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Museum Leadership

Dr. Frances LevineDr. Frances Levine

Frances Levine joined the Missouri History Museum as president in 2014. Previously, she had served as the director of the New Mexico History Museum since 2002. Her background is in ethnohistory or “the study of history through the cultures and voices of participants.” She also has a strong background in the history of westward expansion. 

As leader of the New Mexico History Museum, Levine led the successful reconfiguration and complete expansion of the Palace of Governors campus to the present, award-winning New Mexico History Museum campus, adding a 96,000 square-foot building in the downtown historic district.

Levine has extensive experience working in a public-private partnership, leading an institution that is accountable to both taxpayers and private donors. As director of the New Mexico History Museum, she served under the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, reporting to the Secretary of Cultural Affairs. She also served as co-chair of the New Mexico History Museum Development Team, in conjunction with members of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation.

A native of Connecticut, Levine received her B.A. in anthropology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Prior to her work at the New Mexico History Museum, she served as the assistant dean of Academic Affairs for Arts and Sciences at Santa Fe Community College (New Mexico). At the college, she taught classes in New Mexico history and the ethnohistory of the Pueblo and Hispanic communities of the Southwest.

In 2009, she attended the prestigious Getty Museum Leadership Institute, the leading international source of continuing professional development for museum leaders. She is a member of the American Alliance of Museums, the Mountain-Plains Museum Association and the New Mexico Association of Museums, the American Society for Ethnohistory, and the Santa Fe Trail Association. 

Levine is the author of numerous professional publications and books and edited an award-winning overview of New Mexico history commemorating the opening of the New Mexico History Museum, Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now (2009, University of New Mexico Press, with Marta Weigle and Louise Stiver) and has a new edited volume, The History and Archaeology of Frontier Battle and Massacres with Dr. Ronald K. Wetherington (2014, University of Oklahoma Press). 

Under her leadership the New Mexico History Museum received numerous awards, including the prestigious Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History in 2011. In March 2013, True West Magazine named the New Mexico History Museum the Number 3 Museum of the American West. Other awards include the New Mexico Historical Society Dorothy Woodward Award for the Advancement of History Education, the New Mexico Historic Preservation Award for Urban Infill in a Historic District, and the Hewett Award for Museum Leadership from the New Mexico Association of Museums.

Missouri Historical Society Board of Trustees

MHS Board of Trustees

Missouri History Museum Subdistrict Commission

MHM Subdistrict Commission

Soldiers Memorial Commission

Soldiers Memorial Commission

MHM Managing Directors

Portrait of Karen GoeringKaren M. Goering
Karen M. Goering is Managing Director of Administration and Operations for the Missouri History Museum. In that role, she serves as the chief operating officer of the institution. In her 30 plus years with the Museum she has served in a variety of roles including art curator, chief curator, director of museum and public programs, acting executive director, assistant director for programs and planning and executive vice president. She served as acting executive director during 1987 and 1988 when the History Museum joined the Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District. She was project director for the planning and construction of the Library and Research Center (1988–1991) and for the renovation and expansion of the Missouri History Museum from 1996–2000.

From 2002 to 2007, she served as executive director of the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. In 2004, Goering received the Distinguished Service Award from the Midwest Museum Association. She currently chairs the Forest Park Advisory Board and serves on the boards of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis, the Water Tower Park and Preservation Society, the Tamastslikt Trust, and stl250. She is an accreditation reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums.

Goering is a longtime resident of St. Louis’s Shaw neighborhood where she and her husband are restoring an 1891 Richardsonian Romanesque home.

Yvette LeGear HartsfieldYvette LeGear Hartsfield
Yvette LeGear Hartsfield is Managing Director of Development for the Missouri History Museum. In that role, she strives to further the mission of the Missouri Historical Society through fundraising, engaging new members and advancing philanthropy among key constituents.

A member of the Museum’s leadership team since 2015, Hartsfield is committed to bettering St. Louis. She serves on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals as vice president of external relations and is a co-founder of Launch St. Louis, a nonprofit focused on helping organizations develop young friends groups. Previously, she served as chief development officer and executive director for St. Andrew's Charitable Foundation and vice president of development for Lutheran Family Children Services.

Hartsfield is a certified fundraising executive and holds a Bachelor's degree in marketing and management from the University of Missouri—Columbia.

Portrait of Katie Van AllenKatherine Van Allen
Katherine Van Allen is the Managing Director of Museum Services for the Missouri History Museum. In this capacity, she is responsible for Exhibitions & Research, Library & Collections, Digital Media & Publications, and Digital Initiatives. She has been with the Missouri History Museum since 2003 where she started her career as the Executive Assistant for the Circle of Tribal Advisors, the group that coordinated tribal involvement activities for the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. Van Allen has a Bachelor’s degree in History from Washington University and a Master’s in History with an emphasis in Museum Studies from the University of Missouri–St. Louis. She currently serves on the National Leadership Team for the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) as well as the board of stl250. She has
previously served on the boards of Executive Women International and the Association of Midwest Museums. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member for the University of Missouri–St. Louis’s Museum Studies program.

Benjamin WashingtonBenjamin C. Washington
Benjamin C. Washington is the Chief Financial Officer for the Missouri History Museum. Washington is a graduate of the University of Missouri St. Louis with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree with an emphasis in Accounting and is licensed by the Missouri State Board of Accountancy as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Washington began his business career in a “Big Four” international public accounting firm serving clients in a variety of industries.  In addition, Washington has prior experience working for global corporations.  He has progressive audit, accounting, tax, and business advisory experiences, including serving as the Chief Financial Officer for other local Not-For-Profit entities.

Washington is a longtime resident of St. Louis and has provided dedicated service to the community.  Currently, Washington serves as a Board Director and Finance Committee member for De La Salle Middle School at St. Matthew’s Parish and for Refuge Family Church. 

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