March 13, 2015

Statement by Ford W. Bell on President Obama’s Nomination of Dr. Kathryn (Kit) Matthew to lead the Institute of Museum and Library Services

“I am thrilled that President Obama has nominated such an experienced and dedicated museum professional to serve as director of the Institute of Museum of Library Services. 

“Throughout her career, Kit has worked for a wide variety of museums—including the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Historic Charleston Foundation, Please Touch Museum, Science City at Union Station, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Virginia Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Cranbrook Institute of Science, and the Academy of Natural Sciences—and she has amassed a great deal of knowledge about the breadth and diversity of the museum field. Her roles have included director, curator, educator, exhibit developer, fundraiser, volunteer, board member, and in strategic communications and collections management, all of which will be exceedingly valuable as she works to support museums in their educational and public service roles.

“Through her work as a peer reviewer for the IMLS-funded and AAM-administered Museum Assessment Program (MAP), Kit has helped numerous museums achieve success in community engagement, strategic planning, and financial stability. Kit has also served as a peer reviewer for the National Science Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and was awarded the AAM Excellence in Peer Review Service award in 2009.

“These experiences—combined with her work for environmental advocacy organizations, foundations, and in the private sector—make her an excellent choice to lead this vital agency that supports museums of all types. 

“Kit is also acutely aware of the business trends in the museum field, and her experience in resource acquisition will be a critical asset to IMLS as the agency works to serve the entire museum field while federal funding for the agency currently falls far short of the Congressionally-authorized amount. 

“I look forward to Dr. Matthew’s swift confirmation by the U.S. Senate.”

The federal Institute of Museum and Library Services and its Office of Museum Services (OMS) supports all types of museums—including aquariums, arboretums, art museums, botanical gardens, children’s museums, historic sites, history museums, military museums, natural history museums, nature centers, planetariums, science & technology centers, zoos and more—in their work to educate students, preserve collections, coordinate resources and digitize collections. The Institute of Museum and Library Services has strong bipartisan support, and has been lauded for its peer-reviewed, highly competitive grant programs. Grants are awarded in every state and congressional district.

Read the official White House press release on Dr. Matthew’s nomination. 

About the American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. With more than 24,000 individual, 4,000 institutional and 300 corporate members, the Alliance is dedicated to ensuring that museums remain a vital part of the American landscape, connecting people with the greatest achievements of the human experience, past, present and future. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.