Sheppard, she co-edited An Alliance of Spirit: Museum and School Partnerships, published by AAM in 2010. Kim has an M.A. in History/Museum Studies from Duquesne University and recently completed the Senior Leaders Program for Non-Profit Professionals at Columbia Business School. A native Pittsburgher, she lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her patient husband, talented teenage son, and three beloved critters.

Kim Fortney

(Class of 2020)

National History Day

Leigh has been involved with AASLH since 1996 and has served on the Historic House Museum Task Force; the Publications, Awards, and Annual Meeting Program committees; as Membership Coordinator for Colorado; and as trainer for the Digitizing Historic Collections workshops. She works as a digital consultant, conducting in-person and online courses for LYRASIS, a nonprofit organization with a mission of supporting information professionals. Leigh consults with and trains cultural heritage staff nationwide in the use of digital technologies, preservation, and workflow. She lives in Denver with her husband, two teenagers, a busy terrier, and two noisy guinea pigs.

Leigh Grinstead

(Class of 2018)


Director of the Washington State Historical Society since 2011, Jennifer Kilmer oversees the statewide operations of the Society, including management of the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, WA, the Research Center and Archives also in Tacoma, and the Historic Lord Mansion in Olympia, WA.  Jennifer was previously the Executive Director of the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor, WA, where she led a major capital campaign to build the museum’s new waterfront facility. Prior to her work in museums, Jennifer began her nonprofit career working for the Paul G. Allen Family Foundations. Jennifer earned her undergraduate degree in political science and economics from Wellesley College, and a Master’s degree in politics from the University of Oxford as a Marshall Scholar. In Tacoma, Jennifer is an active member of the cultural community. She is married and has two children.

Jennifer Kilmer

(Class of 2019)

Washington State Historical Society

Stacy Klingler has over a decade of experience translating museum standards and best practices into manageable steps for all-volunteer and minimally-staffed organizations. She is currently the Executive Director of Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House—a unique combination of community center and historic site where the daily question is how to balance community use with historic preservation. In her previous roles in the Local History Services department of the Indiana Historical Society, Klingler was responsible for planning, developing, and implementing programs and consultation services aimed at improving the professional standards and practices of small local history societies, museums and archives. Klingler understands the real life challenges of working in a small organization from her experiences as director or assistant director of three small museums in Indiana and as chair of the AASLH Small Museums Committee. She is the co-editor of The Small Museum Toolkit and attended the Seminar for Historical Administration in 2006.

Stacy Klingler

(Class of 2021)

William Butterworth Foundation


Nicola Longford began her museum career at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (1984-1991) where she worked in a variety of different capacities in the Departments of Conservation, Archaeological Research, Architectural Research and Historical Interpretation. She then spent 14 years at the Missouri Historical Society in St. Louis. From 1992 to 2000 she served as the Society’s General Objects Conservator, and from 2000-2005 as Vice President for Community Services, overseeing Collections and Conservation; Library, Archives and Still and Moving Images; Education and Community Programs; Exhibits and Design; Publications; and Special Projects. In October 2005, Nicola Longford joined The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza as Executive Director. She received a B.A. in French from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, and an M.A. in Anthropology/Historical Archaeology from the College of William & Mary. She maintains a longstanding interest in bridging gaps and in the cross-fertilization between various sub-disciplines of the museum profession.

Nicola Longford

(Class of 2018)

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Erin Carlson Mast is the Executive Director of President Lincoln’s Cottage, where she oversees strategic development and stewardship. A staff member since 2003, Erin played an integral role in developing the site experience for the 2008 grand opening. In her previous role as Curator, Erin spearheaded a number of projects that won national awards. Since assuming the directorship in 2010, Erin has led the site through a new strategic plan and broke ground on numerous public and private partnerships and board development. She has authored pieces for History News, The Public Historian, and Forum Journal, and contributed a chapter to Museums of Ideas: Commitment and Conflict. Erin received her M.A. in Museum Studies from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and B.A. in History from the Ohio University Honors Tutorial College in Athens, OH.

