Co-Chair: Rena Dorph*, The Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, California, United States
Co-Chair: Preeti Gupta, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, United States

  • Emilio Bautista, New York Hall of Science, Corona, New York, United States
  • Eric Buenrostro Azúa, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, Oregon, United States
  • Sarah Curtis, The Works Museum, Bloomington, Minnesota, United States
  • Stephanie Deschenes, Science North, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
  • Andrea Harp, Michigan Science Center, Detroit, Michigan, United States
  • Marilee Jennings*, Children’s Discovery Museum, San Jose, California, United States
  • Rae Ostman, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, United States

*Member of ASTC Board of Directors

ASTC Staff Liaisons: Melissa Ballard, Amanda Fisher, Lauren Griffin

Are you interested in serving as a member of the LFD Committee? We invite staff at all levels from ASTC members (both Science Center and Museum Members and Allied Members) in good standing to raise your hand to be considered for a committee or other volunteer opportunity. See additional information about volunteering to serve.



In the context of ASTC’s vision, purpose, and strategic direction, the Leadership and Field Development Committee (the “Committee”) is an ad-hoc committee of the ASTC Board of Directors (the “Board”). This Committee provides perspective and advice to ASTC’s Board and staff on ASTC’s work to support and connect its members, including on how ASTC might best facilitate learning and collaboration among members, spread ideas that work among ASTC members, and cultivate leadership skills across the workforce of ASTC member institutions.


The Board Chair will have the power to appoint a Chair or Co-Chairs for the Committee from the staff of ASTC Science Center and Museum Members or Allied Members. At least one of the Committee Co-Chairs, or the Sole Chair, will be a Director serving on the Board. The members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Board Chair, and the Board Chair shall have the power at any time to fill vacancies of, change membership of, or discharge the membership of the Leadership and Field Development Committee.

The Committee will comprise no fewer than five (5) members, including the two Co-Chairs, of which at least two Committee members will be Directors currently serving on the Board. Committee members will serve one-year terms. No person may be appointed to serve on the Committee for more than three (3) consecutive full terms without a break in service of at least two (2) years following the third full term. Committee members may serve on other ASTC Committees and task forces. The Board Chair will endeavor to ensure that the membership of the Committee reflects and represents the breadth of ASTC member institutions.

The Board Chair also will endeavor to ensure that at least one (1) member of the Conference Program Planning Committee, serve concurrently on this Leadership and Field Development Committee, to act as liaisons between the three committees.


The primary focus and responsibilities of the Leadership and Field Development Committee include:

  • Identifying opportunities for ASTC to foster in-person and online networking and peer-to-peer idea exchange, learning, and collaboration among members
  • Informing—including by seeking feedback from ASTC members and other stakeholders—ASTC’s work to develop and offer new and improved tools, platforms, and forums for data sharing among members and across the broader science-engagement and science-learning ecosystem (such as data, information, reports, and benchmarks related to visitor studies, audience and market research, and revenue models, among other topics)
  • In coordination with ASTC staff, supporting efforts among ASTC members—and among ASTC members and the broader research and evaluation communities—to identify shared impact measures, increase evaluation capacity, and document and disseminate “what works,” including through available platforms such as the Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)
  • Helping to define critically important professional learning and leadership development needs of the science-center and science-engagement workforce, such as by supporting ASTC staff in assessing skills gaps related to:
    • adaptive leadership (including change management, strategic planning, cultural competence, and empathy/user-centered design); and
    • technical leadership (e.g. including exhibit/program design, visitor experience, evaluation, marketing/communications, and core business and financial skills)
  • Identifying potential actions for ASTC to support diverse emerging leaders in science centers, to help ensure ASTC member institutions support the full breadth of the communities they serve, and to support ASTC in delivering on its commitment to diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity
  • Collaborating with the Conference Program Planning Committee (CPPC) to identify and develop conference content that meets the leadership and professional development needs of the ASTC-member workforce
  • Assessing the current state of professional development programs, products, and services available to ASTC member institutions (from ASTC or other sources)
  • Providing input to ASTC’s design and implementation of targeted professional development programs, products, and services to meet the unique and specialized needs of the science center field
  • Offering suggestions for how ASTC can infuse professional development content for the workforce of ASTC members from partners, professional organizations, and members into practices, content, and training where appropriate and including where ASTC has limited expertise


  1. Conduct Consistent with Bylaws. As an ad-hoc committee of the Board, the Committee will conduct its activities in a manner consistent with ASTC’s bylaws. The business of the Committee will be conducted as nearly as possible in the same manner as provided by the ASTC Bylaws for the Board, unless otherwise provided for by the Board in rules for the Committee’s business.
  2. Advisory Capacity with No Power to Bind. The Committee may advise the Board, any committee of the Board or ASTC staff. The Committee shall have no power or authority to bind ASTC or the Board on any matter.
  3. Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest and Recusal. Committee members will disclose any conflicts of interest and be recused from any matters on which they have a conflict of interest, in accordance with ASTC’s conflict of interest policy.
  4. Meetings. The Committee will meet in person or via telephone or videoconference at the discretion of its Chair or Co-Chairs, or at the request of the Board Chair. A majority of the members of the Committee will constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and the affirmative vote of a majority of those present shall be necessary for any action by the Committee. The Committee will keep such records of its meetings as its Chair or Co-Chairs shall deem appropriate.
  5. Commitment to Diversity, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Equity. The Committee and its members will conduct committee business in a manner consistent with ASTC’s diversity policy and stated commitment to diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity.
  6. Ad-Hoc Working Groups. The Committee Chair or Co-Chairs may form working groups (including those consisting of a single member), as it deems appropriate from time to time.
  7. Reports to Board. The Committee will report on an as-needed basis to the Board, including by providing an annual summary and evaluation of committee activities to the Board.
  8. Charter. At least annually, the Committee will review and reassess the adequacy of this Charter and recommend any proposed changes to the Board for approval.
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