Meet MCN’s new board members

Congratulations to our 5 newly appointed board members!

Judging from the number of applications received during the Call for Board Candidates in June, serving on the MCN board seems to be a coveted opportunity among members of our community: we received 30 applications in total (10 more than last year) for only 5 spots available on the board this year.

The 2016 Nominating Committee (Loic Tallon, Carolyn Royston, Jane Alexander, Elizabeth Bollwerk and Eric Longo) thoroughly reviewed each candidate against current board needs in skill sets and expertise, as well as based on the strength and merit of individual applications. It wasn’t (it never is) an easy decision. But in the end, we had to select 5 candidates, which we presented to the Board of Directors during its July 2016 monthly meeting. Following a discussion on the candidates, I’m delighted to announce that the following five people have been appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of MCN: Greg Albers, Lori Byrd-McDevitt, Deborah Howes, Darren Milligan, and Matthew Tarr (see their bios below).

Their three-year term will start this November. Please join us in congratulating them on their appointment.

We also want to extend a sincere thanks to all the other candidates who, driven by a passion for MCN and a desire to serve its community, also took the time to apply this year. Don’t let this discourage you from applying again in future years: often, when it comes down to it, the choice between 2 candidates is based on timing and context. Although you weren’t selected this time around, we want you to know that MCN is your community, and we encourage you to stay involved. This past year, the board has started to focus on a comprehensive Professional Development program aimed at engaging all members of the MCN community by providing pathways for professional growth throughout their careers in museums. There are many ways to get involved in addition to serving on the board, and we invite you to look into an opportunity that’s right for you. For any questions about Professional Development opportunities, email us at [email protected].

Congratulations again to our new board members!

Eric Longo
Executive Director, MCN


Greg Albers

Digital Publications Manager, J. Paul Getty Trust

Greg Albers is the digital publications manager at the Getty, leading an effort there to create innovative digital books, develop open source and collaborative publishing platforms, and build a community of interest and experience in technology at the Getty and among art and museum publishers everywhere. Greg began his career with museums in 2001 at the MFA Boston, and then in 2002 took over as publications manager at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum where he oversaw all design and print production, as well the museum’s graphic rebranding. In 2007, Greg left the Gardner to start Hol Art Books, an independent press—publishing writing on visual art in both print and digital editions. He came to the Getty in 2013.

Greg has spoken and taught about digital publishing and tech literacy and culture extensively, including for Museums and the Web, the National Museum Publishing Seminar, Art Libraries Society of North America, Books in Browsers, ebookcraft, and the Society for Photographic Education. He was also a long-time contributing member of the Beyond the Printed Page digital publishing blog, which won an MW Best of the Web Award in 2013. In 2016 he launched a new interest group for Art and Museum Digital Publishing, now with nearly 100 members from museums and publishers around the world. For MCN, Greg served on the conference programming committee in 2015 and 2016. He has led numerous MCN workshops and panel discussions on digital publishing and culture, as well as an ignite talk in 2014, in which he compared himself to George Clooney and considered tugboats as a metaphor for digital work in museums. Chug chug.

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Lori Byrd-McDevitt

Manager of Digital Content and Social Media, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

A teacher-turned-museum-professional, Lori Byrd-McDevitt now serves as the Manager of Digital Content and Social Media at the largest children’s museum in the world—The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Lori holds an M.A. in museum studies from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Through leadership roles within the Wikipedia community, Lori established globally-adopted processes for collaboration between Wikipedians and museum professionals. This led her to be inspired by the potential of open, digital platforms to engage new voices. Her research centers on the concept of Open Authority, a term she developed to encourage community collaboration in the interpretation of cultural heritage. She has been published in Curator: The Museum Journal (2013), Mia Ridge’s Crowdsourcing our Cultural Heritage (2014), and has been cited in the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report: Museum Edition (2012, 2015) and the Center for the Future of Museums’ TrendsWatch (2015).