Erin Carlson Mast

(Class of 2019)

President Lincoln’s Cottage

Kyle McKoy is the President & Executive Director of the Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle.  The towering concrete castles are National Historic Landmarks, designed and constructed by Henry Mercer, historian and archaeologist, who recognized the need to collect and preserve the tools of daily life in America before it was swept away by the Industrial Revolution. McKoy recently served four years as the Vice President of Education & Exhibitions at the Indiana Historical Society, leading several departments, including education, community engagement, local history services, museum theater, exhibitions, and public programs.  Prior to Indiana, McKoy began her museum career at the Arizona Historical Society (AHS) as an intern, and ten years later, became the museum director of the AHS Museum at Papago Park.  McKoy holds two degrees from the University of Arizona, a B.A. in Anthropology and an M.A. in Education.  She is a 2011 graduate of the Seminar for Historical Administration and is now a faculty member.

Kyle McKoy

(Class of 2020)

Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle

Brent Ott is responsible for evaluating The Henry Ford’s financial performance, participating in the long- and short-range planning process, designing and implementing mechanisms to manage the budget development cycle and advising the President, Senior Management Team and Board of Trustees in terms of budget development. He maintains a strong vision and common agenda for the core business of the organization, working closely with The Henry Ford’s President and Executive Vice President on long-term strategic planning while managing Human Resources, Security, Facilities, and IT in addition to all relationships with lending institutions and investment managers. Ott started his career with The Henry Ford in 2000 and began working in the finance department in 2005 as financial analyst for the institution.

Brent Ott

(Class of 2021)

The Henry Ford

Sarah Pharaon serves as Senior Director, Methodology and Practice with the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, a worldwide network of places of memory dedicated to remembering past struggles for justice and addressing their contemporary legacies. Her work includes oversight of professional training across the Coalition membership as well as the organization’s Immigration and Civil Rights Network. From 2010 – 2014, Sarah led twenty-five U.S. museums in the development of the National Dialogues on Immigration Project. Previously, Sarah worked as Director of Education at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Ms. Pharaon was the founding curator of the Arab American National Museum. Ms. Pharaon is a consulting trainer on dialogue for the National Park Service, an instructor at the Seminar for Historic Administration and is the curriculum designer for the AASLH training program, Can You Hear Me Now: Connecting to Visitors Through Real Stories of Artifacts and Place. Sarah holds her B.A. in American Studies from Franklin and Marshall College and her M.A. in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program.

Sarah Pharaon

(Class of 2019)

International Coalition of Sites of Conscience

Trina Nelson Thomas, Director, Stark Art & History Venues, Orange, TX, oversees the staff and operations of the Stark Museum of Art, the W.H. Stark House, and the Stark Foundation Library & Archive.  Prior to joining the Stark Foundation, Trina was Senior Director, Public Programs at the Indiana Historical Society. Her work focuses on interpretive planning; exhibition, program, and experience development; community collaborations; strategic planning; evaluation; and building staff capacity. She has a B.A. in Biology with an art minor from Ohio Northern University and a M.T.S.C. (Masters of Technical & Scientific Communication) from Miami University.  Trina was the first recipient of the William T. Alderson Scholarship for the Seminar for Historical Administration. During her time in Indiana, she served on the Developing History Leaders @SHA partners coordinating committee and as faculty. She is the former AASLH Leadership in History Awards committee chair.

Trina Nelson Thomas

(Class of 2021)

Stark Art & History Venues

Scott L. Wands serves as Manager of Grants and Programs at Connecticut Humanities (CTH). He manages CTH’s non-grant-funded services to Connecticut’s cultural community and oversees the $135,000 Quick Grant program. He is co-creator of StEPs-CT, an integrated program of training, mentoring, and grant funding that since 2012 has helped forty-seven Connecticut cultural organizations build professionalism and remain vibrant community resources. He managed the 2013-14 statewide Connecticut at Work initiative and created the Heritage Resource Center (2008-12), a nationally award-winning web portal. Scott currently serves as a Field Service Alliance board member and as the AASLH Region 2 Chair for Awards (2008-12, 2015-Present). Before joining CTH in March 2008, he worked for five years at Connecticut Landmarks as assistant curator of education. A graduate of Amherst College and the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, Scott previously served AASLH on the Annual Conference Program (2009-11) and StEPs Online Advisory (2010-12) Committees.

Scott Wands

(Class of 2020)

Connecticut Humanities Council