On February 29, 2019, the Board of Directors of the Association of African American Museums (AAAM) announced Vedet Coleman-Robinson as its next Executive Director. Coleman-Robinson’s hire came on the heels of AAAM’s 40th Anniversary year, during which the all-volunteer Association embarked on an ambitious fundraising effort to bring on this full time staff member. With generous support from its members, long-timer sponsors, and a three-year, $400,000.00 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, AAAM was poised to grow and continue its important role serving the black museum field.
Dr. Vedet Coleman-Robinson is a highly respected and accomplished professional in the field of museum management and cultural preservation. Currently serving as the Executive Director of the Association of African American Museums (AAAM), she has dedicated her career to promoting the rich history, heritage, and contributions of African Americans. She also has devoted her career to helping bring voice to communities that lack representation in the fabric, space, and time of American history.
With a deep passion for preservation, education, and community engagement, Dr. Coleman-Robinson has been instrumental in advancing the mission of the AAAM. Her visionary leadership has led to the development of innovative programs and initiatives that celebrate African American culture, art, and history, while also advocating for diversity and inclusion within the museum industry. Under Coleman-Robinson’s leadership, membership within AAAM has grown 200% since 2019, and over $3 million has been raised for the association.
Dr. Coleman-Robinson’s expertise lies in strategic planning, organizational development, and fundraising. She has successfully collaborated with a wide range of stakeholders, including museum professionals, community leaders, and funders, to secure resources and support for the AAAM’s initiatives. Her strong commitment to collaboration and partnership has fostered a network of connections and alliances that have strengthened the impact and influence of the AAAM.
Prior to her role as Executive Director of the AAAM, Dr. Coleman-Robinson held leadership positions in several renowned museums and cultural institutions. She earned her doctorate in U.S History with a concentration in Public History from Howard University. She has conducted numerous speaking engagements on topics related to African American history and museum management.
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Dr. Coleman-Robinson is known for her warm personality and dedication to mentoring and nurturing emerging talent within the museum field. She actively encourages the next generation of museum professionals to explore new ideas, challenge traditional norms, and push the boundaries of what museums can achieve.
Through her visionary leadership, Dr. Vedet Coleman-Robinson continues to inspire and empower others while making significant contributions to the preservation and celebration of African American heritage. Her unwavering commitment to the mission of the AAAM has positioned the association as a leading force in the museum world, creating a lasting impact on generations to come.
Prior to her role at AAAM, Vedet worked for and with several museums within the DC Metro Area and helped to either create diversity plans for Board of Directors, visitors, and staff, social media fundraising plans, facilitated stakeholders meetings and assisted in the overall sustainability of several programs and grants. Of particular note, she highlights the following as significant accomplishments:
-African American Civil War Museum – Assisted the National Park Service in acquiring the African American Civil War Monument.
-National Museum of Women in the Arts – Spearheaded an initiative to forge relationships between the museum and the African American community within D.C. as well as increase African American visitation.
-The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture – Co-curated the museum’s inaugural community exhibition as well as collected materials and built relationships throughout the State of Maryland for the museum.
-National Electronics Museum – Increased Board diversity and helped the museum appoint the first African American to the Board.
-Lord Cultural Resources/National Museum of African American History and Culture – Facilitated national stakeholder meetings within African American professional organizations in 2008.
-Carter G. Woodson Home – Co-Chaired a social media fundraising campaign which helped secure an American Express Grant for the historic site.
“Vedet has the professional experience, intelligence, and visionary leadership AAAM needs to take its next evolutionary step forward, “said Brian J. Carter, Board President and Chair of the Hiring Committee.“AAAM recently completed a National Needs Assessment, created a four-year strategic plan responding to the Assessment, and we are now poised to support Vedet as she expands programming and services that will address those needs expressed by the field.”
She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Bachelor of Arts in U.S. History from Virginia State University;
Master of Arts and a Doctorate of Philosophy in U.S. History with a minor in Public History from Howard University.