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Meet our EMF Board of Trustees

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

Profile EMF Board of Trustees

  • 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.


David Anderson, UK 

David is committed to the development of cultural democracy in museums 

David Anderson was born in Northern Ireland, grew up in England, and studied Irish History at Edinburgh University. After first working as a history teacher in a state school, he began his museum career as an educator at the Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton, before moving to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and then the V&A, where he was Director of Learning and Interpretation until 2010. As Co-Director from 2004 of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, a partnership of museums, universities and cultural institutions, he made a significant contribution to the re-development of the area as London's first cultural quarter. In 2010 he joined Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales as Director General. 

David Anderson is a Board member of Creative and Cultural Skills and a member of the Advisory Committee of British Council Wales. He has written many articles on museums and cultural policy, a UK government report on museums and learning, and two children's books.  

At Amgueddfa Cymru, he has overseen the transformation of St Fagans Museum to become the National Museum of History for Wales, and the development of new programmes and research on the role of museums in society, including initiatives to redress the impacts of poverty on children through cultural participation. He has also established a Research Department to support both curatorial and learning research.

Peter Keller, Austria (ex-officio member, representing ICOM) 

Peter Keller has been appointed Director General of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), effective 1 February, 2017.  

Peter Keller studied art history in Vienna, Bonn and Cologne as well as museology in Paris. For three years, he worked at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin before joining the Dommuseum. In addition to his role of Treasurer at ICOM, Keller has also served as Chair and Secretary of the organisation’s International Committee for Historic House Museums (DEMHIST) and as a board member of the Austrian National Committee. In Austria he was also a member of the jury for museum accreditation and of the national advisory council for museums.  

As ICOM Director General, Peter Keller will focus on enhancing the organisation of the head office, and on improving communication both internally with the National and International Committees and externally with ICOM’s various partners. He will work to strengthen ICOM’s network, intensify its publication, programme and capacity-building efforts, and reinforce the organisation’s presence to ensure members benefit from their affiliation. “ICOM is an association of museum professionals”, he underlines, “and the only global museum association.” As such, he intends to manage the association in accordance with the principles of transparency, efficiency and subsidiarity.  

Mark O’Neill, UK (Chair of the EMYA Judging Panel

Mark is interested in the social purposes of museums and in the health benefits of cultural participation

Independent Researcher & Consultant; Associate Professor, College of Arts, Glasgow University, Research Fellow, Museum Studies, Leichester University; Adviser, Event Communication, London.

See under Emya Award Scheme

Jette Sandahl, Denmark (Chair)  

Jette is interested in how – or whether - museums can be social and cultural platforms where a community, a city, a region, a nation can articulate their concerns, their conflicts, their hopes and fears? In how and whether museums can function as integral part of the fabric of societies where choices and future priorities are shaped.  

Jette Sandahl came to the museum sector after more than a decade of university study, teaching and research within the areas of psychology, psychoanalysis and history. She has been the founding director for two pioneering new museums, the Women’s Museum of Denmark and the Museum of World Cultures in Sweden. She has served as Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the National Museum of Denmark, and as Director Experience at National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Most recently, she was director of the Museum of Copenhagen, Denmark. She has been a board member of the Danish Museums Association and of the National Museums Council and active in a number of international contexts. She has been part of the formation of new paradigms for museums as platforms for empowerment, cultural participation and social justice, and writes and publishes within the broad museological field. 

Benedetta Tiana, UK  

Benedetta is inspired by the idea that "you can fail at school but you cannot fail a museum visit", and firmly believes in democratising access to culture. She is an advocate of museums as spaces where you are not judged and where you can find openings for the imagination that are not present in everyday life.  

Benedetta Tiana is an independent museum consultant who lives and works in London. She founded BT Museum Consultancy in 2007 working from Milano on European projects.  
Her expertise is in interpretation strategies and learning plans, as well as marketing and audience development  for museums and galleries. Her starting point is always: who is this for, and why should visitors care? She has developed award winning exhibitions, where content is communicated through accessible, layered and intelligent interpretation techniques and is delivered through relevant yet scenographic media solutions. As  a content expert with nearly 20 years' experience in the heritage sector, she has worked with leading design companies and architects, curatorial staff and academics, senior managers, staff, visitors and volunteers in museums in Europe and the Gulf. In developing interpretation she excels at asking the right questions of museums, that will place visitors in control of their learning experience, triggering their imagination and delighting their senses. As well as museums, she has worked as an independent consultant for libraries and archives in Italy, for the National Trust in the U.K., for cathedrals, archaeological sites and historic landscapes, devising visitor experiences that span indoors and out. She has held senior interpretation roles at Historic Royal Palaces and at English Heritage. She served six years on the London committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the UK's lottery funder for good causes, and as a member of the Ethics Committee for Science Research at King's College London.

