About / European Museum Forum (EMF) / Board of Trustees /

The Board of Trustees consists of recognised experts in the cultural field and sets the policies, goals and priorities for the EMF. The Board provides stewardship for the organisation, is responsible for the financial health of the organisation through oversight and fund raising efforts.


The EMF Board of Trustees provides a variety of expertise, multiple perspectives and oversight to ensure the long-term viability of the European Museum Forum.

The Board consists of a maximum of 11 members and a minimum of 5 with a broad range of professional backgrounds, skills and experience. A member can be in position for a maximum of two terms. One term is three years, with the option of renewal after the first three years.

Board members are independent and receive no personal or financial benefit from their participation. While the role is unremunerated, travel and out of pocket expenses are paid.

New members are co-optioned by the Board. The Board currently meets 3 times a year, with Trustees also attending the EMYA at the Grand Awards Presentation Event. Members abide by the highest ethical standards in the museum profession.

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Richard Benjamin, Dr (United Kingdom)

Museums have many faces. They can be safe spaces, creative spaces, and contested spaces. Trusted community partners, welcoming, warm, and inclusive. But equally exclusive, inhospitable, and monochromatic. These dichotomies are what make museums important microcosms of our society. And as committed agents of social change, can lead on the pressing issues of today, from championing mental health and wellbeing to keeping racial equality, diversity, and social movements such as BLM on the agenda.

Richard heads the International Slavery Museum at National Museums Liverpool. He leads the curatorial team and is responsible for partnerships, research, collections, and content development for the forthcoming capital transformation project. He is Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery, a partnership with the University of Liverpool.

Richard gained a BA (Hons) degree in Community and Race Relations at Edge Hill College and completed an MA and Ph.D. in Archaeology at the University of Liverpool.  In 2002 he was a Visiting Research Scholar at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute of African and African American Research, Harvard University, and appointed as the head of the International Slavery Museum in 2006.

Richard is a Trustee of the Anthony Walker Foundation, on the Editorial Board for MONITOR: Global Intelligence on Racism magazine, and a member of Everton Football Club External Equality Advisory Group.

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Sharon Heal (United Kingdom)

Sharon believes that museums matter because they can enhance our health and wellbeing, create better places for us to live and work and provide space where we can interrogate the big issues of the day.

Sharon is the director of the Museums Association, a campaigning membership body that promotes the value of museums to society.

She regularly comments on museums and cultural policy in the UK; speaks at conferences and events in the UK and internationally; and has published extensively. She lectures in the history of museums, museum ethics and museums and social impact and activism.

Sharon is the chair of the Museum of Homelessness and a trustee of the Thackray Museum of Medicine.

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Amina Krvavac, Chair of the EMYA Judging Panel (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Amina Krvavac is the Executive Director at the War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Amina was a member of a small inaugural team that led a two-year grassroots campaign culminating in the opening of the War Childhood Museum back in 2017. The War Childhood Museum has since been widely recognised and praised for its capacity to contribute to a better understanding of war-affected childhood as a complex social phenomenon.
Amina studied International Relations at the International University of Sarajevo, and Children’s Rights at the University of Geneva.

She is committed to creating exhibitions and workshops that support open and conscious dialogue, and to promoting the idea of museums as platforms for societal healing and reconciliation.

Amina is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Coalition of Site of Conscience Europe – a network of museums, historic sites and memory initiatives connecting past struggles to today’s movement for human rights. She joined the EMYA judging panel in January 2021.

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Hans Looijen (The Netherlands)

Museums must facilitate processes that fulfill the needs of communities around them, supporting communities to engage with the world around them.

As the CEO of Dolhuys Foundation Hans leads the Museum of the Mind and created its’ second location; Museum of the Mind Amsterdam, which challenges the existing hierarchies and narratives to widen our understanding and appreciation in art. Outsiderart has far too long been rejected, overlooked and excluded, as have their artists and makers. The renewed Museum of the Mind, Dolhuys Haarlem engages with the public at large through art and health programs. It has an extensive partner program, ranging from healthcare institutions to museums, with partnerships and projects in the Netherlands and beyond. The Museum of the Mind won the European Museum of the Year Award 2022.

As a museologist, Hans studied in Amsterdam and Oaxaca, Mexico. Based on social commitment, he puts his heart and soul into making a difference. From his daily work at the two museums he knows what difference putting a case forward can make in peoples’ lives. Funding, strategy, empowering and supporting personal development of -lived experienced- volunteers and staff alike, program, public, these are all within his attention span. Hans has extensive experience as a cultural entrepreneur from earlier in his career and spent over a decade creating museum- and other meaningful information environments.

