Museum Management


Ashley Howell, Executive Director, is a native Tennessean who joined the State Museum from the Frist Center for the Visual Arts where she most recently served as deputy director. 

Howell received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and a Master of Science in Communications from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and earned her M.B.A. degree in public and non-profit management from Boston University. Additionally, she has a Certificate of Museum Studies from Boston University.  As a part of her graduate studies, Howell interned at the Museum of Modern Art (New York) in the visitor services department, and also served as a financial consultant to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

Howell, who began her career at the Knoxville Museum of Art in development, marketing and public relations, also worked in development for the University of Tennessee. 

Sabrina Hooper

Sabrina Hooper, Deputy Director joins the museum with more than sixteen years of public management experience. Hooper assists the Executive Director in managing all aspects of the museum’s administration operations.  Hooper most recently served as the Deputy Director of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission for eight years. Hooper received a Master of Public Administration from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky.  

Lauren Amos

Lauren Amos, Director of Operations, manages visitor services, events, the museum store, security and facilities. Ms. Amos was the Interim Deputy Director of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, LA.  She has served as the Manager of Operations at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and served as an operational consultant of the renovation of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC.  Ms. Amos also possesses a BA in Political Science from Miami University in Ohio.


Tammi Edwards, Director of Special Projects, has oversight responsibilities for a number of projects including museum reaccreditation with the American Alliance of Museums, training and program evaluation, as well as reviewing and revising museum policies and procedures.Ms. Edwards, a Nashville native, has a B.S. degree in psychology from Tennessee State University and an M.A. degree in counseling from Trevecca Nazarene University. Most recently she was the grants manager at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. Prior to that she held positions as the volunteer manager, and later, as the grants manager at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.


Joe Pagetta, Director of Communications, oversees marketing, advertising, public relations and social media for the Museum. He received his B.A. in English from St. Peter’s University in Jersey City, New Jersey.

He moved to Nashville in 1998 to work in communications at BMI. His previous positions include Media Relations Manager for the Nashville Film Festival and Director of Media Relations and Online Strategies for Nashville Public Television. Before joining the museum, he served as Director of Community Initiatives at The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Jeff Sellers

Jeff Sellers, Director of Education & Community Engagement, oversees all the educational, interpretive, and community programs offered by the museum and state capitol.  This includes K-12 education, family engagement, as well as programs for adult learners. 

Jeff holds a B.A. in History from Auburn University, a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Montevallo, and a Master’s degree in Public History from Middle Tennessee State University.  Before joining the museum’s education department in 2005, he served as a classroom history teacher and an interpretive ranger with the National Park Service.  He has served on boards and committees of the Inter-museum Council of Nashville, the Nashville City Cemetery Association, and the National Council on Public History.