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American Alliance of Museums Taps Amy Bartow-Melia as Next Chair of Accreditation Commission

Category: Press Release
National Standards and Best Practices for U.S. Museums
National Standards and Best Practices for U.S. Museums


July 31, 2017

Amy Bartow-Melia
Amy Bartow-Melia

ARLINGTON, VA  The Board of Directors of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the only organization representing the entire scope of the museum community, has ratified the appointment of Amy Bartow-Melia as the next chair of its Accreditation Commission. Bartow-Melia is the MacMillan Associate Director for Audience Engagement at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, where she has been engaged in various education and public programming positions since 1997.

Bartow-Melia will begin her three-year term as chair of the commission in January 2018. She has been serving on the commission since 2015.

“Amy’s strong background in education will serve the commission well, given the Alliance’s strategic focus on museums’ expanding role in PreK-12 education,” said AAM Board Chair Douglas Jones, director of the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. “She also brings years of experience assessing the impact of museums, and we look forward to her leadership as the commission continues to shift its emphasis toward the impact museums have on their communities.” 

The Accreditation Commission is the body responsible for making independent decisions regarding accredited status. It meets three times per year and is made up of museum professionals that collectively bring a wide range of experience and expertise in the museum field. Commissioners serve in a volunteer capacity.

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“AAM accreditation is the mark of distinction for museums,” Bartow-Melia said. “It is an honor to work with my dedicated commission colleagues and AAM staff to help ensure quality, sustainable and impactful experiences across the museum field.” 

Bartow-Melia brings 22 years of museum and nonprofit management experience in the US and the UK, with a special interest in assessing the impact of museums. She has assumed leadership roles in EdCom, the Alliance’s professional network of educators, as well as the National Council for History Education.  She was also the founding director of two children’s non-profit organizations: The London International Gallery of Children’s Art, and Children’s’ International Art Outreach in Virginia. Bartow-Melia has a B.A. in Anthropology and Education, an MAT in Museum Education, and is a graduate of the Getty Museum Leadership Institute.

Bartow-Melia will succeed Burt Logan, executive director and CEO of the Ohio History Connection in Columbus. Logan has served two terms as commission chair, starting in 2012.  “On behalf of the Alliance, I salute Burt Logan and thank him for his leadership over the past six years,” said Jones. “He served as chair during the reinvention of our accreditation, which significantly streamlined the process. Burt also introduced the commission’s new nominating process, opening it up to the field and making it more transparent and inclusive.” Logan’s final meeting as chair of the commission is slated for October 2017. 

Learn more about the Accreditation Commissioners.

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 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit


Media Contact:

Joseph Klem
Director, Public Relations
American Alliance of Museums
Phone: 202-218-7670

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