Devon Akmon became the second director of the Arab American National Museum (AANM) on July 1, 2013, succeeding founding director Dr. Anan Ameri. Akmon joined the AANM as curator of community history shortly before the museum opened in 2005; was promoted to deputy director in 2009; and assumed control of daily operations in 2012. Under his aegis, the AANM was named one of just 160 Affiliates of the Smithsonian Institution and achieved accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, a seal of approval earned by just 6% of America’s cultural institutions. As director, Akmon has established new relationships with individuals and organizations that have resulted in the expansion of the museum’s mission and programming throughout the nation. Most recently, Akmon has overseen the physical expansion of the museum with the creation of the Annex, a new community arts space immediately adjacent to the museum.
In addition to leading the AANM, Akmon is currently a board member of the American Alliance of Museums, CultureSource, Artspace, East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority, and The CivCity Initiative. Additionally, he serves on advisory councils for Kresge Arts in Detroit, Smithsonian Affiliations, and the Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies at North Carolina State University. Akmon also serves as an associate consultant for the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland.
Akmon earned his Master of Science in Historic Preservation at Eastern Michigan University. He is a graduate of the Michigan Nonprofit Association’s Emerging Leaders Class IX and Leadership Detroit Class XXXIV. In 2013, Akmon was named one of Crain’s Detroit Business magazine’s “40 Under 40” business leaders.