Board of Directors

Andrew Ackerman

Andrew Ackerman

Andrew S. Ackerman was the Laurie M. Tisch Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) for 29 years.  During that time, the Museum more than doubled its attendance and budget;  secured funding for influential exhibitions and programs; implemented city, state and nationwide outreach projects in early childhood health and literacy; and committed to welcome and give voice to diverse  communities. Major projects such as the nationally touring exhibition “America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far,” exhibitions about American Jazz and the cultures of Japan and China and contemporary arts shows all engaged community members in leadership roles. To reach into the community, the Museum installed health and learning “hubs” in 30 homeless shelters and Head Start Centers citywide. Each hub features permanent exhibitory, graphics and initial programs to foster healthy living and early literacy.

In late 2017, Ackerman successfully led the Museum’s effort to acquire 361 Central Park West as its new home, securing pledges for almost $50 million. The new site will double the amount of exhibition space and will accommodate more than twice the number of visitors than the current museum location.

Prior to his tenure at CMOM, Ackerman was the first full time director of the Arts in Education Program for the New York State Council on the Arts, working in partnership with the State Education Department. He authored new guidelines and oversaw the funding of hundreds of projects each year. From 1977 to 1986, Ackerman was the Associate Director of The Jewish Museum and Director of Education, where he oversaw all educational initiatives, curated exhibitions and administered international projects.

Andrew S. Ackerman is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Herbert H. Lehman College and earned a M.A. from the University of Michigan. He has served on the staff of archaeological excavations in Israel, published a book and numerous articles, delivered scores of conference speeches and appeared on national and local television.

Arthur Affleck

Arthur Affleck

Arthur G. Affleck, III, M.Ed., JD, as Executive Director of the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), is the chief executive responsible for the strategy, development, and program execution for the organization.

Serving museum members in the United States and countries across the globe, the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) is an international nonprofit professional service organization representing and advocating for the children’s museum field. As one of the fastest growing cultural industries in the world, children’s museums have expanded exponentially in the past two decades. Currently, ACM serves over 480 total museums, businesses, educational organizations, and individuals in 50 states and 16 countries.

With training in law and education, over the years, Mr. Affleck has built a record of achievement in education administration, institutional advancement, and nonprofit governance, all while centering diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. Prior to the ACM appointment, he served as VP for Development and then EVP at the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). In addition to working to advance DEAI in the museum field, building a culture of philanthropy, Mr. Affleck was engaged with efforts to expand museums’ growing role in the P-12 education ecosystem. He is also an author and serves on several nonprofit boards, including: The International Council of Museums (ICOM-US), Bottom Line NY, Crystal Bridges American Art Museum-Windgate Advisory Board and Playful Learning Landscapes

He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Tuskegee University, a master’s degree in administration & supervision of higher education from Auburn University, a Juris Doctor degree from the American University-Washington College of Law, and a certificate from the Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D.

Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D.

Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D., Cornell University, is the Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Education at the University of Delaware. She is also a member of two other departments: Psychological and Brain Sciences and Linguistics and Cognitive Science and director of the Child’s Play, Learning, and Development laboratory. She has held the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the James McKeen Cattell sabbatical award, and the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Service Award as well as the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society.  In 2015, she received the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science. Golinkoff was also was named a Distinguished Scientific Lecturer by the American Psychological Association and in 2017, she was awarded the Society for Research in Child Development’s Distinguished Scientific Contribution award. In 2018, she was awarded the American Educational Research Association’s Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award.

Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the LEGO Foundation. In addition to over 150 journal publications and book chapters, she has authored 16 books and monographs.  Passionate about the dissemination of psychological science for improving our schools and families’ lives, she and Hirsh-Pasek (her long standing collaborator) also write books for parents and practitioners.  How Babies Talk (1999); the award-winning Einstein Never Used Flash Cards (2004) and A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool (2009). Her latest book, Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children is with APA Press and reached the New York Times best seller list.

