Anne Ackerson, Adjunct Faculty
In a career spanning four decades, Anne Ackerson has served as director of several historic house museums and historical societies in central and eastern New York. As the director of the Museum Association of New York, she worked on standards development for museums chartered by the state education department and on deaccessioning and abandoned property legislation. She most recently served as the executive director of the Council of State Archivists, a national association serving the 56 state and territory archives.
Ms. Ackerson began an independent consulting practice in 1997, focusing on organizational development issues for the small-to-mid-sized nonprofit cultural institution. In this capacity, she has worked with a wide variety of cultural and heritage organizations ranging from museums to arts councils to libraries and archives and community theatres and orchestras. Among the range of projects with which Ms. Ackerson has been involved include organizational assessment and benchmarking, board development, assisting with executive search, evaluating membership and annual giving programs, and facilitating strategic and business planning.
Ms. Ackerson is a frequent workshop presenter and author, focusing on issues of the board and organizational development, governance issues, and planning. She writes about management and leadership issues for cultural institutions in her blog, Leading by Design. She is a regular webinar presenter on issues of museum ethics, executive leadership, financial management, and board roles and responsibilities. She developed curriculum materials and a webinar on strategic planning for the American Association of State and Local History’s (AASLH) StEPS program, a national standards program for history museums, and she teaches AASLH’s Small Museum Pro online course on museum leadership and administration.
Her article about the status of heritage organizations in New York State, “The History Museum in New York State: A Growing Sector Built on Scarcity Thinking,” was published in the Summer 2011 issue of the journal, Public Historian. She is the co-author with Joan Baldwin of Leadership Matters, a look at history museum leadership for the 21st century, which was published in 2013 by AltaMira Press as part of the American Association for State and Local History series. Their newest book, Women in the Museum: Lessons from the Workplace, was published in 2017 by Routledge. Ms. Ackerson is the co-founder of the Gender Equity in Museums Movement (GEMM), an effort to raise awareness around issues of gender-based discrimination in the museum workplace and offer resources for change.