Introducing Emily Peckham, Director of the Council for the Arts at MIT


Dear Council Members,

I am pleased to announce that Emily Peckham will assume the position of Director of the Council for the Arts on May 6, 2024. Emily has been Development Director for the Points North Institute, home of the Camden International Film Festival, since 2018. During her tenure, the organization more than tripled its budget and established a grants program that distributes more than $400,000 annually to filmmakers. Previously, she served as Development Director for the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership in Rockland, Maine, where she worked with the founders to build a thriving organization with a $1M annual budget and led fundraising, financial management, and volunteer coordination. She has worked with national foundations, including Ford, NEA, Skoll, and Emerson Collective, as well as with corporate partners such as MSNBC, National Geographic Documentary Films, YETI Coolers, and Netflix.

Emily earned a BA in psychology from Oberlin College–with a concentration in research methods and a minor in theater–where she was inducted into Sigma Xi and Phi Beta Kappa. Her early career included project management at New England Medical Center (now Tufts), management consulting at Charles River Associates, and graduate studies in the Organization Studies Program at Boston College Carroll School of Management.

For more than a decade, Emily has worked closely with volunteers, board members, program officers, and philanthropists to connect supporters to a mission. Leila W. Kinney (Executive Director of Arts Initiatives), Marcel Botha ‘06 (Chair of CAMIT), and I were unanimous in our belief that she will be an exemplary leader for CAMIT at a moment of growing importance and visibility for the arts at MIT. I am especially grateful to Leila and Marcel for their leadership in this important search.

We look forward to a campus-wide arts festival scheduled for spring 2025, which will coincide with the opening of the new music building, and we look forward shortly thereafter to the completed renovation of the Met Warehouse as the new home for the School of Architecture and Planning and the Morningside Academy for Design. On the heels of the opening of the new MIT Museum in Kendall Square in 2022 and the theater arts building on Vassar Street in 2017, MIT now has facilities equal to its superb arts faculty and students, a need that the Council identified through one the first grants it bestowed, almost fifty years ago. To make the most of these new possibilities for the arts, the president and provost have charged a committee to envision “The Future of the Arts at MIT” that will begin work this month (CAMIT will be represented by Marcel, as Chair).

Emily’s ability to make deep connections, build organizations, and inspire commitment to creative arts programming impressed all of us involved in the search process. In addition to Leila and Marcel, I would like to thank the arts staff who participated in the search: Erin Genereux, Director of Development; Leah Talatinian, Senior Officer for Marketing and Communications; and Stacy DeBartolo, Finance and Operations Manager.

I know that Emily is eager to get to know each of you and to work with Marcel, the Executive Committee, and the entire Council at this pivotal moment for the arts at MIT. Please look for an email from her in early May and opportunities to meet her in the very near future.



Philip S. Khoury
Vice Provost
Ford International Professor of History
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Posted on April 16, 2024 by Arts Administrator