Maria Cristina Vannini, Italy 

Cristina, for friends, believes in the social role museums can play in the development of wellbeing of citizens both for their cultural enhancement and the economic impact on society. In 12 years of involvement with  EMF, she has witnessed how this is possible to be achieved even by the smallest museums if they believe in their own work and how it can be amplified in a network. 

With a background in field archaeology, she founded a consultant agency for museums and the promotion of Cultural Heritage.  Her curriculum is transversal to several interests such as marketing and management . Former Secretary General of INSULA-UNESCO and Board member of ICOM Italy, from 2012-2014 she was Secretary general of ICOM Italy, member of the Board of ICOFOM 2013-2016.  She lectures in Italian Universities and is contracted professor at Università IULM of Milan where she is carrying out a research project on the Branding of museums.

She was the 11th S. E. Weil memorial lecturer at the 24th ICOM General Conference and is consultant of the EU Commission DG Education and Culture, engaged in policies on local and regional level.  

Vesna Marjanović

Vesna believes that museums are institutions of great democratic potential and provide a new dimension to the meaning of citizen participation. Museums have an infinitely important role to reach far, educate all and give us a better understanding of humanity.

Vesna is a Member of the Serbian Parliament. She has been Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Culture and the Media for almost a decade. During that time she was engaged in defending the principle of freedom of expression, developing cultural policies, fighting for the sustainability of national cultural institutions, the position and recognition of the role of artists in the society, as well as citizen participation in cultural life.

She was actively involved when, after years of conflict, Serbia finally started its political democratic reforms in 2000. During this period, she witnessed the hopes and frustrations of a changing society which has focused on many policy issues but did not succeed in placing cultural policies as an integral part of sustainable government strategies.

In 2011/2012 she was the Member of the Belgrade City Council in charge of the Department of Culture, and Chairperson of the Belgrade International Film Festival (FEST).

She was the Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 2012 to 2016 during which time she held the position of Vice-Chair of Committee on Culture, Education, Science and Media and Vice-Chair of Sub-Committee on Culture, Diversity and Heritage. She was also Rapporteur on “Europe’s Endangered Heritage”, “Culture and Democracy” as well as Rapporteur for the Council of Europe Museum Prize.

Jouetta van der ploeg, Netherlands

Jouetta believes that museums are the link between the past and the present. They ensure the connection with the great story of humanity. Exploring current themes in a museum context encourages dialogues.


Jouetta L.H. van der Ploeg (1962) studied at the Reinwardt Academy of Museology in Leiden. In 1997 she received an MA from Leiden University for her thesis on the iconography and iconology of the Samaritan Woman in Early Christian Art. She was director of the City Museum of Zoetermeer from 1991 until November 2017. The museum is noted for its pioneering work in seeking the borders of a traditional museum. Van der Ploeg lectures at national and international conferences on this policy and is author of several publications. From 2010 until 2013 she was Board Member of the Dutch Museum Association and through the years 2012-2017 she worked as a judge for the European Museum of the Year Award.

Since November 2018 Jouetta is Head of Content and Deputy Director of a museum in creation in Zoetermeer focusing on Lifestyle. This museum is expected to open in 2019. It will be a place that defines the dominant culture typical from the ‘50s to the present and the future. This museum will offer an ideal place for storing, researching and displaying the valuable knowledge and cultural heritage of everyday life. It will create connections between popular and high culture and between the past and the present.

Jonas Dahl, Sweden

Jonas passion for museums lies with the audience. A modern museum makes people feel at ease and lets them connect with others. At the same time visiting such museums is an intellectual and tactile sensation. Jonas enjoys museums that work as hard with the physical and spatial experience as with the content.

Jonas Dahl is a senior advisor in marketing and communications. He uses communication as a strategic tool to support to managers and  organizations in order to accomplish their overall objectives.

Experienced from management positions in museums and the tourism industry he now helps a large number of museums and other cultural 
attractions with communication- and marketing strategies, audience research and product development.