The Akron Art Museum on Friday announced the appointment of Seema Rao to its leadership team in the newly developed role of senior experience officer.
Rao brings nearly 20 years of museum experience with a background in interpretation, programming and digital content development for all audiences, the museum said in a news release.
In her 17 years at the Cleveland Museum of Art, she led research and content development for many digital projects, including the innovative Gallery One and Studio Play. In serving as the museum’s access specialist, developing community engagement programming and creating teen programming, Rao worked to include new audiences.
Rao, who will begin at the Akron Art Museum on June 10, will lead efforts to further integrate digital technology and reimagine the art museum through the lens of the visitor experience. She will also have roles in the museum's diversity, inclusion, accessibility and equity initiatives and developing its public programs, communication and internal policies.
Rao has served as the keynote speaker for national conferences and has written two books, "Objective Lessons: Self-Care for Museum Professionals" and "Change at Work: Not Just Surviving but Thriving," among her extensive published work. She received a Master of Arts degree in Art History from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and a Master’s degree in Information Science and User Experience Design. Rao also sits on the board of Ohio Museums Association.