International Spy Museum Brings on Two New VPs; Creates New Position Focused on People, Culture

January 18, 2023 – WASHINGTON – Today the International Spy Museum (SPY) announces two major new hires to its leadership team: Melissa M. Ricks as Vice President of People and Culture, a role the Museum created to further its strong people-first culture, and Kathryn Keane as the Vice President of Exhibitions and Collections. 

Melissa M. Ricks comes to the Museum from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where she was the Vice President of Human Resources and Administration, focusing on talent acquisition; diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; performance management; and staff development.  Her over 20 years of experience in human resources and background in nonprofit work will allow her to build this brand-new position into something lasting and valuable at the Museum.

“Melissa Ricks is the perfect candidate to help us craft this new role dedicated entirely to our most important and highest-valued resource – the people who make this Museum great,” exclaimed Tamara Christian, president and COO of the International Spy Museum.  “Her experience, passion, and innovative spark will be directed into further empowering and energizing our remarkable staff members and volunteers, maintaining a strong SPY culture, and ensuring that we are keeping diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility front of mind.”

“As a native of Washington DC, the Spy Museum has long been a favorite destination of mine,” noted Melissa M. Ricks. “Coming on board has further piqued my interest. I am thrilled to be at a place that already has an amazing culture and I look forward to partnering with other team members to make it even greater!”

Kathryn Keane joins the Spy Museum team from a long career at National Geographic, serving there simultaneously as Vice President of Public Experiences for the National Geographic Society and Director of the National Geographic Museum.  In her role, she led the development and global distribution of exhibitions and experiential programming for over a decade. Her 20 years of experience have equipped her with a strong vision and strategy for exhibition programming and educational impact.  At the Museum, she will broaden the influence and impact of the Museum’s exhibitions and initiatives, developing high-level strategy and leading the team tasked with the care, acquisition, exhibition, and interpretation of the Museum’s Guinness World Record-winning collection.

“Kathryn’s keen eye and impressive track record will help us develop and forge the next steps for our exhibitions,” shared Chris Costa, executive director of the International Spy Museum.  “With her focus, dedication, and creativity, we know that the future of our exhibits lies in more-than-capable hands, and we look forward to announcing what’s next on the horizon soon.”

“The International Spy Museum has inspired me for many years with its historic collections and unique exhibitions,” said Keane. “Intelligence has taken on a new meaning in our modern world – and the mission of this organization is more important than ever.  I am excited to help shape the future of the Museum at such a pivotal time.” 


About the International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum, an independent nonprofit organization, is the only public museum in the United States to lift the veil on the tradecraft, history, and contemporary role of espionage and intelligence from a global perspective. The Museum’s mission is to create compelling exhibitions and other learning experiences that shed light on the shadow world of espionage and intelligence, educating and challenging each of us to engage critically with the complex world around us. The Museum's collection chronicles the history of espionage, from its inception to the modern-day challenges facing intelligence professionals worldwide in the 21st century. The original Spy Museum opened in 2002. Its new, expanded building and all-new exhibitions opened in May 2019 to much acclaim.

For more information, please visit