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Chicago – Today, the Obama Foundation announced Dr. Louise Bernard as the Director of the Museum of the Obama Presidential Center. As Museum Director, Dr. Bernard will lead the design, development and operation of the Museum of the Obama Presidential Center.

“One of the key aspects of the Obama Presidential Center is a museum that does not just tell the story of the Obama Administration, but inspires individuals and communities to take on our biggest challenges. We are excited for Louise to join our team and help us develop a museum that is active and engaging,” said David Simas, Chief Executive Officer of the Obama Foundation. “Louise’s impeccable credentials and passion for her work will make her a valuable member of the Obama Foundation team.”

“I’m honored to work alongside such a talented team at the Obama Foundation, and to have the opportunity to help guide and shape a museum that is a truly innovative social and cultural institution,” said Dr. Louise Bernard, Museum Director. “I look forward in bringing President and Mrs. Obama’s remarkable story to the broadest possible audience, and to highlighting the crucial role of civic engagement in a way that is meaningful and inspiring to local South Side residents, and to people across the country and around the world.”

“I congratulate Louise on being selected as Museum Director for the Obama Presidential Center,” said Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum. “Louise is a respected scholar and cultural producer in the museum community known for her passion, rigor and dedication to her work. I look forward to seeing the innovative and groundbreaking ideas she brings to the Museum of the Obama Presidential Center.”

On this search, the Obama Foundation partnered with executive recruiters Sarah James and Becky Klein of Phillips Oppenheim, a national firm committed to recruiting diverse leaders in the nonprofit sector for twenty five years.

About Dr. Louise Bernard

Prior to joining the Obama Foundation, Dr. Bernard was the Director of Exhibitions at the New York Public Library. Before that, she was a Senior Content Developer and Interpretive Planner in the New York office of the museum design firm Ralph Appelbaum Associates, where she worked on the design team that developed the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, along with several other international projects. Prior to her work at Ralph Appelbaum Associates, she was Curator of Prose and Drama for the Yale Collection of American Literature at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale, and Assistant Professor of English at Georgetown University.

Dr. Bernard received her Ph.D. in African American Studies and American Studies from Yale University. She received an MA in Theatre History and an MA in English Literature from Indiana University-Bloomington and a BA in Drama from the University of Manchester. Her current research engages with the literary archive, material culture, museology, public history, and interpretive planning and design.

Dr. Bernard is currently a scholarly advisor to the International African American Museum in Charleston, SC, and sits on the Board of the Yale Graduate School Alumni Association.

Contact: Kate Berner, [email protected] Opens in a new tab