Shelly Kessler

Shelly Kessler

For over twenty-five years, Shelly has been both a practitioner and advisor to nonprofit and philanthropic organizations nationally, as well as nongovernmental organizations globally. She has deep experience in strategy and business planning, organizational and leadership development; and program planning and assessment, as well as being a trained facilitator.

From 2000-2013, Shelly was a Partner with TCC Group a national management consulting firm with offices in Philadelphia, New York and San Francisco. She headed the nonprofit strategy practice as well as being the Chief Financial Officer for the firm. Prior to joining TCC Group, Shelly spent six years as Deputy Executive Director of the International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN, Inc.), an international nonprofit organization working with medical schools in 24 countries to establish centers of research excellence. She came to INCLEN after eleven years in international development, primarily with the international relief and development organization, CARE.

Shelly has written a number of articles on strategic planning over the years including “The Death of Planning” for the Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal; “Funding for Impact: How to Design Strategic Grantmaking Programs,” and with Jared Raynor “When Things Fall Apart: Building Organizational Strength of Humanitarian Organizations” for TCC Group.

Shelly received her master’s degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Brown University.

Susan Magsamen

Susan Magsamen

Susan Magsamen is the founder and Executive Director of the International Arts + Mind Lab, a pioneering neuroaesthetics initiative from the Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her body of work lies at the intersection of brain sciences and the arts—and how our unique response to aesthetic experiences can amplify human potential.

Magsamen is the author of the Impact Thinking model, an evidence-based research approach to accelerate how we use the arts to solve problems in health, well-being, and learning.  She is the co-editor of the American Psychological Association’s journal of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts.  In addition to her role at IAM Lab, she also serves as Senior Advisor to the Science of Learning Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

Prior to founding IAM Lab, Magsamen worked in both the private and public sector, developing social impact programs and products addressing all stages of life—from early childhood to aging adulthood.  Magsamen created Curiosityville, an online personalized learning world, acquired by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2014 and Curiosity Kits, a hands-on multi-sensory company, acquired by Torstar in 1995.

An award-winning author for children and families, Magsamen has published seven books including The Classic Treasury of Childhood WonderThe 10 Best of Everything Families, and Family Stories, a five-part interactive series that included Nighty NightTooth Fairy TimesMy Two HomesFamily Night, and Making Spirits Bright.

Magsamen is a Fellow at the Royal Society of the Arts and a strategic advisor to several innovative organizations and initiatives, including the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, the American Psychological Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Brain Futures, Learning Landscapes, and Creating Healthy Communities:  Arts + Public Health in America.

Ralph Smith

Ralph Smith

Ralph Smith is the managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, an effort to increase rates of third grade reading proficiency for children from low-income families that includes a network of more than 390 communities — with 4,100 local organizations and more than 520 state and local funders. Previously, as senior vice president for the Annie E. Casey Foundation,
Smith led initiatives to help communities improve child outcomes by strengthening families and neighborhoods. Smith taught as a member of the law faculty at the University of Pennsylvania for two decades, during which time he also served as chief of staff and special counsel for the School District of Philadelphia, and as a senior advisor to Philadelphia’s mayor. Smith led efforts to design and implement the school district’s landmark voluntary desegregation plan, negotiate some of the nation’s first education reform-driven teacher contracts, and develop Children Achieving, a district-wide blueprint supported by the Annenberg Challenge.

Rosemarie T. Truglio, Ph.D.

Rosemarie T. Truglio, Ph.D.

Rosemarie T. Truglio is the Senior Vice President of Curriculum and Content at Sesame Workshop. Dr. Truglio is responsible for the development of the interdisciplinary curriculum on which Sesame Street is based and oversees content development across platforms (e.g., television, publishing, toys, home video, and theme park activities). She also oversees the curriculum development for all new show production, including Esme & Roy, which models learning through play.

