Meet the Research and Policy Team

Marete Wester

Senior Director of Arts Policy
Favorite Art Form: 


Marete joined the staff of Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization advancing the arts in America, as Director of Arts Policy in April of 2006. In her current role she is responsible for the development of cross-sector policy issues and related strategic alliances nationally and internationally. Among her focus areas include arts and the military, economic statecraft through creativity and entrepreneurship, as well as health, education and the environment. In 2006 and 2007 respectively, she launched and implemented over the past six years, Americans for the Arts’ signature policy forums, the National Arts Policy Roundtable in partnership with the Sundance Institute, and the annual Aspen Seminar for Leadership in the Arts. An experienced administrator of cross-sector collaborations and initiative development, she co-chairs the Steering Committee for the National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military—an effort that brings branches of the military in collaboration with civilian agencies to advance the policy, practice, and quality use of arts and creativity as tools for health in the military and increase access to the arts as tools for health available to all active duty military, staff, family members, and veterans. She is currently co-leading the Partners for New Beginnings—North Africa Partners for Economic Opportunity (PNB-NAPEO) Creative Industries and Cultural Economy Incubator, in collaboration with the State Department Economic Bureau, the Aspen Institute PNB-NAPEO Secretariat and the local NAPEO advisory board in Algeria, and Creative Leaps International. The NAPEO Creative Industries and Cultural Economy Incubator focuses on economic development through the creative industries and in building international economic and cultural partnerships between the United States, Algeria, and the Maghreb region.

With more than 20 years experience in management, organizational development, and partnership building, Ms. Wester has developed on-site and online management courses for Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ and the Arts Extension Service at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and authored numerous articles and publications. She spearheaded organization restructuring and development for two statewide arts service organizations, and led major statewide public/private partnerships and initiatives. An experienced fundraiser, she has raised more than $5 million in public and private grant funds as Executive Director of Dance New Jersey, and the Alliance for Arts Education/New Jersey (AAE/NJ). She holds a bachelor's of music performance degree from Wilkes University, PA and a master's degree in Arts Administration from Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Research and Policy