Robert Stein is a museum leader, technology expert, and strategist with more than a decade of experience in the museum field heading up innovative projects and diverse teams. During that time, Rob has pioneered the adoption of open source tools for the museum community, created the world’s first incentive-based loyalty program for visitor engagement, and has transformed the discussion about how technology can enhance and drive educational and public impact in museums.
Rob is a sought after author, speaker and consultant, focusing on the impact museums can have in their community, how technology efforts can change the dynamic of museum innovation, and how metrics and measurement can drive continuous improvement for the practice of museums.
As the Deputy Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, Rob leads the staff and the DMA’s active programs of Education, Conservation, Marketing, and Technology. In 2013, Stein led the DMA in making a transition from paid to free general admission and in launching an innovative free membership program called DMA Friends. DMA Friends strives to increase participation with the Museum through a novel loyalty scheme and generates meaningful data about museum participation that DMA staff can use to refine educational programming and public experience. The DMA Friends program has welcomed nearly 100,000 members since its inception and won a Gold MUSE Award for Public Outreach from the American Alliance of Museums, the Best Innovative/Experimental and Best Overall award from the International Museums and the Web conference.
Prior to his role in Dallas, Stein was the Deputy Director for Research, Technology, and Engagement at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. In that role, Stein founded a renowned technology program that piloted many of the most innovative technology initiatives in museums including ArtBabble.org, the TAP and TourML mobile tour system, the OSCItoolkit for online scholarly publishing, the IMA Dashboard, and the technical underpinning of the Steve.Museum social tagging project. Stein also founded the IMA Lab as a consulting arm of the Museum focused on leveraging open-source software for the cultural community.
Stein served two full terms on the board of the Museum Computer Network, is an active member of the International Program Committee of Museums and the Web, and is one of three National Associates to the AAM’s Education Committee.