Senior Staff

Senior Staff

Meet the people who make CMOM such a special place to learn and play!

Andy Ackerman, Executive Director

Andy Ackerman has served as Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan since 1990. Throughout this time he has been responsible for our management and artistic direction. Since Andy first joined CMOM, the Museum has doubled its attendance and budget and completed a 10,000 square feet addition

Andy began his museum career in 1975 as an instructor at The Exhibit Museum in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he taught history and natural science to school groups and conceived and implemented a program for preschoolers. In 1977, he returned to his native New York to become Director of Education of The Jewish Museum. He held that position until 1985, when he became Assistant Director of The Jewish Museum, responsible for long-range program planning, fundraising and the integration of audio-visual technology into exhibition programs.

From 1986 to 1990, Andy served as Director of the Arts in Education Program of the New York State Council on the Arts. He set funding guidelines for the program and worked with the New York State Department of Education on long-range planning for arts education and environmental science.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Herbert H. Lehman College in the Bronx, where he studied anthropology, Andy went on to participate in the Overseas Program of Tel-Aviv University and earned his M.A. in Near Eastern Studies in 1976 from the University of Michigan. He participated in archaeological digs in Israel as area supervisor and field supervisor of the Emeq Hefer Regional Project (1982-83), an activity that is reflected in his publications, which include "Israel in Antiquity", written with Susan Braunstein (winner of a National Jewish Book Award, 1982).

Andy served as President of the Association of Children’s Museum from 1998-2000 and is a member of the Executive Committee of the New York City Arts Coalition.

Leslie Bushara, Deputy Director for Education and Guest Services

Leslie Bushara has been with CMOM since 1993. As Director for Early Childhood Programs at CMOM, she designed curricula and taught early childhood education classes to both children and parents and has developed outreach programs for the Teen Parent Literacy Program, Shelter Program, CUNY NYC Early Childhood Professional Development Institute and the Bronx Early Childhood Initiative. Leslie was the project director for PlayHelps, a national play and learning outreach program for families in New Orleans in response to Hurricane Katrina.

As Deputy Director for Education and Guest Services at CMOM, Leslie oversees all programs, curricula and grants for public school and outreach programs including Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the Access Family Outreach. In addition, Leslie was the early childhood specialist and exhibit developer for CMOM exhibits Seuss!; Winnie the Pooh; Just Off Broadway; WordPlay; Oh, Seuss! Off to Great Places; Dora the Explorer; Little West Side and PlayWorks™.

Leslie earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Early Childhood from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Her prior experience includes teaching at the Rhythm & Glues Preschool, the Corlears School and the Discovery Program. She has written articles for family journals in New York City and for the Association of Children’s Museums’ journal publication,"Hand to Hand". She has designed curricula and programs for the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, the Jewish Community Center in New York City, Children’s Museum of Puerto Rico, Stepping Stones Museum for Children and the Long Island Children’s Museum. Leslie has been interviewed for National Public Radio regarding her work with families living in shelters and presented at the Young Children Without Homes National Conference in Boston. She has been a panelist and presenter at the New York City Museum Educator’s Roundtable, The Institute for Museum and Library Services and at conferences sponsored by the Association of Children’s Museums. Leslie is on the advisory boards of CUNY NYC Early Childhood PDI and NYC playgroup. Leslie has been a guest lecturer at Bank Street College and New York University’s Graduate School of Education.



Executive Director Andy Ackerman Email Andy
Manager, Office of the Executive Director Melissa DeCesare Email Melissa
Senior Manager, Finance Devan Jairam Email Devan
Director, IT Liz Tsaoussis Email Liz
Manager, Office and Guest Services Liz Tsaoussis Email Liz
Weekend Supervisor and Administrative Assistant Ray Matias Email Ray
Coordinator, Front Office Carmen Cruz Email Carmen

Public Relations

Director of PR and Communications 212-721-1223 ext. 229 Todd McGovern Email Todd

Building Operations

Director of Exhibitions and Museum Operations Thomas Quaranta Email Thomas
Director, Building Operations Jose Ortiz Email Jose


Deputy Director, Education and Guest Services Leslie Bushara Email Leslie
Director, Public Programs Rita London Email Rita
Manager, Community Outreach and Internships David Rios Email David
Supervisor, School Programs Laura Shortt Email Laura
Manager, Public Programs Jamie Kim Email Jamie
Manager, Administration and Education Susan Lim Email Susan


Director of Exhibitions and Museum Operations Thomas Quaranta Email Thomas
Senior Exhibition Developer Lizzy Martin Email Lizzy
Manager, Exhibition Shop Wilson Diodonet Email Wilson
Art Director Kristin Lilley Email Kristin
Graphic Designer Alexandra Tirer Email Alexandra

External Affairs

Director of Development Callie Siegel Email Callie
Development Consultant Yalda Nikoomanesh Email Yalda
Grants Manager Christine Dillon Email Christine
Development Associate Lauren DeCaro Lauren DeCaro
Membership Liz Tsaoussis Email Liz
Director of PR and Communications Todd McGovern Email Todd


Manager, Retail Operations Devan Jairam Email Devan

Parties and Rentals

Manager, Birthday Parties Katie Hartman Email Katie
Please Note: All birthday party reservations must be made by phone: 212-721-1223.  
Private Functions and Corporate Events Lauren DeCaro Lauren DeCaro

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Early Childhood »
Access to CMOM »

Shop 24/7 at the CMOM Store

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Arts and Crafts »
Adventures with Dora and Diego »
Music »
New York City Gifts »
Playworks™ »
Science »
Wooden Toys »

Save the Date!
CMOM 2014 Spring Gala

Thursday, 15 May 2014
The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers


Getting Creative with Art: Winter Wonderland Sculpture, 10:00am

4 & younger

Sculpt your own winter wonderland ornament!

Movement & Circle Time, 11:30am

4 & younger

Sing, move your body and use your listening ears to hear special stories.

Getting Creative with Art: Winter Wonderland Sculpture, 12:15pm

4 & younger

Sculpt your own winter wonderland ornament!

CMOM Kamishibai , 2:00pm

All ages

Kamishibai is a traditional form of Japanese storytelling. Join CMOM educators for an interactive telling of traditional and modern, kawaii-inspired stories.


Mural Wall Painting, 2:00pm

4 & younger

3D Mascot Maker, 3:00pm

All ages

In Tokyo, the child-inspired phenomenon of kawaii has influenced corporations and local governments to create their own “too cute” mascots. Create a 3D mascot of your own to represent your family, school or sports team!


Movement & Circle Time, 4:00pm

4 & younger

Sing, move your body and use your listening ears to hear special stories.

Full Calendar