Board of Directors

Andrew Ackerman

Andrew Ackerman

Andrew S. Ackerman was Executive Director for the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) New York from 1996-2019. Spurred to address critical issues in society, Andy brought a bold new vision to CMOM by pioneering initiatives in cultural understanding, the arts, humanities, social justice, health, and early childhood education that have had significant ongoing local and national impact.  During Ackerman’s tenure, CMOM’s annual attendance grew to 350,000 people, including 50,000 underserved people from all five boroughs, becoming a leading family destination and a citywide resource.

Prior to leading the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Ackerman was director of the Arts in Education Program of the New York State Council on the Arts and, before then, served as director of education and assistant director of The Jewish Museum. He also has served as president of the Association of Children’s Museums, was a member of the Executive Committee of the NYC Arts Coalition and has served as a panelist for the NEH, IMLS and the Doris Duke Foundation.

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.

Michael H. Levine, Ph.D.

Michael H. Levine, Ph.D.

Michael H. Levine, Ph.D. is Senior Vice President of Learning and Impact for Noggin, Nickelodeon’s direct-to-consumer interactive learning service for preschoolers.  An early learning and social policy expert, Dr. Levine is responsible for deepening Noggin’s value to children and families through content and interactive experiences developed for learning and impact. 

Based in New York, Dr. Levine previously spent 12 years at Sesame Workshop where he served as Chief Knowledge Officer, a member of the senior executive team responsible for driving organization-wide learning, educational partnerships, knowledge exchange, and policy leadership.  He is also the Founding Executive Director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, a pioneering thought leader in the digital media and learning field. 

Prior to that, Dr. Levine was Vice President for Asia Society, leading interactive media and educational initiatives to promote knowledge and understanding of other world regions, languages and cultures.  He co-conceived and directed a national campaign, “I Am Your Child,” with entertainment, policy, philanthropic and practice leaders, which led to major state and national investments in health care, early learning and parenting education.  He also previously oversaw Carnegie Corporation’s groundbreaking work in early childhood development and educational media, and was a senior advisor to the New York City Schools Chancellor, where he directed dropout prevention, afterschool and homeless programs. 

In addition to serving on several boards, including We Are Family Foundation, JumpStart, Woot Math and Digi Learn, Dr. Levine is a Pahara-Aspen Education Reform Fellow and a frequent adviser to global, national and state policymakers.  He has authored numerous academic articles, writes for media outlets such as SlateHuffington Post and Education Week, and is a frequent keynote speaker at education and technology conferences around the world.   His recent book, co-authored with Lisa Guernsey of New America is Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens. 

Dr. Levine received his B.S. from Cornell University and Ph.D. in Social Policy from the Florence Heller School at Brandeis 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.

Laura Huerta Migus

Laura Huerta Migus

Laura Huerta Migus is the Executive Director of the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) in Arlington, Virginia, the world’s largest professional society promoting and advocating on behalf of children’s museums and children’s museum professionals. Throughout her career, Laura has been devoted to the growth and education of children, particularly those from underserved and under-resourced communities. Under her leadership, ACM pursues innovative and effective partnerships to leverage the power of children’s museums worldwide. In 2016, she was recognized as a Champion of Change for Summer Opportunity by the White House. She is a noted speaker and author on topics of equity and audience-focused museum practice for institutions including the Board of Science Education of the National Academies of Sciences, the U.S. Play Coalition, and various university texts. Previously, Laura served as the Director of Professional Development and Equity Initiatives at the Association of Science-Technology Centers, Inc. and also held positions at the National Multicultural Institute and the National Association for Bilingual Education. Ms. Huerta Migus earned a B.A. in Spanish from Texas A&M University and an M.S. in Organization Development and Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University.

Sarah Siplak

Sarah Siplak

Sarah Siplak is Director of the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative at Trying Together, an initiative dedicated to advancing the importance of play in the lives of children, families, and communities in the Pittsburgh region. 

To meet this goal, Sarah regularly coordinates and facilitates Play Pop-Ups at dozens of community events. These events include the Collaborative’s Ultimate Play Day, an annual opportunity where hundreds of community members engage in free playful activities in a different park or greenspace. Since 2017, she has worked with the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works and Department of Mobility and Infrastructure as well as the city’s Art Commission to design, build, and maintain the Elizabeth Street Parklet and playground in the Hazelwood community. As part of the Collaborative’s ongoing goal to highlight play opportunities there, she partnered with artists to design and create play “stops”, and coordinated with local businesses and organizations to place them along the Hazelwood Play Trail that will launch in 2019.

As Director, Sarah also works with more than 20 partner organizations to meet the Collaborative’s mission, writes and manages a monthly newsletter and blog series, maintains the Collaborative’s social media accounts and website, and coordinates grants. 

Siplak serves as co-lead on the Recess Advocacy Team at Trying Together to advocate for better recess policy in schools, including working on state legislation around this issue and partnering with schools and PTAs.

Prior to joining Trying Together, Siplak served as the Director of Programs at Saturday Light Brigade, an educational community radio program for six years. Siplak holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy from Duquesne University. In her non-work life, Sarah is mom to Wyatt and a musician who plays music in and around Pittsburgh. 

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).

Michael W. Yogman, MD

Michael W. Yogman, MD

Dr. Yogman is a pediatrician in practice in Cambridge ,Mass and Chief of the Division of Ambulatory Pediatrics at Mt Auburn Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

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 Childrens 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 childrens museum award on behalf of the Boston Childrens 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, has two grown daughters and  four dogs.