Erin E. Richardson, PhD

I've been working in museums since the early 1990s. For the last 20 years, my work has focused on responsible and sustainable collecting and on leadership.  General guiding principles:

Collections are ...

Museums are:

  • for and about people, not collections
  • centers for civic discourse, empathy, and understanding
  • employers of technically proficient professionals who often have no leadership training (that's why I have a PhD in leadership, not Museums)

The museum field is ...

  • focused almost entirely on itself; compares itself to itself, creating a big echo chamber
  • changing, but not fast enough for me!
  • very young and has a lot to learn

Previous museum workplaces

significant projects


  • 2018 PhD | Leadership and Policy | Niagara University
  • 2001 MA | Museum Studies | Cooperstown Graduate Program
  • 1999 BA | American Studies | State University of New York at Geneseo

Service to the Museum Field

  • Museum Association of New York, Vice President, 2011-2015
  • Museuwise, Secretary, 2006-2011

I have a million ideas

[and a lot of solutions]


Super knitter and data nerd, I have a quantitative brain in a qualitative field!

Based in Cooperstown, NY, with a husband who restores historic windows