NAEA Announces New Chief Finance and Operations Officer; and Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Special Initiatives
June 14, 2021
We are pleased to introduce A. J. Calbert as NAEA’s Chief Finance and Operations Officer. A. J. (He/Him) comes to NAEA from the National Children’s Museum where he served as director of operations. He will manage NAEA’s financial, operational, and human resources work streams and serve as a critical thought partner on the implementation of our Strategic Vision.
A. J.’s career began as an engineer before earning his MBA from the Yale School of Management. Since that time, his focus has been around equitable access to education in the preK–12 space. Additionally, he is an experienced classroom educator (teaching high school science) and administrator (working for the state superintendent to ensure that $700 million was properly allocated to DC Public Schools).
He has trained at Studio Acting Conservatory and considers himself more of a performing artist, and understands the importance of collaborating with and relying on visual artists and designers to truly bring a theatrical piece to life.
A. J. lives in Maryland with his wife, his son, and their dog, August.
Welcome Ray Yang—NAEA’s first Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) and Special Initiatives. We are proud to share that the creation of this new position is part of the strategy outlined in the Recommendations From the NAEA ED&I Task Force to the NAEA Board of Directors. Ray’s work will encompass directing and merging initiatives under the ED&I and Advocacy & Policy pillars of the NAEA Strategic Vision.
Ray (They/Them) brings more than 20 years of experience in the arts and education. With a BA from Brown University and an MA in art education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ray has spent time in a range of art education fields as a classroom art educator, a grade-level dean in Seattle, an administrator in Chicago Public Schools, a museum educator at the Seattle Art Museum, as well as teaching graduate courses at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and leading outreach and teacher professional development programs at Chicago’s Hyde Park Art Center.
They have facilitated diversity and equity workshops, led affinity groups, trained with the National SEED Project, and served on the NAEA Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Task Force. They see the chance to bring all these experiences together to serve as the inaugural Director of ED&I and Special Initiatives as a great honor, and they are excited to collaborate with NAEA members and leadership, Board and Staff, and arts partners across the country.
Ray lives in Seattle, Washington, and will officially begin their tenure at NAEA on July 1, 2021.