#AAM2022 Keynote Speakers

Join Jake Barton, Michael Bobbitt, Thomas L. Friedman, and Sandra Jackson-Dumont at the 2022 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo

Jake Barton

Principal and Founder,
Local Projects

Michael Bobbitt

Executive Director,
Mass Cultural Council

Thomas L. Friedman

Three-time Pulitzer Prize Winner,
Author and Journalist

Sandra Jackson-Dumont

Director and CEO,
Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts

This keynote is generously supported by The Giving Block

Jake Barton

Principal and Founder, Local Projects

Museum as Lightning Rod: Innovation and Invitation

#AAM2022 Focus Area: Innovation

Is it possible to advance a mission to create meaning through innovation? This is the question Jake Barton has explored through leading the much-lauded, award-winning firm Local Projects, and designing work with institutions including the 9/11 Memorial Museum, the Legacy Museum, Greenwood Rising, and Planet Word. Barton will share highlights from a career of provocation and non-institutional insight, as well as thoughts and techniques to challenge any institution thinking about building a better future.

Jake Barton is Principal and Founder of Local Projects, an award-winning media and physical design firm that creates ground-breaking experiences. Credits include landmark projects like the 9/11 Memorial Museum, the Planet Word Museum of Language, the Greenwood Rising Black Wall Street History Center, the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Australia’s Hyde Park Barracks Museum. Local Projects has won every major award including the National Design Awards, Fast Company Design Studio of the Year, and the Gold Lion at Cannes. Jake’s TED talk has nearly one million views, and he is on Fast Company Magazine’s list of top fifty designers.

This keynote is generously supported by Smith and Howard CPAs and Advisors

Michael Bobbitt,

Director, Mass Cultural Council

The Path to Financial Recovery and Resilience

#AAM2022 Focus Area: Financial Wellness

As the world continues to reel from cataclysmic social, economic, health, and environmental disruption, how do museums reassess their public value to ensure their financial viability and vitality? Bobbitt draws on his wealth of experience as an arts administrator and cultural arts funder to offer insight on ways cultural organizations are managing, allocating, and leveraging their resources and assets to foster creativity, equity, access, and vibrant communities. 

Michael J. Bobbitt is an award-winning theater director, choreographer, and playwright who has dedicated his professional career to arts leadership. He began his tenure as Executive Director of Mass Cultural Council in February 2021 and is the highest-ranking cultural official in Massachusetts. Bobbitt serves on the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) Board of Directors, the National Assembly of State Arts Agency’s (NASAA) Board of Directors, and was selected for artEquity’s BIPOC Leadership Circle. He is the former Artistic Director of the New Repertory Theater in Watertown, Massachusetts and the Adventure Theater in Maryland. Bobbitt gained extensive experience in nonprofit arts management by training at Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management, The National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, and Cornell University’s Diversity and Inclusion Certification Program. As a director and choreographer he has worked nationally and internationally. As a writer his plays have been published by Concord Theatricals, Broadway Publishing, and Plays for Young Audiences. Bobbitt is the recipient of the Excel Leadership Award (Center for Nonprofit Advancement), the Emerging Leader Award (County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities), and Person of the Year Award (Maryland Theatre Guide), along with eight Helen Hayes Awards.

This keynote is generously supported by
ERCO Lighting

Thomas L. Friedman

Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Author and Journalist

Big Global Trends

#AAM2022 Focus Area: Museums in Society

Join Thomas L. Friedman at the 2022 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo as we look at the big forces shaping politics, economics, society, and nature. 

Thomas L. Friedman, an internationally known author and journalist, has won the Pulitzer Prize three times for his work at The New York Times. His foreign affairs column in The New York Times reports on US domestic politics and foreign policy, Middle East conflicts, international economics, environment, biodiversity, and energy.

For his coverage of the Middle East, Mr. Friedman was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 and 1988 for international reporting. He was awarded the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Commentary for “his clarity of vision…in commenting on the worldwide impact of the terrorist threat.” In 2004, he was awarded the Overseas Press Club Award for lifetime achievement and the honorary title, Order of the British Empire (OBE), by Queen Elizabeth II.

Friedman is the author of From Beirut to Jerusalem, which won both the National Book and the Overseas Press Club Awards in 1989, a revised edition was released in December 2012. The Lexus and the Olive Tree, winner of the 2000 Overseas Press Club Award for best non-fiction book on foreign policy. Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11, issued in 2002, consists of columns Friedman published about September 11. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, issued in April 2005 and updated in 2006 and 2007, received the inaugural Goldman Sachs/Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award. In 2008 he brought out Hot, Flat, and Crowded, which was published in a revised edition a year later. His sixth book, That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World We Invented and How We Can Come Back, co-written with Michael Mandelbaum, was released in 2011. His new book, Thank you For Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations 2.0, was updated and released 2017.

Sandra Jackson-Dumont

Director and CEO, Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts

Speak the Truth and Point to Hope

#AAM2022 Focus Area: Organizational Culture

Disruption from the global pandemic is radically altering work life and work culture and raising new questions and possibilities for creating more equitable, inclusive, and empathetic organizations. Join Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Director and CEO of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts, and other museum leaders for a candid conversation about the practices, policies, and strategies that museums are implementing to foster an organizational culture in which all can thrive.

