Board of Directors




Our Board of Directors represents the diversity of museums in California, which vary greatly in size, discipline, geographical region, and mission.

Current members of the CAM Board of Directors:

Milena Acosta, Senior Community Engagement Manager, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Lauren Baines, Interim Director, de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University
Carolynn Birilli, Assistant Curator, Museums of Lake County
Carla Bitter, Executive Director, Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
Demetri Broxton, Senior Director of Education, Museum of the African Diaspora
David Burton, Executive Director, Grace Hudson Museum
Horacio Correa, Jr., Chief Operating Officer, Fleet Science Center (CAM Treasurer)
Karen Crews Hendon, Senior Curator, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
Krishna Kabra, CEO, San Diego Children's Discovery Museum
Tomoko Kuta, Senior Director of Education and Visitor Services, San Diego Botanic Garden (CAM President)
Katrice Lee, Senior Director of Development and Grants, San Diego Natural History Museum
Lisa McDermott, Director, Carnegie Art Center Foundation (CAM Secretary)
Kevin McGarry, Associate Director for Public Engagement, Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
Delta Pick Mello, Executive Director/CEO, Sacramento History Alliance (CAM Vice President)
Kristen Mihalko, Director of Operations, Balboa Park Cultural Partnership
Ana Navarro (she/her/ella), Institutional Giving Coordinator, Bay Area Discovery Museum
Rick Noguchi, Chief Operating Officer, Japanese American National Museum
Brittani Orona (Hupa), Ph.D. Candidate in Native American Studies and Human Rights, UC Davis; Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies, San Diego State University (Fall 2022)
Kalie Sacco, Chief of Staff, Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley
Solimar Salas, VP of Content and Programming, Museum of Latin American Art (CAM Vice President)
Leah Van Der Mei, Director of Public Operations, California Academy of Sciences
W. Richard West, Jr., President and CEO Emeritus, Autry Museum of the American West

 

 

Milena Acosta

(Senior Community Engagement Manager, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County)

Milena Acosta is a marine biologist and science communicator, with 20 years of experience working in out-of-school learning institutions. Milena joined the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County in 2015 and currently serves as the Community Engagement Manager. In her role, she fosters relationships with community-based organizations and implements a comprehensive community engagement strategy for creating community partnerships and programs in Los Angeles County. She oversees several collaborative programs and works with staff and community stakeholders to ensure inclusive and authentic partnerships are aligned with the Museum’s mission and community aspirations. Milena holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Loyola Marymount University, and a Master’s in Museum Studies and Nonprofit Management from Johns Hopkins University.

 

Lauren Baines

(Interim Director, de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University)

Lauren Baines has over ten years’ experience in the arts sector and currently serves as the Interim Director of the de Saisset Museum. Previous positions include roles with Montalvo Arts Center, Palo Alto Arts Center, and several Bay Area performing arts companies. She is committed to social justice, decolonization, and DEAI initiatives within and through the arts sector. Baines served eight years on the Steering Committee of genARTS Silicon Valley and five years on the de Saisset’s Museum Enhancement Board. Baines holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Santa Clara University and Mills College in Art History, Theatre Arts, and Psychology.

 

Carolynn Birilli

(Assistant Curator, Museums of Lake County)

Carolynn Birilli is the Assistant Curator at the Museums of Lake County. Her experience includes both volunteer and paid positions at small sites for the past 11 years, working on events and fundraising. Her background is in fundraising, social media management, and graphic design. Currently, she is completing her Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in Graphic Design.

 

Carla Bitter

(Executive Director, Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History)

Carla Bitter is currently the Executive Director of the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, the oldest, accredited natural history museum on the west coast. She has spent 20 years creating, managing and delivering high impact and award-winning public science education and outreach programs, interactive media experiences and museum/zoo exhibits. Carla earned an MS LSFC in Biology (Molecular Genetics/Conservation Ecology), a BA in Anthropology, and spent her early career as a field archaeologist (US and Great Britain). She is proud to have served on multiple NASA EPOESS, NOAA, and IMLS review panels in support of Climate, Earth and Space science public education. Her career highlight was serving the American space program as the EPO Manager for NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander Mission.

