WASHINGTON, August 4, 2022 – Rachel Goslins, director of the Smithsonian’s historic Arts and Industries Building and a nationally recognized innovator in museum leadership and mission-driven storytelling, has been named Chief Creative Officer for the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream in Washington, D.C.
Now under construction in several historic buildings on Pennsylvania Avenue across from the White House and the Treasury, the Center will offer a broad array of programming, educational events, research initiatives, and physical and online exhibits on the Center’s website and feature an extensive multimedia collection.
The Center is being set up as a new model for cultural institutions, designed to inspire, build confidence, shape policy and social attitudes, and offer practical guidance for those trying to achieve their American Dream – whatever that may look like to them. The visitors’ center experience will celebrate real people who have achieved their American Dream and help visitors forge their own pathway to success through storytelling, education, and hands-on tools exploring health, education, finance, and entrepreneurship. Online platforms will expand that impact and engage even more visitors in a community of connecting, sharing, and learning.
“Our Visitor Center will tell American Dream stories of all kinds, both from history and the present, complete with individual struggle, tenacity and triumphs, both large and small. Having someone like Rachel join us to lead our creative team as we build this Center from the ground up is an invaluable asset for our organization,” said MCAAD President Kerry Healey. “I am excited about the breadth of storytelling experience that Rachel brings to the table. She will be able to help us tell the full story of the idea of America and the importance of the American Dream to keeping hope alive for future generations. Her insights will be invaluable as we create new pathways to help visitors achieve their own version of the American Dream.”
In her role as Chief Creative Officer, Rachel will lead the creative vision and execution of artistic and educational exhibits and programs in the visitors’ center, on digital platforms, and virtual public programming.
“I am thrilled to be joining MCAAD as they pioneer new ways to help more people achieve their dreams,” said Rachel Goslins. “Expanding access to opportunity in this country is a critical effort and I am eager to help build an institution that catalyzes impact in that area through powerful storytelling, dynamic programs and smart thought-leadership.”
Goslins’ distinguished career spans over twenty-five years of experience in the cultural sector, creative industries, social impact and law. Goslins comes to MCAAD from the Smithsonian Institution, where she has been the director of the Arts and Industries Building (AIB) since 2016. During her tenure she led the revitalization and reopening of the museum, closed to the public for over a decade, as a space to explore creativity, innovation and the future. She created and launched multiple new events and programs, including the blockbuster FUTURES exhibition, the Smithsonian’s first major exploration of the future spanning art, design, history, technology and innovation. As the director of AIB Goslins led multi-disciplinary curatorial, design, programming and educational teams to create cutting-edge museum experiences, and served on the Smithsonian’s advisory committees for digital transformation. She is also a frequent public speaker on the power of arts and culture in the 21st century, appearing at SXSW, the Aspen Ideas Festival, TEDx, Ars Electronica, and in such outlets as “CBS Sunday Morning,” The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fast Company, and The Wall Street Journal.
Prior to the Smithsonian, Goslins served the White House as the Executive Director of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, an advisory committee to President Obama on cultural policy. Under her management, the Committee launched major national initiatives in education and cultural diplomacy, facilitated federal and private funding for cultural programs across the country, and spearheaded a high-profile campaign using artists, actors and musicians as advocates for arts education.
Before joining the White House, Goslins was an awarding-winning documentary filmmaker and producer, directing feature documentaries and working on productions for PBS, HBO, Discovery, National Geographic and History. She was also the director of the Independent Digital Distribution Lab, a joint PBS/ITVS project.
Goslins began her career as an international copyright attorney. She received her bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her Juris Doctorate from UCLA’s School of Law. She is a Trustee for the Greater Washington Community Foundation, an Advisory Board Member of the Institute for Contemporary Art in Richmond, VA, and a 2012 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.
Beginning September 1, 2022, Goslins will be based at the MCAAD offices in Washington, D.C.