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June 1, 2024

NetworkMedea Ekner Appointed as Director General for ICOM

Medea S. Ekner Appointed as Director General of ICOM – The International Council of Museums.

The process of appointing ICOM’s new Director General has successfully concluded. The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Medea Sógor Ekner as the Director General, effective immediately. With extensive experience in the museum sector and strong leadership skills, Medea Ekner is well suited to lead ICOM into a new era of renewal and innovation. 

Ekner is a future-oriented museum strategist and leadership specialist with over twenty-five years of experience in the art and museum sector in Sweden and New Zealand. In June 2023, she was appointed as interim Director General of ICOM. Prior to this, she served as Vice-Chairperson of the ICOM Advisory Council until her appointment last year. Ekner has also held significant roles such as Chair of ICOM Sweden and Board Member if the ICOM Nord Regional Alliance.  

Through her role as Director General of ICOM, she serves as a Board Member of Blue Shield. Additionally, she is on the Board of Trustees of the European Museum Forum.

Ekner brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role as Director General of ICOM. Her diverse background encompasses strategic planning, museum innovation, and fostering international collaboration, making her an ideal choice to lead ICOM into the future. ICOM President Emma Nardi expresses her trust in Ms. Ekner’s ability to guide ICOM: 

“ICOM values its historical heritage, but also recognizes the need for a renewed institution that adapts to today’s world. I am convinced that Medea Ekner, as Director General, is the ideal person to both preserve our traditions and drive innovation.”

As Director General, Ekner will work closely with ICOM’s Executive Board, ICOM committees, and Secretariat to develop and present strategic initiatives that advance the organisation’s goals under the 2022-2028 Strategic Plan, and beyond.  

Commenting on the role, Medea Ekner expresses her enthusiasm: 

“I’m honored by the continued trust from the ICOM Executive Board, humbled to accept this responsibility, and excited to fulfill the goals and missions, as well as to meet the challenges, of a global organisation in transition.” 

The appointment of Medea Ekner marks an exciting chapter for ICOM. Her passion for museum development and dedication to preserving cultural heritage will undoubtedly propel ICOM’s mission forward, inspiring museums worldwide to thrive in an ever-transformative landscape.

“I am delighted to lead ICOM into the next phase of its transformation, addressing the needs of the museum network and of a rapidly changing society. Digital transformation is a priority, along with enhancing the organisation’s response to global challenges that impact cultural heritage and the communities affected by it.”

ICOM’s Secretariat plays a vital role in sustaining the organisation’s global network. It relies on the expertise and professionalism of a team from around the world, ensuring that ICOM operations run effectively. Under Medea Ekner’s leadership, this diverse team will continue to support ICOM’s mission by fostering international cooperation and providing invaluable assistance to museums globally.


ICOM – The International Council of Museums 

The International Council of Museums is an international organisation of museums and museum professionals which is committed to the research, conservation, continuation and communication to society of the world’s natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible. 

ICOM is a membership association and a non-governmental organisation which establishes professional and ethical standards for museum activities. As forum of experts, it makes recommendations on issues related to cultural heritage, promotes capacity building and advances knowledge. ICOM is the voice of museum professionals on an international stage and raises public cultural awareness through global networks and co-operation programmes. 

ICOM has over 53 000 professionals in over 129 countries, 120 national committees, 34 international committees, 8 Regional Alliances, 21 Affiliated Organisations. ICOM is the only global organisation in the museum field.


Useful links:

ICOM’s Strategic plan 2022-2028 summary 

About ICOM 

ICOM Red lists 

ICOM standards and ethics (Including the Code of Ethics)  


Press contact:

Christian Kraugerud Søberg
Head of Communications and Public Relations