Douglas Stark’s career has focused on making history more engaging, relevant, and accessible to a diverse audience. His experience includes strategic planning, fiscal management, project management, facility development, historic preservation, collections care, content and exhibition development, branding and messaging, product development, programming and outreach, and audience engagement. Through the lens of sports and sports history, he has created not just museum engagements, but public forums for important contemporary conversations about race, gender, and social justice. Throughout, sport plays a significant role as a form of cultural expression and an agent for social change.
For 13 years, Doug served as Museum Director of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Under his leadership, the museum underwent a $3 million renovation to the visitor experience in 2015, initiated a long-term digitization project of its collection along with award-winning online exhibitions, grew its world-class collection, developed traveling exhibitions, and elevated its national and international reputation. He successfully directed the museum’s accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, becoming the first sports hall of fame to be accredited. He oversaw acceptance of the museum as the first independent sports hall of fame to be named a Smithsonian Affiliate.
Additionally, Stark focused on the preservation of the Newport Casino, home to the museum and a National Historical Landmark. His efforts led the museum to the Stewardship Award by Preserve RI/The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, and the Doris Duke Preservation Award by the Newport Restoration Foundation. He successfully directed the Tennis Hall of Fame’s accredited (AIA RI) architectural symposium for eight years.
From 1998 to 2008, Stark held positions at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the United States Golf Association Museum, where he was part of capital projects that rebuilt two sports museums. He currently serves as a consultant to two new sports museums under development--The Sailing Museum and the International Marathon Center. Doug has been an adjunct professor/lecturer in the Museum Studies Program at Harvard University. He received the 2016 International Sports Heritage Association’s (ISHA) W.R. “Bill” Schroeder Award for Meritorious Service. He is past President of the New England Museum Association (NEMA) and received a NEMA Excellence Award in 2021.
A native of Massachusetts, Stark holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in non-profit management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He pursued graduate studies at New York University where he earned an M.A. in American history and dual certification in Museum Studies, Archival Management, Historical Society Administration, and Historical Editing. He is a graduate of Brandeis University where he received his B.A. in American History with a minor in the History of Art.
Stark speaks regularly on the role of sports history and museum practices and is the author of several basketball books and is currently co-editing volumes about sports interpretation, and race and sports
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