Day to day, Lori strategizes and manages content across The Children’s Museum’s blog, eNews, and social media, as well as a Blog Ambassador program and the museum’s recurring digital engagement projects. In her extraordinary museum, one day the content is dinosaurs…the next, it’s astronauts!

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Deborah Howes

Independent museum, education and technology consultant, art educator, and adjunct faculty member in the M.A Program in Museum Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

After 30 years of technology and education leadership in art museums, Deborah is excited to serve on the MCN Board and support the organization’s work: there has never been a more important time for all museum staff to have accurate, up-to-date and forward thinking resources to help navigate the future of 21st-century museums. Although past is not always prologue–especially with technology–Deborah believes that her career experiences as well as current projects will serve MCN well.

As the former Director of Digital Learning at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Ms. Howes oversaw the development of an online course program, including a highly successful Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and long-term partnership with Coursera. From 2009 through 2011 Howes served as Assistant Director and full-time faculty member in the Johns Hopkins University Museum Studies program, where she developed and taught many of the education and technology-oriented online course offerings, as well as some on-ground seminars. Previously for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, she led her team of educators, producers and technicians to create award-winning educational materials in print, video and web formats for use both inside and outside the museum. This same team managed the creation and execution of the technical aspects of the Uris Center for Education, reopened in 2007.

Howes lectures about museums, technology, art, and education at international conferences and universities, including University of Edinburgh, University of Melbourne, University of Chicago and New York University. She regularly presents at conferences such as Museums and the Web and Digital Media Learning, and publishes widely on leading teaching strategies and tools. She holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in art history with honors from Wellesley College.

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Darren Milligan

Senior Digital Strategist, Smithsonian Institution, Center for Learning and Digital Access

Darren Milligan

For the past ten years, Darren has led strategy for digital outreach at the Center for Learning and Digital Access at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. There he researches and develops tools and services for making online cultural and scientific heritage resources accessible and useful to educators and learners. His work has included producing experiences such as online games and interactives, managing communication and marketing for teachers across the Smithsonian campus, developing methodologies for the development of standardized educationally-relevant metadata, and directing web platforms, including the online portal for educational resources at the Institution,, and the new Smithsonian Learning Lab. Darren was formerly producer and art director of the teacher magazine, Smithsonian in Your Classroom, and the exhibition, The World of Your Senses, in collaboration with the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and the Exploratorium.

Prior to the Smithsonian, Darren developed online citizen-science programs and mentoring communities at the Purple Martin Conservation Association in Pennsylvania, and worked in corporate marketing for several dot-com-era B2B software companies.

When not at work, Darren is travelling and shooting photographs, and his work has appeared in print and digital publications produced by Atlas Obscura, BoingBoing, Buzzfeed, CNET, Discover, IFL Science, io9, Khan Academy, Leica, Lonely Planet, Modern Art Notes, Phaidon, ReadWriteWeb, Spiegel, Wired, and Yahoo.

He holds a master’s degree in Digital Heritage from the University of Leicester and bachelor of science degrees in Ethology and Latin American Popular Cultures from Allegheny College and is a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

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Matthew Tarr

Director, Digital Architect, American Museum of Natural History

Matt is the Director of Digital Architecture at the American Museum of Natural History. He leads cross-departmental efforts of technologists, designers, educators and scientists in the development of web and mobile-app experiences, extending the scientific mission beyond the Museum’s walls. As a bachelor in Anthropology, enriched by 20+ years of experience at all levels of the digital stack (from server administration to UX & interaction design), Matt brings a deep understanding of technology to digital product and experience design. In addition to his work at the Museum, Matt has screened several dance films at dozens of festivals and explored mixed-media and real-time audience engagement during an (interrupted) stint at Hunter College’s Integrated Media Arts MFA program. Matt lives in Jackson Heights, NYC with his wife and 4 kids, 3 boys and baby girl.

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