Press Release National Children’s Museum Welcomes Six New Board Members and Senior Staff

press release

National Children’s Museum Welcomes Six New Board Members and Senior Staff

April 7, 2022

New leaders bring diverse perspectives and extensive experience to the Congressionally-designated institution focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM)

National Children’s Museum, a nationally-recognized cultural and educational institution in downtown Washington, D.C., dedicated to STEAM and play-based learning, is pleased to announce the recent appointment of three new Trustees and three new senior staff members.

Board of Trustees

Michael Friedberg, Attorney – Holland & Knight
Shelley Goode, Chief Development Officer – KIPP Foundation
Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings Jr., Superintendent – Alexandria City Public Schools

Leadership Team Staff

Kevin Cantfil, Director of Operations + Finance
Veronica Ladejobi, Associate Director of Administration
Erik Smith, Director of Exhibits + Education

“We are thrilled to welcome these incredibly talented leaders to the Museum,” said Crystal R. Bowyer, President + CEO of National Children’s Museum. “As a Congressionally-designated institution serving families and educators from across the country, a passionate and dedicated Board of Trustees and Leadership Team is integral to the success and sustainability of the Museum. We are so grateful to have a diverse group of amazing leaders who believe deeply in our mission to inspire children to care about and change the world.”

Michael Friedberg is an attorney with Holland & Knight, focusing on developing and implementing advocacy strategies for the firm’s transportation and infrastructure industry clients. Friedberg has extensive experience working with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the House and Senate committees of jurisdiction, and previously served as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Friedberg received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s degree in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University, and a law degree from UNC School of Law. He lives in Alexandria, VA, with his wife, daughter, and twin sons.

Shelley Goode leads fundraising initiatives as the Chief Development Officer for The KIPP Foundation. With 30 years of experience in fundraising, marketing and communications, and nonprofit leadership, Shelley has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for some of the world’s largest and most respected institutions including OxFam, Volunteers of America, the Smithsonian Institution, Spelman College, Syracuse University, and Johns Hopkins University. Shelley currently serves on the boards of The College of William & Mary Foundation, and the Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding Trust (MS GIFT). Goode holds a bachelor’s degree in arts administration and political science from Mary Baldwin University. Goode and her husband raised their son in Arlington, VA, where they currently reside.

Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings Jr. is the Superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) and co-author of the recent book, “Getting into Good Trouble at School: A Guide to Building an Antiracist School System.” Prior to becoming a superintendent, Dr. Hutchings was a director of pre-K-12 initiatives and director of middle school programs with ACPS, where he launched the candidacy phase of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme. Between 2013 and 2018, he was Superintendent of Schools of Shaker Heights Schools, located in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. A graduate of ACPS and a lifelong educator and administrator, Dr. Hutchings holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Old Dominion University; a master’s degree in educational leadership from George Mason University; and a doctorate in educational policy, planning, and leadership from the College of William and Mary. He and his wife live in Alexandria, VA, with their two children.

Kevin Cantfil serves as the Director of Operations and Finance for the Museum, where he oversees operations, admissions, safety, and earned revenue and is responsible for the overall financial management of the organization, including HR strategy and IT functions. Cantfil brings twelve years of experience in education operations to the role, formerly working as a Director of School Operations for District of Columbia Public Schools and with The New Teacher Project, an organization that helps ensure equity of access to highly effective teachers. A graduate of Florida State University, Cantfil holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, and he  lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two young daughters.

Veronica Ladejobi joined the Museum team in March 2022 as the Associate Director of Administration. Ladejobi will primarily be responsible for HR and legal affairs at the Museum, as well as supporting museum operations and finance. Ladejobi brings 14 years of law firm and in-house legal expertise to this role, as well as 5 years of Information Technology consulting experience. Most recently, she held the role of Vice President & Senior Council for Marriott International in its global operations services and lodging group. Ladejobi has a bachelor of science degree in computer science from the University of Virginia and a law degree from The George Washington University Law School. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, son, and 2 cats.

Erik Smith was named Director of Exhibits and Education for the Museum in February 2022 and is responsible for all aspects of exhibit development and maintenance, education programming, and visitor experience. A former science educator, Smith has dedicated his 25-year career to informal and formal STEM education and provides a unique skill set that will promote the integration of high-quality STEAM content throughout the exhibit and visitor experience. Most recently, Smith was the Founding Director of Exhibits and Facilities of the Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville, AR. Prior to the Amazeum, Smith worked at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego, CA, after spending several years as a high school science teacher. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from UC San Diego, and he and his wife are excited to move and raise their son in the Washington, D.C., region.


About National Children’s Museum

National Children’s Museum is a unique hybrid institution in downtown Washington, D.C., that combines learning elements found in a science center with children’s museum experiences. Through interactive science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) exhibits, programs, and virtual offerings, the Museum sparks curiosity and ignites creativity for children under the age of twelve and their families. Since February 2020, the Museum has reached more than 4 million people through in-person and digital initiatives. Learn more on how to visit the Museum and engage with virtual STEAM resources at