Board & Staff


Rachel de W. Wixom, CEO  Rachel’s extensive experience includes ten years as Head of Publications of the Whitney Museum of American Art and Editor and Production Director, teNeues Publishing Company. She is a graduate of Wells College and has a Goethe-Institut Zertifikat, German as a Foreign Language.

Bruce Bernstein, PhD, Director of Innovation & Senior Curator
Bruce develops the Coe Center public programming, working directly with Indigenous artists and the permanent collection of traditional arts. His previous positions include Assistant Director for Collections and Research at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution; Chief Curator and Director of Santa Fe’s Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and Laboratory of Anthropology; and Executive Director of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts. He has dedicated his three decades of work in museums to collaborative work and modeling new partnerships.

Bess Murphy, PhD, Curator
Bess assists in developing and coordinating public programs including workshops, conversations, research visits and demonstrations with Native American artists from across New Mexico and beyond. She also runs the Coe’s Hands-On Student Curators Program, now in its fifth year. She has a M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Southern California and was the co-founder and curator of the A.D. Collective in Santa Fe, an artist-run alternative exhibition space and community.

Jennifer Juan (Tohono O’odham), Coe Fellow
Jennifer worked for the Tohono O’odham Nation Cultural Center & Museum from 2005 to 2017. Her work focused on educational programs and exhibitions for the tribal community, and the general public. She was a Native American Fellow at the Peabody Essex Museum in 2017. She is currently completing her Museum Studies program at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA).

Mary Schmidt, Development Officer  
A New Mexico native, Mary has extensive development experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. As a consultant, her clients have ranged from artists to global technology companies. Past nonprofit clients include The Loan Fund and Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity. She has served on numerous boards, including as president of the Albuquerque Independent Business Alliance. Her personal mission statement is “Make a Difference and have fun doing it!”

Board of Directors

President: Ben Allison, Attorney
Managing Partner, Bardacke Allison LLP
Ben was selected as a 2015 Benchmark Litigation star in New Mexico for his commercial and intellectual property litigation results. Ben is lead counsel for the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd and is a regularly invited nationwide speaker on intellectual property and trial issues. He is admitted to practice law in New Mexico and New York, where he began his career at Dewey Ballantine LLP after serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul J. Kelly, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Ben and his wife Newlyn have four daughters and one son. In his spare time, Ben enjoys running with Newlyn, cooking, and occasionally serving as piano accompanist for their daughters.

Treasurer: Mark French, retired (banking)
Mark also serves on the board of the New Mexico Performance Arts Society

Secretary: Teri Greeves (Kiowa)
Teri is a contemporary beadwork artist, to tell the story of the American Indian, both contemporary and historical. Her works include beaded books, jewelry, and even high top sneakers! Her work is found in such public collections as the Heard Museum in Phoenix, the Museum of Arts and Design, the Brooklyn Museum, the Denver Art Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Fine Arts of Santa Fe, and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, among others.

Director: Vanessa Elmore (Colombian-American)
Vanessa is a professional art appraiser, specializing in Art of the Americas, and has been in the art industry for over twenty years. Based in Santa Fe, she has handled countless numbers of arts objects, spanning from pre-historic to contemporary cultures. She had a long friendship and professional relationship with the founder, Ted Coe and his family, and therefore supports the Coe Center wholeheartedly.

Director: Kenneth Johnson (Musogee/Seminole)
Kenneth is a contemporary Native American designer and metalsmith  with a career spanning over two decades. His career achievements include a one man show at the Creek Council House Museum, the 2005 Santa Fe Indian Market’s “Most Creative Use Of Stampwork” Standards Jewelry award, the 1999 Smithsonian Museum/NMAI’s Artist-in-Residence and a 1997 Santa Fe Indian Market Artist Fellowship, among others. His professional service includes teaching jewelry workshops for the Creek Council House Museum, SWAIA board of directors Co-chair; and Council of Artists chair where he represented the interests of over 1000 artists to that board.

Director: William (Will) Wilson (Diné)
Will is a Diné photographer who spent his formative years living in the Navajo Nation. Born in San Francisco in 1969, Wilson studied photography at the University of New Mexico and Oberlin College. Wilson has held visiting professorships at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Oberlin College, and the University of Arizona.  Wilson managed the National Vision Project, a Ford Foundation funded initiative at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, and helped to coordinate the New Mexico Arts Temporary Installations Made for the Environment (TIME) program on the Navajo Nation. Wilson is part of the Science and Arts Research Collaborative and has had numerous exhibitions and artist residencies.

Director: Rachel de W. Wixom
Rachel is the CEO of the Coe, having led the development of the current center from idea to reality. Her extensive experience includes ten years as Head of Publications of the Whitney Museum of American Art and Editor and Production Director, teNeues Publishing Company. She is a graduate of Wells College and has a Goethe-Institut Zertifikat, German as a Foreign Language.

Honorary Board of Directors

Kenneth Bateman
John A. Berkenfeld
Ralph T. Coe, in Memoriam
Patricia M. Newman
Gerald G. Steibel
Eugene V. Thaw, In Memoriam