MMoA’s Dawn Salerno elected as President of the Board of the New England Museum Association

Mystic, CT – Dawn Salerno, Deputy Director for Public Engagement and Operations at Mystic Museum of Art, has been elected as President of the Board of the New England Museum Association (NEMA) at its annual meeting in Falmouth, Massachusetts on October 27, 2017. 

NEMA is the largest, most active regional organization representing museums and museum professionals in the United States, providing tools for leadership innovation, and empowering museums to continue their growth as organizations essential to their community. Salerno has had an active role in NEMA since 2004:
“When I was an emerging professional in the museum field, working in my first job at Lyman Allyn Art Museum (New London, CT), I happened upon a NEMA workshop. I think it was about volunteer recruitment. I remember feeling so grateful that there were some very smart people in the field who were willing to share their experience and knowledge. I’ve been inspired ever since. Giving back to the field, for me, is a way of paying it forward.”
Salerno was elected to the Board of NEMA in 2009.  She served on the Nominating, Advocacy, and Program Committees, among others. Previous to her board service, she volunteered as Co-Chairperson for NEMA’s Education Professional Affinity Group where she developed and implemented annual workshops for NEMA membership.
“This is a very exciting time for NEMA as it enters its 100th anniversary year in 2018,” said NEMA Executive Director Dan Yaeger. “Dawn’s leadership and commitment to our association will help us focus on the future and provide our region’s museums with the tools to succeed for many years to come.”
An award-winning educator, Salerno completed her bachelor’s degree at Boston University, and went on to obtain a master’s degree in education, specializing in Museum Education Leadership at the Bank Street College of Education in New York City. This year, she completed the prestigious Getty Leadership Program, an executive leadership program for museum professionals. Following her undergraduate work, she took a position as a volunteer docent at the Lyman Allyn Museum in New London, CT. Volunteer work turned into a paid position as she worked her way up to Education Director, and finally, Assistant Director, by the time of her departure. She then went on to become the Associate Museum Educator for School and Family Audiences at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum in Hartford, CT.
She currently serves as Deputy Director for Public Engagement and Operations at the Mystic Museum of Art where she has worked since 2008. At the MMoA, Salerno runs the education, events and facilities departments, as well as oversees volunteers. She consistently contributes to the museum field through presentations at regional and national conferences, and publication of articles and research. She has been fundamental to the growth of the museum, and most importantly, to the growth of its educational role within the community.
As a passionate and respected member of the museum world, she is now able to “pay it forward” to the entire New England region and its multiplicity of museums.