President and Chief Executive Officer
For over 30 years, Carole Charnow has led cultural non-profits in the US and the UK, overseeing over 100 professional theatrical and opera productions, as well as community-based music and arts education programs and events.
Charnow was appointed the President and CEO of Boston Children’s Museum in 2010 and has leveraged her relationships to transform the Museum’s cultural and science programming. Recent Museum partnerships have included: the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Berklee School of Music, New England Conservatory, the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Children’s Chorus, the Boston Ballet and the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Under Charnow’s leadership the Museum won the 2013 IMLS National Medal, the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for extraordinary service to the community, presented by First Lady, Michelle Obama at the White House. The Museum has also recently secured funding from NASA and the federal government’s Race to the Top program, and is the only children’s museum in the country to be awarded these distinguished grants. Under her tenure the Museum has introduced New England’s first groundbreaking access program for families receiving benefits, which is now being replicated across the Commonwealth. For the Museum’s Centennial she commissioned a song for the 100th, I Am A River of Hope, by Jim Papoulis, which was performed by the 500 member Boston Children’s Chorus in October 2013.
As the founder and General Director of Opera Boston, Charnow produced 50 operas and musical theatre original productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, receiving the Boston Globe’s Best of Boston eight years, as well as superlative reviews in the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the London Times. Her 2010 premiere of Madame White Snake, jointly produced with the Beijing Music Festival, was the first major opera commission by a Boston company in over forty years, and the first-ever opera collaboration between an American company and China. Madame White Snake toured to Beijing in the fall of 2010, and the opera won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2011.
Charnow was one of a select group chosen from arts leaders across the state to attend the Executive Education Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School for Government and is a participant in the prestigious Noyce Leadership Institute Fellowship program. She is a member of the Mayor’s Cultural Planning Steering Committee and was recently named a Barr Fellow in the class of 2015. She also received the Emerson College Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015. Charnow serves on the Boards of The Dimock Health Center and the Wheelock Family Theatre, and served on the Nominating Committee for the Accreditation Commission of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and on the 2013 National Program Committee for AAM. She was one of the early Moosewood Restaurant chefs in Ithaca, New York and contributed to the best-selling Moosewood Cookbook. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Emerson College and a Masters of Arts from the University of London.
Amy L. Auerbach
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Since joining Boston Children's Museum in 2002, Ms. Auerbach has overseen the Museum's administration and finance, information technology, and building services divisions.
Before joining Boston Children's Museum, Auerbach served as senior vice president for ABB Energy Capital LLC, where she managed problem assets and established risk management policies, procedures, and protocols. In a previous company, she designed and implemented management information systems and moderated strategic planning activities. Auerbach has also worked as senior vice president of the healthcare and non-profit division at Shawmut National Corporation in Boston.
Auerbach holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Business Administration-Finance from Boston University. She serves as treasurer and executive committee member for Boston Natural Areas Network, treasurer for The Trustees of Reservations and was previously a founding trustee and treasurer of the Children's Advocacy Center of Suffolk County.
Senior Vice President of Exhibits and Programs
Alexander Goldowsky is responsible for the direction and operation of the Museum’s exhibits, visitor services, and school and public programs functions. The Exhibits and Programs Department develops innovative exhibits, leads a wide range of programs and events for school age children, parents, and families, and provides professional development programs for educators and child care providers, as well as extensive online curriculum resources. The department coordinates all exhibit activities including permanent and changing exhibits and an active travelling exhibit program. Most of the Museum’s exhibits, including traveling exhibits, are developed, designed, and fabricated in-house.
Before joining the Boston Children’s Museum, Alexander was Director of Exhibits at the MIT Museum (Cambridge, MA), and Director of Exhibits and Education at the EcoTarium (Worcester, MA). At the EcoTarium, Alexander led an IMLS funded exhibit master planning process, and oversaw a complete redesign of the Museums upper level, as well as many smaller exhibits. Alexander started and directed the Environmental Exhibit Collaborative (EEC), a collaborative of medium-sized museums that has produced 5 traveling exhibits, and has received significant grants for staff development and institutional capacity building in exhibit development, formative evaluation and family learning. Alexander’s first museum position was with the New England Aquarium (Boston, MA), where he worked for 14 years on a wide variety of projects from kit development and teacher training, to developing and supervising the outreach program, to exhibit planning and development for over 10 exhibitions. He began his career in education as an elementary school teacher, focusing on social studies and science.
Alexander has maintained an academic and research interest in museums and education alongside his hands-on work in the field. He holds a Master of Education from Lesley College in Technology and Education, and a Doctor of Education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. His doctoral research, conducted at the Aquarium, focused on the impacts of interactive exhibits on visitor’s engagement and learning. He has published academic articles and educational software and curriculum, and has consulted widely.