Hans is also Chair of the Willem van Genk Foundation, advisor to the Outsiderart Gallery Amsterdam, Chair of the Anton Heyboer Foundation, Member of the Committee on NIOD Research into 2nd World War victims in Dutch psychiatry. Next to this he lectured museology a as visiting professor in an international environment.

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Léontine Meijer-Van Mensch (Germany)

For Léontine museums are essentially networks, connecting communities and institutions. This requires building trust which is only possible when adopting a policy of transparency. As such museum could (and should) contribute to human dignity and social justice, global equality and planetary wellbeing.

Léontine is a Dutch museologist, working in Germany. She is director of the State Ethnographical Collections of Saxony (i.e. the ethnographical museums of Dresden, Leipzig and Herrnhut). Previously, she was programme-director of the Jewish Museum Berlin, deputy-director of the Museum of European Cultures at Berlin.

She is active in the boards of several museum organizations. She was, among others, member of the Executive Board of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and founding president of the International Committee for Collecting (COMCOL). She is, among others, chair of the Dutch Slavery Heritage Education Foundation, member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Dekoloniale (Berlin), deputy chair of the Board of Trustees of the Sächsische Landeszentrale für politische Bildung, and deputy chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the KZ-Gedenkstätte Mauthausen (Austria).

Important among Léontine’s academic and professional interests are the theory and practice of professionalism and professional ethics. She was lecturer of heritage theory and professional ethics at the Reinwardt Academie (Amsterdam) and is at present chair of the ICOM Ethics Committee.

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Joan Roca i Albert, Chair of the Board of Trustees (Spain)

Joan is interested in museums as open centres of knowledge and creation and in their role in cities, in favour of a new urban museology that facilitates critical thinking for democracy and the construction of European citizenship.

Joan Roca i Albert, trained as an urban geographer, is since 2007 the director of the MUHBA (Barcelona City History Museum). He has taught at the Institute for Educational Sciences of the UAB (Autonomous University of Barcelona), the Barri Besòs secondary school (1986-2006) and the Studies Programme of MACBA (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art), while also collaborating with the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Zürich and the History Seminar of the AHCB (City of Barcelona Historical Archive).

He has directed Aula Barcelona and the Urban Majorities Project at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, and has been a member of the Fòrum de la Ribera del Besòs Industrial Heritage Group. As a researcher, he has carried out his work in the fields of urban history, urbanism and education and has received the Pau Vila, Barcelona City and Bonaplata awards. He has written and edited a number of articles and books on city history and metropolitan transformations, heritage and public space, city image and landscape, and education and social change.

He is a member of the international board of the European Association for Urban History. In recent years he has concentrated on the role of city museums, launching in 2010 the City History Museums and Research Network of Europe and working with CAMOC, the committee of ICOM about the city and its people.

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Medea S. Ekner, ICOM ex officio (France)

Interim Director-General of ICOM - International Council of Museums. Medea S. Ekner is a future-oriented museum and leadership strategist, with an academic background in critical museology and art history.

Her interest in the museum as phenomenon, in a past, present, and future context, has driven her into change-management to explore the museum as design and experience, with focus on its social roles and responsibilities.

With a keen interest in the synergies between museums, academia, and industry, she has used the museum as a place of innovation to experiment with new technologies to enhance audience experiences and promote social change.

As a leadership developer and course leader in Sweden's most sought-after leadership training program, she has a genuine interest in leadership and contributes to the museum sector with perspectives on transformative leadership that stimulate participation and creativity as well as development and change.

In her role as interim Director-General of ICOM, she works with passion for international cooperation between museums, the promotion and protection of global cultural heritage and bringing forward the common interests of museums at high-level forums such as the G20 and the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

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Michał Wiśniewski, Dr (Poland)

Michał is an architecture historian interested in space, history and political relations. He is a Head of the Educational Department – Academy of Heritage of the International Cultural Centre in Krakow responsible for various long-term projects dedicated to heritage interpretation and management in relation to the context of Central Europe. He teaches urban history and city studies-related courses at the University of Economics in Krakow. Fulbright scholarship holder.

Author of many scientific and popularizing publications on the architecture of Krakow and Poland in the 19th and 20th centuries. Member of the board of the Institute of Architecture Foundation. Co-author of exhibitions and publications created by the team of the Institute of Architecture Foundation including the website Krakowski Szlak Modernizmu (Krakow Trace of Modernism): szlakmodernizmu.pl