MEET OUR EMF BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The EMF Board of Trustees provides a variety of expertise, multiple perspectives and oversight to ensure the long-term viability of the European Museum Forum.
The Board consists of a maximum of 11 members and a minimum of 5 with a broad range of professional backgrounds, skills and experience.
A member can be in position for a maximum of two terms. One term is three years, with the option of renewal after the first three years.
Board members are independent and receive no personal or financial benefit from their participation. While the role is unremunerated, travel and out of pocket expenses are paid.
New members are co-optioned by the Board. The Board currently meets 3 times a year, with Trustees also attending the EMYA at the Grand Awards Presentation Event.
Members abide by the highest ethical standards in the museum profession.
DR. RICHARD BENJAMIN, UNITED KINGDOM
Museums have many faces. They can be safe spaces, creative
spaces, and contested spaces. Trusted community partners,
welcoming, warm, and inclusive. But equally exclusive,
inhospitable, and monochromatic. These dichotomies are what make
museums important microcosms of our society. And as committed
agents of social change, can lead on the pressing issues of
today, from championing mental health and wellbeing to keeping
racial equality, diversity, and social movements such as BLM on
Richard heads the International Slavery Museum at National Museums Liverpool. He leads the curatorial team and is responsible for partnerships, research, collections, and content development for the forthcoming capital transformation project. He is Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery, a partnership with the University of Liverpool.
Richard gained a BA (Hons) degree in Community and Race Relations at Edge Hill College and completed an MA and Ph.D. in Archaeology at the University of Liverpool. In 2002 he was a Visiting Research Scholar at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute of African and African American Research, Harvard University, and appointed as the head of the International Slavery Museum in 2006.
Richard is a Trustee of the Anthony Walker Foundation, on the Editorial Board for MONITOR: Global Intelligence on Racism magazine, and a member of Everton Football Club External Equality Advisory Group.
JONAS DAHL, SWEDEN
Jonas' passion for museums lies with the audience. A modern
museum makes people feel at ease and lets them connect with
others. At the same time visiting such museums is an
intellectual and tactile sensation. Jonas enjoys museums that
work as hard with the physical and spatial experience as with
Jonas Dahl is a senior advisor in marketing and communications. He uses communication as a strategic tool to support managers and organisations in order to accomplish their overall objectives.
Experienced from management positions in museums and the tourism industry he now helps a large number of museums and other cultural attractions with communication- and marketing strategies, audience research and product development.
SHARON HEAL, UK
Sharon believes that museums matter because they can enhance our health and wellbeing, create better places for us to live and work and provide space where we can interrogate the big issues of the day.
Sharon is the director of the Museums Association, a campaigning membership body that promotes the value of museums to society.
She regularly comments on museums and cultural policy in the UK; speaks at conferences and events in the UK and internationally; and has published extensively. She lectures in the history of museums, museum ethics and museums and social impact and activism.
Sharon is the chair of the Museum of Homelessness and a trustee of the Thackray Museum of Medicine.
VESNA MARJANOVIĆ, SERBIA
Vesna believes that museums are institutions of great democratic potential and provide a new dimension to the meaning of citizen participation. Museums have an infinitely important role to reach far, educate all and give us a better understanding of humanity.
Vesna is a Public Policy Advisor in the Serbian Civil Society sector. She graduated from University of Belgrade Law School. She was a Member of the Serbian Parliament until 2020. She was Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Culture and the Media for almost a decade. During that time she was engaged in defending the principle of freedom of expression, developing cultural policies, fighting for the sustainability of national cultural institutions, the position and recognition of the role of artists in the society, as well as citizen participation in cultural life.
She was actively involved when, after years of conflict, Serbia finally started its political democratic reforms in 2000. During this period, she witnessed the hopes and frustrations of a changing society which has focused on many policy issues but did not succeed in placing cultural policies as an integral part of sustainable government strategies.
In 2011/2012 she was the Member of the Belgrade City Council in charge of the Department of Culture, and Chairperson of the Belgrade International Film Festival (FEST).
She was the Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 2012 to 2016 during which time she held the position of Vice-Chair of Committee on Culture, Education, Science and Media and Vice-Chair of Sub-Committee on Culture, Diversity and Heritage. She was also Rapporteur on “Europe’s Endangered Heritage”, “Culture and Democracy” as well as Rapporteur for the Council of Europe Museum Prize.
LÉONTINE MEIJER-VAN MENSCH, GERMANY
Photo: Jan Woitas
For Léontine museums are essentially networks, connecting communities and institutions. This requires building trust which is only possible when adopting a policy of transparency. As such museum could (and should) contribute to human dignity and social justice, global equality and planetary wellbeing.
