Co-Chair: Tara MacDougall*, Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, United States
Co-Chair: Lisa Levine Urovitch, Museum of Science, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

  • Stephane Berghmans, Technopolis, the Flemish Science Centre, Mechelen, Belgium
  • Todd Boyette, Morehead Planetarium & Science Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
  • Tracey Collins, Natural History Museum of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
  • Sam Dean*, Scott Family Amazeum, Bentonville, Arkansas, United States
  • Jen Kretser, The Wild Center, Tupper Lake, New York, United States
  • Lara Litchfield-Kimber, Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, Vermont, United States
  • María Emilia Beyer Ruiz*, Universum, Museum de las Ciencias de la UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Kalie Sacco, Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, California, United States
  • Jon Severson, Science Museum of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
  • Mat Sinclair, Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum, Reno, Nevada, United States
  • Daniel Slippen, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, United States
  • Bonnie Styles, Association of Science Museum Directors, Springfield, Illinois, United States
  • Kristan Uhlenbrock, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, Colorado, United States
  • Stephen White, Center of Science and Industry (COSI), Columbus, Ohio

*Member of ASTC Board of Directors

ASTC Staff Liaisons: Adam Fagen, Kelly Tang, Gaby Wilson

Are you interested in serving as a member of the ACE Committee? We invite staff at all levels from ASTC members (both Science Center and Museum Members and Allied Members) in good standing to raise your hand to be considered for a committee or other volunteer opportunity. See additional information about volunteering to serve.

ACE Committee Charter


In the context of ASTC’s vision, purpose, and strategic direction, the Advocacy, Casemaking, and Engagement Committee (the “Committee”) is an ad-hoc committee of the ASTC Board of Directors (the “Board”) providing input to ASTC’s efforts to champion public engagement in science. ASTC’s advocacy and casemaking focus on elevating the work of science and technology centers and museums and forging new collaborations across the broader science-engagement ecosystem. The Committee works with ASTC staff to advocate for policies, resources, partnerships, and other actions that advance the societal impact of science centers. The Committee collaborates with ASTC staff and members on engaging with the broader community to increase support for science centers within government agencies at Federal, state, and local levels, as well as with other aligned partners and funders.

Structure and Membership

The Board Chair will have the power to appoint a Chair or Co-Chairs for the Committee from the staff of ASTC Science Center and Museum Members or Allied Members. At least one of the Committee Co-Chairs, or the Sole Chair, will be a Director serving on the Board. The members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Board Chair, and the Board Chair shall have the power at any time to fill vacancies of, change membership of, or discharge the membership of the Committee.

The Committee will comprise no fewer than five (5) members, including the two Co-Chairs, of which at least two Committee members will be Directors currently serving on the Board. Committee members will serve one-year terms. No person may be appointed to serve on the Committee for more than three (3) consecutive full terms without a break in service of at least two (2) years following the third full term. Committee members may serve on other ASTC Committees and task forces. The Chair will endeavor to ensure that the membership of the Advocacy, Casemaking, and Engagement Committee membership reflects and represents the breadth of ASTC member institutions.

The Board Chair also will endeavor to ensure that at least one (1) member of the Global Trends Committee, and at least one (1) member of the Conference Program Planning Committee serve concurrently on this Advocacy, Casemaking, and Engagement Committee, to act as liaisons between the four committees.

Focus and Responsibilities

The primary focus and responsibilities of the Advocacy, Casemaking, and Engagement Committee include:

  • Considering the full range of work ASTC members do to engage the public in science and technology—including supporting lifelong science learning, connecting science and society, engaging diverse audiences, and partnering to solve local and global challenges—and identifying the field-wide needs for, and supporting the work of, data collection, tool development, and capacity building that enable science centers to advocate for greater financial resources and other forms of support
  • Working with ASTC staff to assemble concrete examples of how science and technology centers and museums are and advancing global, national, regional, and local priorities, and lifting up case studies and field-wide data that demonstrate ASTC members’ impact related to a wide variety of communities and audiences
  • Offering input and ideas to inform ASTC’s messaging, public and partner communications, and online presence, to support ASTC’s advocacy and casemaking objectives
  • Developing and, as needed, revising ASTC’s Public Policy Principles—to be approved by the ASTC Board of Directors—that guide the association’s priorities for working directly with government agencies and policymakers; supporting our members’ advocacy and community organizing efforts at the local, regional, state, and national levels; partnering with other organizations and associations on shared priorities; and collaborating with other networks on international advocacy efforts
  • Ensuring that ASTC’s Public Policy Principles and other advocacy and casemaking reflect the association’s commitment to diversity, accessibility, equity, and inclusion and advance our members’ work to better support the priorities of the diverse communities they serve
  • Providing guidance to ASTC staff in identifying and prioritizing opportunities to advance work aligned with ASTC’s Public Policy Principles
  • Engaging in direct government advocacy on behalf of science and technology centers and museums, as well as the broader science-engagement and science-learning ecosystems, such as participating in Museums Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., supporting other ASTC- or partner-led advocacy campaigns and activities aligned with ASTC’s Public Policy Principles, and otherwise engaging Federal, state, and local lawmakers
  • Supporting and informing ASTC’s collaboration, partnerships, and collective advocacy and case-making efforts with organizations and institutions across the broader science-engagement, science-learning, afterschool, science-communication, research, education, and museum ecosystems

Procedures and Administration

  1. Conduct Consistent with Bylaws. As an ad-hoc committee of the Board, the Committee will conduct its activities in a manner consistent with ASTC’s bylaws. The business of the Committee will be conducted as nearly as possible in the same manner as provided by the ASTC Bylaws for the Board, unless otherwise provided for by the Board in rules for the Committee’s business.
  2. Advisory Capacity with No Power to Bind. The Committee may advise the Board, any committee of the Board, or ASTC staff. The Committee shall have no power or authority to bind ASTC or the Board on any matter.
  3. Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest and Recusal. Committee members will disclose any conflicts of interest and be recused from any matters on which they have a conflict of interest, in accordance with ASTC’s conflict of interest policy.
  4. Meetings. The Committee will meet in person or via telephone or videoconference at the discretion of its Chair or Co-Chairs, or at the request of the Board Chair. A majority of the members of the Committee will constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and the affirmative vote of a majority of those present shall be necessary for any action by the Committee. The Committee will keep such records of its meetings as its Chair or Co-Chairs shall deem appropriate.
  5. Commitment to Diversity, Accessibility, Equity, and Inclusion. The Committee and its members will conduct committee business in a manner consistent with ASTC’s diversity policy and stated commitment to diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity.
  6. Ad-Hoc Working Groups. The Committee Chair or Co-Chairs may form working groups (including those consisting of a single member), as it deems appropriate from time to time.
  7. Reports to Board. The Committee will report on an as-needed basis to the Board, including by providing an annual summary and evaluation of committee activities to the Board.
  8. Charter. At least annually, the Committee will review and reassess the adequacy of this Charter and recommend any proposed changes to the Board for approval.
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