Previously, Dr. Truglio managed an interdisciplinary global content team responsible for all global co-productions and content development across all media platforms, including digital media. From 1997 to 2013, she oversaw all educational research pertaining to program development, the results of which informed both the production and creative decisions for how to enhance the entertaining and educational components of linear and interactive content.  Before joining Sesame Workshop in 1997, she was an Assistant Professor of Communication and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr. Truglio has written numerous articles in child and developmental psychology journals and presented her work at national and international conferences. Her current book is Ready for School! A Parent’s Guide to Playful Learning for Children Ages 2 to 5 published by Running Press (2019). Additionally, she is co-editor of G is for Growing: Thirty Years of Research on Children and Sesame Street (2001) published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Dr. Truglio has appeared on numerous network, cable, and radio programs including The Today ShowGood Morning America, CNN’s Headline, and NPR’s Life Kit For Parents, Morning Edition, and All Things Considered, and she has been interviewed by reporters from a variety of national newspapers and news agencies.

Dr. Truglio currently serves on several advisory boards: NSF: Child Trends News Service; The Toy Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee; and Read Alliance Advisory Council. She previously served on the: National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council (NICHD); Lego Foundation Research & Innovation Network; NSF REESE grant entitled Collaborative Research: Using Educational DVDs to Enhance Preschooler’s STEM Education; PBS KIDS Next Generation Media; Learning Through Play Children’s Museum of Manhattan: All the Way to K and Beyond!; the Children’s Digital Media Center Advisory Board; the National Association for Media Literacy Education; PlayAbility Scale Board/Parent’s Choice Foundation; and The Ultimate Block Party/Learn Now.

Dr. Truglio received a Ph.D. in Developmental and Child Psychology from the University of Kansas, and a B.A in Psychology from Douglass College, Rutgers University.  She received distinguished alumni awards from Douglass College (2005), University of Kansas (2013) and Rutgers University (2014), and the University of Kansas Women’s Hall of Fame (2015).

Valora Washington, Ph.D.

Valora Washington, Ph.D.

Dr. Valora Washington is an internationally recognized authority in early childhood education. She is known for conceptualizing, leading, and executing significant change initiatives impacting policy, programs, and practice in higher education, philanthropy, and national nonprofits as well as in local, state, and federal government programs.

During her decade tenure as CEO of the Council for Professional Recognition, Dr. Washington advanced and professionalized the field of early childhood education with her leadership of the largest credentialing program for early educators in the United States, the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™. Accomplishments included 25% increase in applications, 42% increases in renewals, and 107% decline in appeals. New initiatives include the establishment of 6 national conferences; The CDA Gold Standard Certification for training institutions; international programs in China, Egypt, UAE, and Panama; on-line application processes (which grew from 0 to almost 90%); new Essentials text and workbook; cyber sales; review-observe-reflect verification visit system; white paper series; high school CDA programs; renewal amnesty programs; outreach and assessments in up to 23 languages; and alumni group.

Dr. Washington is considered a pioneer in early education, having been named as a Legacy Leader by the Center for Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO), for having shaped the early childhood education field, having a unique perspective on the history and context of today’s policy initiatives, and for developing strategies to address the issues that impact child outcomes.

Certified as an Association Executive and as a Credentialing Specialist, Dr. Washington co-founded Voices for Michigan’s Children, the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, and the CAYL Institute (a leadership development program for practitioners).

She formerly served as Vice President at Antioch College and the Kellogg Foundation and as a tenured faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has held leadership roles with the Massachusetts Governor’s School Readiness Commission; Voices for America’s Children; NAEYC; Black Caucus of the Society for Research in Child Development; National Head Start Association Commission on 2010; Boston Children’s Museum; and Wheelock College.

She was named one of “25 Most Influential Working Mothers” by Working Mother magazine, chosen as one of “Ten Outstanding Young Women of America” from among 62,000 nominations, and in 2018, named by Exchange magazine as Doyens (the most respected or prominent person in a field). Dr. Washington has authored over 50 publications including Children of 2010 and Children of 2020. She has also co-authored Ready or Not: Early Care and Education’s Leadership Choices – 12 Years Later; The New Early Childhood Professional; and Guiding Principles for the New Early Childhood Professional.

