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American Alliance of Museums Names Robert Stein Chief Program Officer

Category: Press Release


March 28, 2016

ARLINGTON, VA–The American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the only organization representing the entire scope of the museum community, today named Robert J. Stein the new executive vice president & chief program officer. In this newly created position reporting to the president & CEO, Stein will join the Alliance effective April 11 and will lead the many US and global Alliance programs, which serve the membership and nurture excellence in the field.

“Rob’s experience, entrepreneurial spirit, and deep knowledge of museums will be key to the success of the Alliance’s new strategic plan and extensive member programs and services,” said AAM President and CEO Laura L. Lott. “He has demonstrated leadership in areas that are crucial for the museum field, including innovation, new business models, and strategic use of technology and data.”

At AAM, Stein will help lead the implementation of a strategic plan, as well as the development and implementation of programs and partnerships to strengthen the Alliance’s position as a thought leader and content provider. Stein will also oversee the Alliance’s global strategy to connect US museums to the international community.

Stein brings a wealth of museum field experience to the new role at AAM, serving most recently as deputy director of the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), where he led the staff and the Museum’s programs in education, conservation, marketing, and technology. In that role, Stein led the effort to transition from paid to free general admission and to launch an innovative free membership program – the first of its kind in the cultural sector. As a result, the DMA increased its attendance by 50 percent in just three years and dramatically boosted audience participation among first-time visitors, minorities and millennials.

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With a background in computer science and engineering, Stein is a long-time leader in the cultural sector regarding the use of technology to enhance the educational and public impact of museums. Prior to joining DMA, he served as deputy director for research, technology and engagement at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, where he founded the IMALab, a software consulting subsidiary of the museum, to serve the cultural sector.  Throughout his career, Stein has played an important role in the success of many large-scale collaborations in the global cultural sector. This leadership has led to the creation of new and innovative platforms like, the first high-definition streaming Internet channel dedicated to art, that today features content from 65 international partners.

“I feel passionately that museums can and do play a critical role in our ability to learn, grow, and understand each other better,” said Stein. “AAM is ideally positioned to help museums create lasting public impact, and I am excited to join the team.” Stein has published frequently on museums, technology and data, and has presented at AAM’s Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo along with other industry conferences.

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. Representing more than 30,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance is the only organization representing the entire scope of the broad museum community. For more information, visit


Press Contact:

Joseph Klem
Phone: 202-218-7670

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