Anne W. Ackerson is a former history museum director, director of the Museum Association of New York, and director of the national Council of State Archivists. She is currently an independent consultant to cultural and educational nonprofits, specializing in leadership, governance, and management issues. Ms. Ackerson also facilitates the Leadership and Administration online course for the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), and presents on leadership and gender at the History Leadership Institute. She is a member of The Museum Group, a consortium of museum consultants working with museums to help them achieve their greatest potential in an ever-changing world.
Ms. Ackerson represented the Council of State Archivists in the Nexus “Leading Across Boundaries” (LAB) initiative, a national effort involving a wide range of leadership training stakeholders from the archives, museum, and library communities, which was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and hosted by the Educopia Institute. Ms. Ackerson served on the Nexus team that developed the “Layers of Leadership,” a model providing a common lens for understanding high-demand leadership training skills and competencies in these fields.
With Joan H. Baldwin, she is the co-author of Leadership Matters: Leading Museums in an Age of Discord, a book examining history museum leadership for the 21st century (now in its second edition); and Women in the Museum: Lessons from the Workplace. Ms. Ackerson is a co-founder of the Gender Equity in Museums Movement (GEMM), which is focusing its recent efforts on education, advocacy, and policy development around pay equity, salary transparency, and sexual harassment in the museum workplace. In 2018, she and Ms. Baldwin spearheaded research, revealing that 62% of the museum workforce are affected by some form of gender discrimination. In addition to research and writing about gender inequity, Ms. Ackerson and Baldwin have presented their findings to a variety of audiences, including to the Texas and Pennsylvania Associations of Museums as conference keynoters, as Largent Lecture speakers at Baylor University, and via their blog, Leadership Matters. In 2019, they co-facilitated a half-day leadership forum for women at the AASLH annual meeting.
Ms. Ackerson is a frequent keynoter, workshop presenter and author, focusing on issues of leadership, board and organizational development, governance issues, and planning. She is a regular webinar presenter on issues of museum leadership, succession planning, gender equity, and board roles and responsibilities. She developed curriculum materials and a webinar on strategic planning for AASLH’s StEPs program, a national standards program for history museums, and most recently assisted in the update of the program’s sections dealing with organizational transparency and accountability.