Léontine is a Dutch museologist, working in Germany. She is director of the State Ethnographical Collections of Saxony (i.e. the ethnographical museums of Dresden, Leipzig and Herrnhut). Previously, she was programme-director of the Jewish Museum Berlin, deputy-director of the Museum of European Cultures at Berlin.
She is active in the boards of several museum organizations. She was, among others, member of the Executive Board of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and founding president of the International Committee for Collecting (COMCOL). She is, among others, chair of the Dutch Slavery Heritage Education Foundation, member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Dekoloniale (Berlin), deputy chair of the Board of Trustees of the Sächsische Landeszentrale für politische Bildung, and deputy chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the KZ-Gedenkstätte Mauthausen (Austria).
Important among Léontine’s academic and professional interests are the theory and practice of professionalism and professional ethics. She was lecturer of heritage theory and professional ethics at the Reinwardt Academie (Amsterdam) and is at present chair of the ICOM Ethics Committee.
AMINA KRVAVAC, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (CHAIR OF EMYA JUDGING PANEL)
Amina Krvavac is the Executive Director at the War Childhood
Museum in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Amina was a member
of a small inaugural team that led a two-year grassroots
campaign culminating in the opening of the War Childhood Museum
back in 2017. The War Childhood Museum has since been widely
recognised and praised for its capacity to contribute to a
better understanding of war-affected childhood as a complex
Amina studied International Relations at the International University of Sarajevo, and Children’s Rights at the University of Geneva.
She is committed to creating exhibitions and workshops that support open and conscious dialogue, and to promoting the idea of museums as platforms for societal healing and reconciliation.
Amina is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Coalition of Site of Conscience Europe – a network of museums, historic sites and memory initiatives connecting past struggles to today’s movement for human rights. She joined the EMYA judging panel in January 2021.
JOAN ROCA I ALBERT, SPAIN (CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES)
Joan is interested in museums as open centres of knowledge and
creation and in their role in cities, in favour of a new urban
museology that facilitates critical thinking for democracy and
the construction of European citizenship.
Joan Roca i Albert, trained as an urban geographer, is since 2007 the director of the MUHBA (Barcelona City History Museum). He has taught at the Institute for Educational Sciences of the UAB (Autonomous University of Barcelona), the Barri Besòs secondary school (1986-2006) and the Studies Programme of MACBA (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art), while also collaborating with the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Zürich and the History Seminar of the AHCB (City of Barcelona Historical Archive).
He has directed Aula Barcelona and the Urban Majorities Project at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, and has been a member of the Fòrum de la Ribera del Besòs Industrial Heritage Group. As a researcher, he has carried out his work in the fields of urban history, urbanism and education and has received the Pau Vila, Barcelona City and Bonaplata awards. He has written and edited a number of articles and books on city history and metropolitan transformations, heritage and public space, city image and landscape, and education and social change.
He is a member of the international board of the European Association for Urban History. In recent years he has concentrated on the role of city museums, launching in 2010 the City History Museums and Research Network of Europe and working with CAMOC, the committee of ICOM about the city and its people.
MEDEA S. EKNER, FRANCE (ICOM EX OFFICIO)
Interim Director-General of ICOM - International Council of
Medea S. Ekner is a future-oriented museum and leadership
strategist, with an academic background in critical museology
and art history.
Her interest in the museum as phenomenon, in a past, present, and future context, has driven her into change-management to explore the museum as design and experience, with focus on its social roles and responsibilities.
With a keen interest in the synergies between museums, academia, and industry, she has used the museum as a place of innovation to experiment with new technologies to enhance audience experiences and promote social change.
As a leadership developer and course leader in Sweden's most sought-after leadership training program, she has a genuine interest in leadership and contributes to the museum sector with perspectives on transformative leadership that stimulate participation and creativity as well as development and change.
In her role as interim Director-General of ICOM, she works with passion for international cooperation between museums, the promotion and protection of global cultural heritage and bringing forward the common interests of museums at high-level forums such as the G20 and the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
DR. MICHAŁ WIŚNIEWSKI, POLAND
Michał is an architecture historian interested in space, history
and political relations. He is a Head of the Educational
Department – Academy of Heritage of the International Cultural
Centre in Krakow responsible for various long-term projects
dedicated to heritage interpretation and management in relation
to the context of Central Europe. He teaches urban history and
city studies-related courses at the University of Economics in
Krakow. Fulbright scholarship holder.
Author of many scientific and popularizing publications on the architecture of Krakow and Poland in the 19th and 20th centuries. Member of the board of the Institute of Architecture Foundation. Co-author of exhibitions and publications created by the team of the Institute of Architecture Foundation including the website Krakowski Szlak Modernizmu (Krakow Trace of Modernism): szlakmodernizmu.pl