Curator, author, educator, administrator, and public advocate for reimagining the role of art museums in society, Sandra Jackson-Dumont has served as Director and Chief Executive Officer of the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art since January 2020. She oversees all curatorial, educational, public, and operational affairs for the fast-developing institution, including realization of the currently under construction 11-acre campus in Los Angeles, which includes a nearly 300,000-square-foot museum building and an expansive new park. Throughout her roles with some of the country’s most renowned museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Seattle Art Museum, and now the Lucas Museum, she has collaborated extensively with living artists, communities, creatives, and historical materials. Her work catalyzes the presence of increasingly dynamic and diverse audiences in cultural spaces while exploring issues of relevance.

Your #AAM2022

The full #AAM2022 program is now available! Here’s what we have planned:

  • Interactive and hands-on programming focused on museums’ role in society, financial wellness, innovation, and organizational culture.
  • Events and parties to celebrate being back together and making new connections.
  • A MuseumExpo packed with exhibitors ready to show you the latest and greatest, content and poster presentations, and meet-up opportunities.
  • NeighborHub meet-ups to help you connect with others with the same job function or area of interest.
  • Free and reduced admission to area museums so you can experience all Boston has to offer.
  • CEO track with content tailored to the needs of executive leadership.


May 19


7:00 am–5:00 pm: Registration Open

9:00 am–2:00 pm: Professional Networks, Affiliate, Business Meetings, and Events

3:00–5:00 pm: Welcome Event

May 20


7:00 am–5:00 pm: Registration Open

7:30–8:30 am: Professional Networks, Affiliate, Business Meetings and Events

9:00 am–5:00 pm: MuseumExpo Open

9:00–10:15 am: MuseumExpo Break

10:15–11:00 am: Opening General Session

11:00 am–12:00 pm: Museums in Society Keynote Speaker, Thomas L. Friedman

12:00–2:00 pm: MuseumExpo Reception & Poster Talks

12:30–1:30 pm: Professional Networks, Affiliate, Business Meetings, and Events

2:00–3:00 pm: Museums in Society Concurrent Breakouts

3:00–4:00 pm: MuseumExpo Break & NeighborHub Meet-Ups

4–5:00 pm: Museums in Society Concurrent Breakouts

5:30–7:00 pm: Professional Networks Evening Event


May 21


7:00 am–5:00 pm: Registration Open

9:00 am–5:30 pm: MuseumExpo Open

8:00–9:00 am: Financial Wellness Keynote Speaker, Michael Bobbitt

9:10–10:10 am: Financial Wellness Concurrent Breakouts

10:20–11:20 am: Financial Wellness Concurrent Breakouts

11:20 am–1:00 pm: MuseumExpo Break & Poster Talks

12:00–1:00 pm: MuseumExpo Break & NeighborHub Meet-Ups

1:00–2:00 pm: Innovation Keynote Speaker, Jake Barton

2:10–3:10 pm: Innovation Concurrent Breakouts

3:20–4:20 pm: Innovation Concurrent Breakouts

4:30–5:30 pm: MuseumExpo Networking Happy Hour

7:00–10:00 pm: AAM Party

May 22


7:00–11:30 am: Registration Open

7:30–8:30 am: Professional Networks, Affiliate, Business Meetings and Events

9:00–10:00 am: Organizational Culture Keynote Speaker, Sandra Jackson-Dumont

10:15–11:15 am: Organizational Culture Concurrent Breakouts

11:45 am–12:45 pm: Organizational Culture Concurrent Breakouts

12:45–1:00 pm: Farewell

This is a schedule at a glance for the 2022 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo. All times are listed in Eastern Time. Please note that this is subject to change.

Need help convincing your boss?

Download our handy email template to get started. Complete this template using our FAQ and registration pages.

  • person holding award above their head
  • person speaking enthusiastically into microphone
  • person writing on a large card
  • people at an AAM party
  • four people chatting and smiling
  • a large audience waiting for the keynote speaker
  • three people smiling and posing for a picture

What’s New at #AAM2022?

Dive Deep Into Focus Areas and Key Topics

Designed to catalyze new opportunities, advance innovation, and foster an environment for creating solutions to our field’s most pressing challenges, #AAM2022 will center on four key focus areas: Museums in Society, Organizational Culture, Innovation, and Financial Wellness; as opposed to organizing under a single theme, enabling you to customize an experience that’s right for you.

Get Hands-On With New Session Formats

Each of the focus areas will coalesce around an inspirational keynote followed by sessions designed for you to dive deeper with peers and come away with practical tools and techniques. New interactive session types will foster higher levels of collaboration and connection with other professionals of the same and different disciplines, all with the same drive to power the future of the field.

Meet Up at the NeighborHubs

To create more opportunities to make new connections, NeighborHubs will be placed throughout the convention center and arranged by job function and areas of interest. Meet up at over ten different NeighborHubs for casual conversations or to take session discussions even further with your peers.

Tour Boston’s Museums With Your Badge

Show your #AAM2022 badge at many of Boston’s amazing museums for free or discounted admission. Browse the participating museums and use the interactive map to start planning out your agenda.

Shop the Expo

This year, #AAM2022 is co-locating our MuseumExpo with the Museum Store Association, known for their dynamic marketplace of world-class vendors setting trends for retail stores, innovative marketing tools, and multi-level donor gifts.