Meet an Expert: Joe Meade


Joseph C. Meade, Director of Government and External Affairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Joseph C. Meade, Director of Government and External Affairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Title: Director of Government and External Affairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Years in the Field: 5

Degrees/Certificates: Masters of Public Administration

Professional Organizations:The Five Guys Political Action Committee
Philadelphia Sports Congress- Board member
Multicultural Affairs Congress – Board member
Mural Arts of Philadelphia – Board member
Philadelphia Cultural Fund – Board member
Germantown CDC – Board member
Philly Triple Threat Youth AAU Program – Chair
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated
LaSalle College High School Alumni – Minority Recruitment Team
Philadelphia Young Democrats


What made you decide to enter the museum field?

Working for an elected official that was beyond passionate in her advocacy for the art and culture community.

Did a mentor play a significant role in your career?

Dr. Keith Leaphart – had developed a relationship with the Chair of the Museum’s board. His support and encouragement led me to accept the role.

Is there anything in particular that you felt really contributed to getting you where you are today?

Obtaining a master’s of public administration.

What advice do you have for students who plan to work in this field?

To be as open and flexible as possible. Working for a museum is a wonderful, yet amazing opportunity.

What advice do you have for younger museum professionals looking to advance their careers?

Be patient. People in museums work there for the bulk of their careers, and often it may take time to ascend to higher levels of management.

What are the three most important factors you consider when hiring?

1. Presentation – dress, speaking, organization, writing and reading skills (how to interpret)
2. Relationships / knowledge of how to successfully execute the goals of the job
3. Education

Joseph C. Meade, a native Philadelphian, currently serves as the Director of Government and External Affairs for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In this role, Mr. Meade supports the Museum’s President and Chief Operating Officer in managing the Museum’s government relations activities on city, state, and federal initiatives, which include maintaining the Museum’s leadership voice across the spectrum of legislative advocacy issues, communicating its achievements and goals, and annually participating in the city budget cycle. He is a registered lobbyist at the state and local government levels, responsible for advancing opportunities and implementing activities that support public funding goals for the Museum’s operations and capital expenses.

Before joining the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Mr. Meade served as the Director of Government and Public Relations for the School District of Philadelphia. He worked actively on behalf of the District to ensure that the priorities identified by the School Reform Commission and the Superintendent to promote student achievement were met through legislation, funding and regulations at the local, state, and federal levels.

Mr. Meade worked as legislative director for the Honorable City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown. He developed the Councilwoman’s legislative agenda and helped her with daily City Council proceedings. In April 2010 Mayor Michael Nutter appointed Mr. Meade to serve on the Police Advisory Commission for the City of Philadelphia.

Some of Mr. Meade’s favorite museums outside of Philadelphia include the Getty Museum, MET, MOMA, the National Gallery, and the National Portrait Museum.



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