 

Demetri Broxton

(Senior Director of Education, Museum of the African Diaspora)

Demetri Broxton joined the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in January 2016 as the Director of Education. An Oakland-native, Broxton has over 18 years of experience working in the field of education and the arts. The department he leads helps to connect youth, educators, and the public to the historical, cultural, and intellectual contributions of the worldwide African Diaspora. Demetri graduated from San Francisco State University with an M.A. in Museum Studies with a dual emphasis on Education and Curatorial Practice. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from UC Berkeley in Art Practice and Education.

 

David Burton

(Executive Director, Grace Hudson Museum)

David Burton has been a museum professional for over 24 years, nine of those in senior management and executive leadership. Prior to becoming the director of the Grace Hudson Museum in 2017, he led the Yakima Valley Museum in Yakima, Washington, and before that spent 16½ years in progressively senior roles at the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, including director of government affairs and senior director of the Autry’s research institute. David has served on the boards of Arts for LA (regional arts advocacy), the Cante Sica Foundation (documenting the stories of Indian boarding school survivors), and two small theater companies. He is a founding board member of the Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance.

 

Horacio Correa, Jr.CAM Treasurer

(Chief Operating Officer, Fleet Science Center)

Horacio Correa Jr. joined The Fleet Science Center in 2017 and oversees all administrative areas. Previously, Horacio was the Vice President of Operations and Chief Financial Officer at Partners of the Americas in Washington, DC. Horacio has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of finance and accounting, auditing, government grants and contracts, and information technology (with particular emphasis on upgrading IT infrastructures). With a deep understanding of the mechanics of both for-profit and non-profit, Mr. Correa has also acquired substantial expertise in administration and human resources, including the areas of compensation, benefits, insurance, and facilities. A Gulf War veteran, Mr. Correa spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and received an honorable discharge. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Systems from Washington Adventist University and an Associate Degree in Accounting from Montgomery College. 

 

Karen Crews Hendon

(Senior Curator, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes)

Over the past 20 years, Karen Crews Hendon has worked as a museum curator and educator in California institutions, private collections, and universities. Prior to working at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, she served as Interim Gallery Director and Adjunct Faculty for the Museum Studies program at CSU Fullerton, Curatorial Advisor to the MAW Collection of Mexican and pre-Columbian Art, Chief Curator of the Monterey Museum of Art, and Associate Curator at the American Museum of Ceramic Art. Crews Hendon holds her MFA degree from CSU Fullerton with a specialization in Exhibition Design and Curatorial Studies and attended the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, Jalisco, México and CSU Long Beach for her undergraduate BA degrees in Foreign Language, Studio Art, and Music Performance.

 

Krishna Kabra

(CEO, San Diego Children's Discovery Museum)

Krishna Kabra recently joined the non-profit world after 22 years of experience in the corporate world, working specifically in vision-led innovation and brand strategy. As part of two large British born agencies, System1 Group and The Value Engineers, she has worked on some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing brands. She holds a deep passion for early childhood STEM education and understands what it takes to sustainably grow an organization towards an inspiring vision. She is a Board Member of the San Diego Women’s Foundation. Krishna holds a BSc in Management Sciences from the University of Manchester (UK), an MSc in International Politics from the University of Bristol (UK) and certifications from Harvard Business School in Disruptive Strategy and MIT in Mastering Design Thinking.

 

Tomoko Kuta, CAM President

(Senior Director of Education and Visitor Services, San Diego Botanic Garden)

Tomoko Kuta joined San Diego Botanic Garden in April 2021. In her role as Senior Director of Education and Visitor Services, she oversees public and student programming, visitor engagement, earned revenue opportunities through admissions and the Garden’s membership program as well as fundraising through grants, individual donors, and sponsorships. Previously with The New Children’s Museum from 2011 to 2021, she contributed to that organization’s tremendous growth. Tomoko began her career over twenty-five years ago while living in Japan and has continued her career in art museums and non-profit organizations in the US. She has a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.A. from the University of Chicago where she studied the visual arts through the lens of society’s broader culture and history. At the Garden, she leads a multi-faceted and talented team dedicated to sharing plant wisdom and healthy stewardship of our planet. 

