The National Museum of Qatar
The National Museum of Qatar

Class of 2008 grad appointed Chief of Museum and Heritage Development, Qatar Museums

Sheikha Amna bint Abdulaziz Al Thani, who graduated from CMU-Q in 2008, has been named to the new strategic role of Chief of Museum and Heritage Development at Qatar Museums. In this new role, she will oversee the development, strategic planning, and operational management of the new Lusail Museum, Art Mill Museum, Qatar Auto Museum, and Dadu, as well as Qatar Museum’s future heritage sites, museums, and projects.

From “Qatar Museums announces new leadership appointments” in the Gulf-Times, February 20, 2024.

During her tenure as Director of the National Museum of Qatar (2013-2023), Sheikha Amna bint Abdulaziz Al Thani played a transformational role leading up toward the museum’s opening in 2019, managing the delivery of the curatorial programme and museography, permanent galleries, interactive displays, playgrounds, and family exhibits, including the project to restore the Old Palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani as an integral part of the identity and experience of the National Museum of Qatar. As Director, she oversaw the temporary exhibition programme, beginning with Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim: A Leader’s Legacy (1913-1949), which explored the origins and modern history of the state of Qatar. To complement the Museum’s historiographic exhibitions, she worked with international museums to advance program and exhibition partnerships, such as The Shape of Time: Art and Ancestors from Oceania from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2023-2024). Alongside these international initiatives, Sheikha Amna oversaw the ongoing series of Mal Lawal biennial exhibitions, which launched in 2012 to focus on local heritage from personal perspectives, principally through the display of private collections. Expanding the remit of the National Museum to contemporary art, Sheikha Amna oversaw the development of exhibitions and art commissions including Olafur Eliasson: The Curious Desert and Pipilotti Rist: Your Brain to Me, My Brain to You.

Priorities for Sheikha Amna in the field of heritage protection included a significant expansion of archaeology and heritage within QM to celebrate Qatar’s unique and rich identity with multiple projects in development to restore heritage houses, royal palaces, and archaeological sites, as well as the creation of visitor centres and interpretive trails including the forthcoming Al Zubarah UNESCO World Heritage Site Visitor Centre.

In 2022, Sheikha Amna played a key role in supporting the opening of the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, together with the delivery of a portfolio of exhibitions to coincide with the FIFA World Cup. In 2023, under her guidance, QM launched the NMoQ Explorer, a major digital platform for online users to explore the collection of the National Museum of Qatar using artificial intelligence and interactive experiences, with the collaboration of Microsoft. This development was followed by the opening of the AI Digital Centre at the National Museum of Qatar to enable young students to learn coding and digital skills.

Sheikha Amna currently serves as Chair of ICOM Qatar, the national branch of the International Council of Museums. She earned her MSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics with a concentration on cultural theory and practices and her BS in Business Administration and English from Carnegie Mellon University.

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