Sally M. Yerkovich

Sally M. Yerkovich

Research Interests


Sally Yerkovich is Director of Educational Exchange and Special Projects at The American-Scandinavian Foundation, where she oversees all fellowships and grants programs. In 2017, she created and implemented two new programs that support Scandinavian folk arts and cultural traditions in the Upper Midwest. Dr. Yerkovich is adjunct professor of Museum Anthropology at Columbia University. She serves as the chair of the International Council of Museums Ethics Committee and is leading the revision of ICOM’s core document, the ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums.  She was chair of the Professional Standards and Ethics Committee of the American Association of State and Local History and led the America Alliance of Museums Task Force that created Direct Care of Collections: Ethics, Guidance and Recommendations. Author of A Practical Guide to Museum Ethics, Dr. Yerkovich is engaged with how museums will face the ethical challenges of the future.

A cultural anthropologist with experience in museums and cultural institutions in New York and Washington, DC, she held leadership positions at the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, South Street Seaport Museum, and Museum of the City of New York. She was president and CEO of The New Jersey Historical Society, interim executive director of the Museum for African Art, and first president of the 9/11 Tribute Museum.  She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Merchant’s House Museum and on the Executive Council of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study.

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania (Folklore and Cultural Anthropology)

M.A., University of Pennsylvania (Folklore and Cultural Anthropology)

A.B., Connecticut College (Classics)


2020      “Ethics for Registrars and Collections Manager,” in Museum Registration Methods, 6th Edition, edited by John E. Simmons and Toni M. Kiser.  New York: Rowman & Littlefield.


2018      “Use of Funds from the Sale of Deaccessioned Objects: It’s a Matter of Ethics,” in Is It Okay to Sell the Monet? The Age of Deaccessioning in Museums, edited by Julia Courtney.  New York: Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 77-82.


2017      Review of Keeping Their Marbles: how the treasures of the past ended up in museums…and why                                                   they should stay there, by Tiffany Jenkins. History News.


2016      A Practical Guide to Museum Ethics, New York: Rowman & Littlefield


2016    “Ethics in a Changing Social Landscape: Community Engagement and Public Participation in                                                         Museums,” in Museums, Ethics and Cultural Heritage, edited by the International Council of                                                             Museums, New York: Routledge.


Courses Taught