The Harvard Art Museums have appointed Micha Winkler Thomas as their new deputy director. Winkler Thomas will serve in a senior leadership position, working alongside the director, and will oversee several of the museums’ administrative divisions. A leader in the museum, government, nonprofit, and cultural sectors, Winkler Thomas brings to the museums her extensive experience in executive leadership, strategic vision, innovation with analysis, operational efficiency, and excellent customer service. For more than 20 years, Winkler Thomas has managed a diverse range of high-profile projects, teams, and technology. She begins her new role at Harvard on Sept. 18.
Winkler Thomas is currently the deputy director for strategy and chief operating officer at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., where she has worked since 2019. In this position, she has honed her skills in executive leadership, directing the museum’s strategic, operational, and digital planning initiatives, such as the museum’s five-year strategic and operations plan and the celebration of the museum’s 100th anniversary in 2021. She has played a key part in developing museum initiatives around diversity, partnerships, outreach to new audiences, digital opportunities, and data collection and analysis, as well as overseeing the daily operations of the museum, including such areas as information technology, facilities, security, admissions, the shop, and the cafe. Prior to her work at the Phillips Collection, she served in various roles at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Smithsonian Institution, and National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
“Micha brings a wealth of museum experience and a deep commitment to the successful implementation and execution of strategic planning,” said Martha Tedeschi, the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums. “At a time when we have just finished writing our own five-year strategic plan and received re-accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), Micha is uniquely qualified to help us take the next steps toward the realization of our institutional goals. At the same time, I am thrilled to welcome such a seasoned museum veteran to our team at an exciting time in our audience expansion and development, following the implementation of our new policy of free admission for all visitors, which began on June 23. I look forward to her fresh ideas and perspectives as we navigate this new chapter in our museums’ long history.”
“I am delighted and gratified to join the staff of the Harvard Art Museums as deputy director, because it combines my passion for art history with my skills in directing and leading an operation that focuses on a visitor’s educational and cultural experience,” said Winkler Thomas. “I am inspired by the museums’ mission and the Harvard Art Museums’ unique role in the Greater Boston area, serving as an invaluable resource for both the campus and the community. The museums’ collections are astounding, and the power of those collections to promote critical looking and thinking is what drew me to this position. I am looking forward to embracing the challenges and opportunities presented in this exciting new role in such a vibrant cultural area.”