Senior Vice President of Research and Program Planning
Leslie Swartz is responsible for museum-wide long-range program planning and development; developing funding strategies and securing foundation support for programs; strategic planning; and major new initiatives. She served as project director for the Children of Hangzhou: Connecting with China exhibit and associated educational and public programs, as well as a published DVD ROM bilingual curriculum; the project received major funding from State Street and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Current projects include planning for BCM’s 100th Anniversary celebration and a centenary exhibit, From Time to Time: 100 Years of Change in Boston.
During her years at BCM, Leslie has led the Harvard East Asian Outreach Program, the education department, community outreach and teacher services. She was the project director for the Museum’s largest publication, the 18-volume Multicultural Celebrations series (Modern Curriculum Press, 1992 and 1994). She co-authored Moonbeams, Dumplings and Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities and Recipes (Harcourt: 2002).
Formerly a high school history teacher, Leslie has worked extensively in Chinese Studies, conducting seminars for teachers and producing classroom curricula. She was a co-founder of Boston’s Dragon Boat Festival. She has traveled extensively in China, and was a co-founder of the Boston-Hangzhou Sister City relationship. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College and a Master’s degree in East Asian Studies from the University of Michigan.
Vice President, External Relations & Corporate Development
Since joining the Museum in 1996, Ms. Murrell-Smith has maintained and managed the corporate, civic, government and community relationships of the Museum to advance its mission, programs, public profile, and financial health. She also shares oversight for stewarding the Museum's many outreach initiatives that directly benefit the children and families of Boston and beyond.
Prior to joining the Museum, Charlayne was Director of Client Services and Strategic Planning for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, where she was responsible for the coordination and delivery of programs and services to Chamber members and served as chief operating officer. She has also served as Project Vice President and General Manager of the Wishnow Group, Inc., a public affairs consulting company specializing in local and national social issues campaigns; Community Affairs Director of WHDH-AM and WZOU-FM; and was a guidance counselor in the Cambridge and Newton Public Schools.
A native of Denver, Colorado, Charlayne holds degrees from Wellesley College and Northeastern University. Her current affiliations include the Boards of Directors of the Boston Children's Chorus, The Boston Harbor Association, The Lenny Zakim Fund and the YMCA of Greater Boston. She also serves on the advisory board of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Women's Network and is a member of the American Association of Museums and the Association of Children's Museums.
Charlayne received a 2002 Pinnacle Award for achievement in non-profit management from the Women's Network of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and was recognized as one of the Leading Women 2000 by Patriots' Trail Girl Scout Council.
She resides in Roxbury, MA.
Joining Boston Children’s Museum in 1973, Ms. Robinson offers over 45 years of experience in teaching and consulting in the field of early childhood education. She is the developer of the PlaySpace exhibit, (one of the earliest prototypes for early learning family spaces in children’s and other museums), founder of the Boston Cultural Collaborative for Early Learning and co-founder of both Families First Parenting programs and “Count Down to Kindergarten”.
For many years, she has provided early childhood training and consultation to schools, museums and other organizations. Ms. Robinson received her B.S., M.S. Ed. and an Honorary Doctorate in Education from Wheelock College, serves on numerous boards dealing with family, community, multicultural, and early childhood education issues. She is currently a member of the Boston School Committee, and serves as co-chair of the City of Boston’s Thrive in Five program and the Mayor’s Universal Pre-K Task Force.
In recognition of her work, Ms. Robinson has received awards including the Wheelock Centennial Award, the Boston Parents Paper Family Advocate Award, the Women Who Care Award, and the Lucy Wheelock Award. Ms. Robinson was a 2004 participant in the Schott Fellowship in Early Care and Education (Public Policy), a program of the Schott Center for Public and Early Education, Cambridge MA. In 2005, she was named to the American Association of Museums, Centennial Honor Roll, in recognition of her contributions to the museum field in the past century and in 2010, received the Abigail Eliot Award from the Boston Association for the Education of Young Children.
Activities for Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere
PLAYSPACE: Creating Family Spaces in Public Spaces
Planning for the Very Young: Excellence and Equity in Preschool Activities at Science Museums
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Peter leads the Museum's marketing and communications activities including brand strategy, media relations, web communications, executive communications and visual communications. He is a skilled strategist, manager and writer with progressive successes leading corporate and marketing communications programs in global computer, imaging, health and consulting organizations. He also led his own firm, MetaCommunication.
Previously, he was Vice President of Communications for Abt Associates, a public policy research and consulting firm, where he also served as a member of the executive management team. Prior to that, he was Director of Worldwide Communications for Bayer Corp.’s Agfa-Gevaert, a $4 billion Belgium-based health and graphics imaging company. He began his career at Wang Laboratories where he served in a variety of communications roles including Speechwriter, Director of Creative and Promotional Services and Director of Consultant Relations. He has led communications programs that have won hundreds of awards and received recognition for graphic design, advertising, photography, web design, and printing.
Peter has a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he studied Urban Planning and Political Science. He has also done post-graduate studies in marketing at Dartmouth’s Tuck Business School and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School. He is also a guest lecturer in branding and design at the Rhode Island School of Design.