 

Katrice Lee

(Senior Director of Development and Grants, San Diego Natural History Museum)

Katrice Lee has been a fundraising professional for over 15 years and has been at The Nat for six years. Prior to her current role, she worked in university development securing research funding for UC San Diego and Northwestern University. Katrice is a founding member of The Nat’s committee on inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. This important work builds upon her past service as a board member of the UNCF San Diego Council, and as a member of the UC San Diego Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women. Katrice received a BA in English from Spelman College and an MA in Writing from DePaul University.


Lisa McDermottCAM Secretary

(Director, Carnegie Arts Center Foundation)

Lisa McDermott was raised in Turlock, CA, and earned her BA in Art History from UC Berkeley (1983) and her Master’s Degree in Art History at Boston University (1986). She worked in collections management and curatorial roles at several museums before returning to her hometown. She served as the City of Turlock’s Arts Facilitator from 2001 to 2009, providing administrative and curatorial support to the Turlock City Arts Commission and managing the operations of the original Carnegie Arts Center. Lisa coordinated plans for the restoration and expansion of the Carnegie following a devastating fire in 2005, and assisted in the transfer of responsibility for the new center’s operations from the City to the non-profit Carnegie Arts Center Foundation. She was named Director of the Foundation in 2014. She has juried and curated numerous exhibitions of artists from Central California since 2002. Lisa has also taught Museum Studies as an adjunct professor at Tufts University, and Art Appreciation at Boston University and Modesto Junior College.

 

Kevin McGarry

(Associate Director for Public Engagement, Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation)

Kevin McGarry holds advanced degrees in history and education, and has worked in the field of education for fifteen years—first as a high school history teacher, and later as Director of Student Tours & Teacher Training at the Holocaust Museum of Los Angeles. At SBTHP, Kevin oversees the Visitor Experience, Programs, and Curatorial departments, as well as the Presidio Research Center’s archives and library. He is managing editor of the SBTHP’s bi-annual publication, La Campana, and has helped recently craft and implement SBTHP’s new Strategic and DEI plans. 


Delta Pick Mello, CAM Vice President

(Executive Director/CEO, Sacramento History Alliance)

Delta Pick Mello manages the Sacramento History Museum, Sacramento Living History, Old Sacramento Visitors Center and the popular Old Sacramento Underground Tours, as well as provides support for the Center for Sacramento History. She has been in the Museum Management field for nearly 30 years having worked as Marketing and Community Relations Director for the Sacramento Zoo, Membership and Development Director for the California State Railroad Museum Foundation and Executive Director for the California Automobile Museum. She is passionate about Sacramento, its history, and its Museum community and she is currently the Chair for the Sacramento Area Museums which produces Sacramento region’s annual Free Museum Day.

 

Kristen Mihalko

(Director of Operations, Balboa Park Cultural Partnership)

Kristen Martinez Mihalko is the Director of Operations for the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, where she manages internal operations and oversees several collaborative programs, including the Parkwide IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility) Working Group. An advocate for career development and personal growth, she currently serves on the board of Western Museums Association and Balboa Art Conservation Center. Past service includes: Treasurer and Secretary, Rising Arts Leaders San Diego; President, San Diego Emerging Museums Professionals; and Secretary, National Emerging Museum Professionals Network. She has a Master’s Degree in Strategic Communications from National University and leadership certificate from University of San Diego.

 

Ana Navarro (she/her/ella)

(Institutional Giving Coordinator, Bay Area Discovery Museum)

Originally from Palm Springs, Ana Navarro moved to San Francisco to attend San Francisco State University (SFSU). She received a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Museum Studies. She recently graduated with an Master’s in Museum Studies with an emphasis in Museum Management and Fundraising. Currently working for the Bay Area Discovery Museum as the Institutional Giving Coordinator, she supports managing relationships with institutional donors. As a first-gen student, she values representation across the sector and museum operations.