In addition to a Ph.D. in Child Development/Education from Indiana University at Bloomington, Dr. Washington holds four honorary degrees and professional recognition from numerous organizations including the Barr Fellowship; Leadership Greater Washington; Boston AEYC; NAEYC Black Caucus;

Cambridge Resource and Referral; Center for Adoption Research; National Association of Black Social Workers; United Way of Massachusetts Bay; and numerous others.

Sara Watson, Ph.D.

Sara Watson, Ph.D.

Dr. Sara Watson is the founder of Watson Strategies LLC (www.watson-strategies.com), which specializes in designing effective advocacy campaigns, with a focus on the role of philanthropy and business champions for policy change.  A current project is collaborating on the Council on Foundation’s Policy and Advocacy Training Center. 

Previously, she was the Senior Director, Policy at the Bainum Family Foundation; and founder and Global Director of ReadyNation, a business membership organization supporting executives to be champions for children.  She was also a Senior Officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts, where she led a ground-breaking national advocacy campaign for prekindergarten. Several recent publications published by Alliance for Justice have addressed the role of philanthropy in supporting advocacy. She holds M.P.P. and Ph.D. degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School, a B.A. from Carleton College and an ESOL certification from Cambridge University.  In her free time she chairs the Mission Committee at her church; manages volunteers for her local fire department, where she rode the ambulance as an EMT for 10 years; and plays with her 2 rescue dogs. 

Michael W. Yogman, MD

Michael W. Yogman, MD

Dr. Yogman is a pediatrician in practice at Cambridge Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Mass.

Currently, he is Chair of the Advisory Board of the Boston Children’s Museum and Immediate Past Board Chair, Chair of the Massachusetts American Academy of Pediatrics Child Mental Health Task Force and Immediate Past Chair of the national American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health where he has authored policy statements on fathers role with children, perinatal depression, the power of play,trauma, toxic stress and resilience and  addressing early childhood behavioral problems. He serves as a legislative appointee to the Massachusetts Advisory Board on Child Mental Health and a gubernatorial appointee to the  Massachusetts Special Commission Relative to Postpartum Depression. He also consults to a number of child care centers. He is a trustee of the Franciscan Children’s Hospital, the Post Partum Depression Foundation, and the Landmarks Orchestra, a member of the advisory board of Fathers Uplift, and on the Board of Advisers of the American Repertory Theater at Harvard.

He is Assistant  Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School where he teaches and does research on the father–child relationship, developmental interventions including the RWJ randomized intervention of home visiting and center based care for LBW preterm infants, nutrition and behavior, playful learning and behavioral health integration in primary care. He has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics since 1973 and was one of the first pediatricians to be board certified in Developmental Behavioral pediatrics in 2002.

Previously, he has been Associate Chief of the Division of Child Development and Director of the Infant Health and Development Program at  Boston Children’s Hospital. He is the editor of several books (In Support of Families, published by Harvard University Press; Affective Development in Infancy; and a biennial series Theory and Research in Behavioral Pediatrics) and author of numerous articles and chapters on the father-infant relationship, infant diet and sleep, and parent infant play.

He received the Outstanding Children’s Museum Award on behalf of the Boston Children’s Museum at the White House in 2013. He was awarded the Simms Mann Foundation National Whole Child Award in 2015 and the AAP Senior Child Health Advocacy Award at the 2016 AAP NCE for his work on post partum depression and the Richmond/Coleman award at the AAP in September of 2017 for outstanding contributions to the field of child development and behavior through advocacy, public service, scientific endeavors, and literature.

Dr. Yogman received his undergraduate degree from Williams College and his medical degree from Yale University. He holds a M.Sc. degree in Maternal and Child Health from Harvard School of Public Health. He is married to Dr. Elizabeth Ascher and has two grown daughters and four dogs.