Leadership - New Bedford Whaling Museum

Museum Leadership

Amanda McMullen

President & Chief Executive Officer


Amanda McMullen joined the New Bedford Whaling Museum as President & CEO in May 2018. She oversees an operating budget of $5M+ and leads a staff of nearly 50 employees and 125 volunteers and docents. Prior to NBWM, McMullen was at Meeting Street, the Smithsonian, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Old State House/Bostonian Society. McMullen holds a B.A. from Syracuse University and is a graduate of Leadership Rhode Island (Theta II Class). She is a recipient of both the "40 under 40” Award and the 2016 Chief Operating Officer of the Year/C-Suite Award from Providence Business News. McMullen serves on the New Bedford Economic Development Corporation’s Regen Committee, and the Board of Directors Rhode Island PBS Foundation.

Michelle Taylor

Chief Financial Officer & Chief Administrative Officer


Michelle Taylor, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, has been a member of the Museum’s senior leadership team since 2012. She provides leadership and oversight to a dedicated team of ten across the financial, administration, human resources, IT, and facilities operation functions. Throughout her years of service, she has demonstrated strong fiscal management and contributed to the Museum’s record of balanced budgets, positive operating results, elimination of debt, and growth in net assets. Taylor holds a B.S. in Management, summa cum laude, from Northeastern University and a Graduate Certificate in Human Resources from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Emily Mead

Director of Philanthropy


Emily Mead joined the Museum as Director of Philanthropy in September 2019. She oversees development, special events, and membership activities, with support from a dedicated team of three. Previously she has served as Director of Development for Her Justice, a non-profit legal services organization serving New York City women living in poverty, Director of Individual & Major Giving at Food Bank For New York City, and Director of Individual Giving & Sponsor Recruitment at Student Sponsor Partners. She holds a B.A. from New York University and a M.S. from Fordham University in Educational Leadership, Administration and Policy.

Naomi Slipp

Douglas and Cynthia Crocker Endowed Chair for the Chief Curator & Director of Museum Learning


Naomi Slipp oversees operations related to collections, curatorial, and museum learning; manages a dedicated team of fourteen staff members, whose areas of expertise cover a wide-range of special topic areas and museum functions; and administers a volunteer corps of about 100 individuals, who share a deep commitment to the Museum. She holds a PhD in art history, and is passionate about NBWM’s interdisciplinary engagement with art, history, science and culture, which aligns with her research on nineteenth-century art and science. She joined NBWM in 2021, after serving as Associate Professor of Art History at Auburn University at Montgomery, AL.

Michael Lapides

Director of Digital Engagement


Michael Lapides, Director of Digital Engagement, has been employed at the Museum since 2001 in various roles including Photography Archivist and Photography Curator. In 2009 he developed the Department of Digital Initiatives which has since expanded to encompass Digital Engagement across the organization. He manages our websites, a small team of dedicated staff members, and over a dozen transcription volunteers.  He enjoys working to increase access to the Museum’s collections, preserve its digital assets, and create inclusive and engaging digital experiences for visitors to the Museum and online. Lapides holds a B.A. from Brown University and diploma from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Jennifer Zanolli

Director of Museum Experience and Community Engagement


Jennifer Zanolli, Director of Museum Experience and Community Engagement, is a passionate advocate for the transformational power of museums. In her day-to-day work, she oversees the visitor services, museum store, rentals, and public program teams with a goal of creating a dynamic, memorable, and fun experience for all at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Prior to joining the team, she worked for 10 years at the USS Constitution Museum in Boston, MA and served as a key staff member on the Engage Families! project. She is a graduate of Lesley University with a B.S. in Non-Profit Management and has a M.A. in Museum Education from Tufts University.



Board of Trustees, 2024-2025

Anthony R. Sapienza, Chair
Douglas Crocker II, 1st Vice Chair
Bernadette Souza, 2nd Vice Chair
Hardwick Simmons, Treasurer
Ricardo Bermudez, Assistant Treasurer
Paulina Arruda, Clerk
R. Davis Webb, Ph.D., Assistant Clerk
Carol M. Taylor, Ph.D., Past Chair


Anthony R. Sapienza, Chair
Paulina Arruda
Ricardo Bermudez
Susan Costa
Douglas Crocker II
Betsy Fallon
David Gomes
Edward M. Howland, II
Meg Howland
James Hughes
Michael Keating
D. Lloyd Macdonald
Ralph Martin
Eugene Monteiro
Michael Moore
Gilbert Perry
Victoria Pope
Dana Rebeiro
Maria Rosario
Lucy Rose-Correia
Tricia Schade
Mark L. Schmid
Nancy Shanik
Ellen Stone
Hardwick Simmons
Bernadette Souza
Carol M. Taylor, Ph.D.
R. Davis Webb, Ph.D.
Lisa Whitney
Susan M. Wolkoff