Skip Navigation LinksPHMC > About > Leadership > Executive Director

Executive Director James M. Vaughan

James M. VaughanJames M. Vaughan was appointed executive director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) in November 2011. Prior to this appointment Vaughan served as Vice President, Stewardship of Historic Sites for the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C. In his career Vaughan has led several historic organizations including The Hermitage, Home of President Andrew Jackson in Hermitage, TN, The San Diego Historical Society, San Diego, CA, and Strawberry Banke, Inc., Portsmouth, NH. He also served as the museum director at the Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE.

Vaughan comes to the PHMC with more than 30 years of experience in managing museums and historical organizations and has been the recipient of numerous national awards including being named to the American Association of Museum's Centennial Honor Roll which pays tribute to 100 of America's museum leaders who have worked during the past 100 years to innovate, improve and expand how museums in the United States serve the public. Vaughan was also the First Recipient of the American Association of Museum's Superior Voluntary Service Award.

Vaughan has numerous affiliations within the museum, preservation and history communities. He was elected to the board and executive committee of the American Association for State and Local History. He has serves as a peer reviewer for the Museum Assessment Program and Accreditation Program of the American Association of Museums. He is also a grant reviewer for the National Endowment for Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. In the past decade he has organized and hosted two influential national conferences on the future of historic house museums and the sustainability of historic sites.

Vaughan holds both a master's degree in higher education administration and a bachelor's degree in history from Ohio State University. He has completed Ph.D. work at the University of New Hampshire.