MoMA Appoints First Director of Digital Content and Strategy

Posted in museums by Editor on February 12, 2014

Arriving at MoMA from the Royal Museums Greenwich, Fiona Romeo steps into a position that will, I imagine, become increasingly common if not essential for museums in the years ahead. Given her role, it’s especially interesting to see what her own web presence looks like. -CH

From the press release (7 February 2014). . .

MoMA_Portrait_Fiona_MSeck_2_300res-300x455The Museum of Modern Art has appointed Fiona Romeo as Director of Digital Content and Strategy, a newly created position in which Ms. Romeo will provide vision and leadership across the organization to enable the Museum to build on its existing digital initiatives and refine its strategic direction and goals. Under the direction of Peter Reed, Senior Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs, she will actively work with senior leadership to develop and grow digital engagement with MoMA’s diverse audiences, both on site and online. She will lead the Digital Media Department, overseeing a team of digital producers, developers, and designers. Ms. Romeo will join the Museum in April.

In her new role, Ms. Romeo will create a clear and achievable strategy that will connect all areas of the Museum and build upon the success of existing programs. Her purview will include MoMA’s website, MoMA.org, including the online collection and exhibition subsites; and digital tools and resources, such as mobile applications, digital in-gallery displays, and live-streamed events.

“Fiona’s appointment builds upon the Museum’s pioneering work in the digital realm, and is a reflection of the dynamic and vital role that digital content plays in the way people can participate in the life of the Museum,” said Glenn D. Lowry, Director of The Museum of Modern Art. “Her extensive museum experience and her background in social and interactive digital platforms makes her particularly well suited to lead MoMA’s innovative and multifaceted initiatives, which engage individuals with the richness of our collection and programs.”

“MoMA was always my first stop on any visit to New York,” said Ms. Romeo. “It has the world’s best collection of modern art and was the first museum to really grasp digital, as demonstrated by its provocative digital acquisitions and exhibitions of interaction design. I’m really looking forward to linking the digital and physical experiences and achieving scale for the Museum’s programs.”

Prior to coming to MoMA, Ms. Romeo was Head of Design and Digital Media at Royal Museums Greenwich, London, where she led the creative delivery of the museum’s public programs and exhibitions to engage diverse audiences with the collections and themes across all four sites: the National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich, The Queen’s House, and Cutty Sark. During her tenure she commissioned High Arctic, a digital installation by United Visual Artists; established new digital platforms for participation, including citizen science projects and the annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition and exhibition; and transformed access to the museum’s collection by adopting a Creative Commons license and collaborating with the BBC, The National Archives, Ancestry.com, Flickr, and Wikipedia. Her innovative projects and commissions at the museum were recognized globally through awards from Muse (the American Association of Museums), Museums and the Web, and D&AD (the Global Association for Creative Advertising and Design), and inclusion in the London Design Museum’s 2012 Designs of the Year exhibition.

Previously, Ms. Romeo produced The Science of Spying, an exhibition for children, designed with an emphasis on social and interactive experiences, for the Science Museum, London. As a game producer at the social entertainment company Sulake, she led a team in Helsinki, Finland, to design and build Disney’s Virtual Magic Kingdom, an online game that represented Disney’s physical theme parks and gave park visitors exclusive digital items. The game was a groundbreaking example of an experience that sat at the intersection of physical and digital environments. She began her digital media career as a producer at Freeserve, then the U.K.’s largest Internet service provider, before going to the BBC, where she was a senior development producer in its London-based social technology group.

Ms. Romeo has an international profile both as a museum professional and within the broader creative industries. She regularly speaks at conferences and has judged competitions, such as the Royal Television Society’s innovation award and the MUSE awards. She has lectured and hosted student projects for design schools including Goldsmiths College and the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. She has also participated by invitation in technology symposiums, including Microsoft Research’s Social Computing Symposium and the Science Foo Camp at Google.

Originally from Australia, Ms. Romeo has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney.

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