As an independent museum consultant (2000–12), Mack advised organizations nationwide and internationally on museum organizational and strategic planning, interpretive and exhibition development, and cultural and heritage tourism. She also served on the Smithsonian Council (1999–2005) and the NMAAHC Scholarly Advisory Committee (2005–11). She is an active service member of several professional organizations, including the Association of African American Museums (board of trustees and vice president, 2011–15); Southeast Museums Conference (board of trustees); National Council on Public History (editorial board of The Public Historian, 2013–18); and the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services as a peer reviewer. Mack holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in anthropology from Northwestern University and a B.A. in geography from the University of Chicago.
The museum welcomes Deborah L. Mack, Ph.D., as the National Museum of African Art’s interim director! Mack joins NMAfA from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) where she serves as the associate director for strategic partnerships. Since 2012 she has been responsible for overall planning, management, and coordination of professional partnership programs and international activities, including strategic alliances that promote organizational capacity building and sustainability, professional development, and institutional best practices.