Haili Francis is an artist, scholar and Harvard trained cultural producer with specialties in African American and contemporary art. While pursuing her bachelor of fine arts at the University of Southern California, she completed a Getty Multicultural Internship at the California African American Museum and studied abroad in a fine arts program in Italy. She also received a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from USC and served on the Museum Services Council at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 2009-2011. Haili has worked extensively with the Kinsey Foundation for Arts and Education and their award-winning private African American art collection, The Kinsey African American Art and History Collection.
As a museum practitioner at the Smithsonian, Haili has worked in fundraising, board management, and creative projects such as the nationally touring exhibitions, Men of Change: Power. Triumph, Truth., Robert Blackburn & Modern Printmaking and Negro Motorist Green Book. Her dedication to arts leadership and public service led to an appointment to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Board in 2016 by Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, DC, in which Haili helped steward a $30M annual budget for arts funding in the nation’s capital. Her commitment to inclusive practices within the cultural sector led to an invitation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) to serve on the 2017 National Program Committee for the annual Museum Conference under the theme, “Gateways for Understanding: Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion.” Currently, Haili leads the Advancement department at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and writes about contemporary Black art and fashion in Folklife Magazine.
Haili taught the inaugural African American Art History I & II courses at Trinity Washington University and is an alumna of the Getty Leadership Institute and AAM/Getty Career Management Fellowship. She has a Masters in Museum Studies from Harvard where she was awarded the Derek Bok Public Service Prize at commencement and serves on the board of the Washington, DC chapter of the Harvard Black Alumni Society.