VMFA appoints new government relations director to advocate for museum’s interests, resources

VMFA appoints new government relations director to advocate for museum’s interests, resources

Katie Payne comes to the museum from Williams Mullen, where she has worked in government relations for the past decade.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Foundation (VMFAF) has named Katie Wallmeyer Payne as its new Director of Government Relations. Payne will work to increase awareness of VMFA’s statewide contributions as she represents the museum before local, state and federal legislators and officials on issues that affect resources and support for its mission. She will begin in the new role June 11th.

In her new position, Payne will strengthen the VMFA’s ability to deliver superior state-wide educational and visitor experiences as outlined in their strategic plan. She will also work with other statewide partners including museums and educational institutions to advance educational, art and cultural priorities of the state.

Payne joins the VMFA with nearly 10 years of experience in government relations working with Williams Mullen, LLP. Throughout her career, Payne has worked on a wide range of assignments assisting international corporations, Virginia-based businesses, trade associations and public entities — including VMFA — with government relations, legislative advocacy, business development and regulatory matters.

“Katie’s vast range of experience working with a variety of clients, her relationships with Virginia legislators, and her expertise in government relations and policy matters has positioned her to become a strong advocate for VMFA,” Director Alex Nyerges said. “We are thrilled that Katie has agreed to join the Foundation to leverage our unique position as a state institution to help us become a stronger museum leader in education and public engagement.”

Payne earned an undergraduate degree in public policy from the College of William & Mary and her law degree from the University of Richmond School of Law where she was editor-in-chief of Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest.

“I am thrilled to be joining the dynamic team at VMFA,” Payne said.  “As a native of Richmond, I was fortunate to grow up with VMFA in my own backyard.  In this new role, I look forward to increasing awareness among our local, state and federal representatives of the museum’s contributions across the Commonwealth.”