 

Rick Noguchi

(Chief Operating Officer, Japanese American National Museum)

Rick Noguchi oversees the strategic direction of the Japanese American National Museum, including the programming, marketing and communications, and finance and facilities. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors having worked at The James Irvine Foundation, the California Community Foundation, the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, and the Arizona Humanities Council. He serves on the Advisory Committee for the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Cultures’ Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative and on the Steering Committee for the Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy—Los Angeles Chapter. He is the author of two collections of poetry and a children’s book. He received an MFA from Arizona State University and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

 

Brittani Orona (Hupa)

(Ph.D. Candidate in Native American Studies and Human Rights,  UC Davis; Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies, San Diego State University)

Brittani Orona is an enrolled member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and is a Ph.D. Candidate in Native American Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Human Rights at UC Davis. She currently works as Tribal Affairs Program Manager for the California Department of Parks and Recreation and helps set policy surrounding Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, Memorandums of Understanding involving traditional ecological knowledge in State Parks, and large-scale land use projects. She works closely with federally and non-federally recognized tribes to highlight the continued environmental stewardship, survival, and resilience of California Indian people.

 

Kalie Sacco

(Chief of Staff, Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley)

Kalie Sacco is a member of The Lawrence’s Management Team and leads data-driven and cross-organizational projects that maximize impact. She also contributes to research, evaluation, and policy projects related to STEM learning in out-of-school environments. Previously, Kalie was the Program & Community Manager for the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE), a resource center for informal science education professionals and stakeholders. Prior to CAISE, she got her professional start at The Lawrence as a Research Assistant and membership manager for the Coalition for Science After School. She is an active member of several professional associations, including CAM and the Association of Science and Technology Centers. She holds a Master's in Public Affairs from UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy and a Bachelor's in Anthropology and Classics from UC Berkeley.

 

Solimar Salas, CAM Vice President

(VP of Museum Content and Programming, Museum of Latin American Art)

Solimar Salas has worked on 100+ exhibitions in different aspects including bilingual content development, interpretive programming, and web content management. She oversaw the successful creation of a bilingual online database for Puerto Rican artists at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. Solimar served as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Association of Museum of Puerto Rico and as part of the National Program Committee for the 2015 AAM Annual Meeting held in Atlanta, GA. She also participated in the Smithsonian Visiting Professional Program and has spoke on diversity in museums and technology. Solimar holds an MA in Museum Studies from the Johns Hopkins University, an MBA in Management of Information Systems from the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon, and a BA in Biological Anthropology from Swarthmore College.

 

Leah Van Der Mei

(Director of Public Operations, California Academy of Sciences)

Leah Van der Mei has over 15 years of experience in non-profit cultural institutions. Leah joined the Academy in 2008 and has been instrumental in developing the overall experience for the 1.3 million visitors annually. A large portion of her responsibilities include overseeing the budget as well as managing a diverse team of over one hundred staff members. As a longtime advocate for inclusive employment, she has been a Board Member of The Arc of San Francisco; ADA Coordinator for the San Francisco Mayor’s Office on Disability; Bay Area Arts Access Steering Committee Member; Chair, Quality Teacher Education Act; and the developer of the Museums4Inclusion initiative, a unique museum career pathway model for individuals with disabilities.

 

W. Richard West, Jr.

(President and CEO Emeritus, Autry Museum of the American West)

W. Richard West, Jr. is the President and CEO Emeritus, Ambassador, Native Communities of the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles and the Founding Director and Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian. He is a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in the State of Oklahoma and a member of the Society of Southern Cheyenne Peace Chiefs. Rick is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, the Denver Art Museum, and the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums. He previously served on the Boards of the Ford Foundation, Stanford University, and the Kaiser Family Foundation. He also was Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Alliance of Museums (1998-2000) and Vice President of the international Council of Museums (2007-2010).