Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum today announces new trustee and staff appointments. Helen Hintz and Margaret Gould Stewart join Cooper Hewitt’s board of trustees. Led by chair Barbara Mandel and president Beth Comstock, the board includes 34 distinguished civic and business leaders dedicated to the growth of the museum. The museum also welcomes Ruki Ravikumar, director of education.

“It’s my tremendous pleasure to welcome these three phenomenal women to Cooper Hewitt,” said Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt. “Leaders of their fields and champions of design, their wisdom and experience will greatly benefit the museum as we continue our growth as a dynamic, global resource for the public understanding of design.”


Hintz is a member of the board of directors of Jericho Project, which provides housing and life-changing services to homeless and at-risk individuals and families, and is a former member of the Columbia-Presbyterian Health Sciences Advisory Council. Additionally, she is a former adjunct professor of food service management at New York University, and also worked for Nabisco Brands where she was involved in new product ideation and product marketing. Hintz graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in consumer services and earned a master’s degree in nutrition from New York University. She was vice chair of the Pennsylvania State University’s College of Health and Human Development Grand Destiny Campaign Committee, as well as chair of the Campaign’s Women in Philanthropy Committee.



Stewart is vice president of product design at Facebook, leading a global team of more than 300 product designers and researchers who create tools for businesses to connect with customers all around the world. She has been a leader in the field of user experience for over 20 years. After graduating from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program in 1995, she consulted with media companies such as The New York Times, Time-Warner and Scholastic to develop many of their first web properties. She subsequently joined Tripod, Inc., the pioneering homepage-building site and online community, in 1995 as its first creative director (Tripod was acquired by Lycos, Inc. in 1998). Before joining Facebook, Stewart served as director of user experience at YouTube, overseeing the design of all YouTube’s products globally. Prior to that role, she led Google’s Search and Consumer Products User Experience team. She is a regular speaker at conferences such as TED and AIGA, and publishes her thoughts on design and leadership on and on her blog, Fountly.


As director of education, Ravikumar serves as the principal leader responsible for expanding Cooper Hewitt’s educational outreach initiatives, including the National Design Awards, Design in the Classroom National and the National High School Design Competition, both nationally and globally. She joins the museum following 13 years at the University of Central Oklahoma, where she held successive positions as professor of graphic design, chair of the Department of Design; assistant dean; director of graduate programs; and most recently, as associate dean of the College of Fine Arts & Design. Further, she is active in AIGA, where she has served in leadership roles on the local and national levels. Ravikumar holds a bachelor’s degree in the history of fine art and drawing and painting from the University of Madras, and a master’s of fine art in graphic design from Iowa State University.

about cooper Hewitt, smithsonian design museum

Founded in 1897, Cooper Hewitt is the only museum in the United States devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Housed in the renovated and restored Carnegie Mansion, Cooper Hewitt showcases one of the most diverse and comprehensive collections of design works in existence. The museum’s restoration, modernization and expansion have won numerous awards and honors, including a Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy, a Gold Pencil Award for Best in Responsive Environments and LEED Silver certification. Cooper Hewitt offers a full range of interactive capabilities and immersive creative experiences, including the Cooper Hewitt Pen that allows visitors to “collect” and “save” objects from around the galleries, the opportunity to explore the collection digitally on ultra-high-definition touch-screen tables, and draw and project their own wallpaper designs in the Immersion Room.

Cooper Hewitt is located at 2 East 91st Street at Fifth Avenue in New York City. Hours are Sunday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden and Tarallucci e Vino cafe open at 8 a.m., Monday through Friday, and are accessible without an admissions ticket through the East 90th Street entrance. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Public transit routes include the Lexington Avenue 4, 5 and 6 subways (86th or 96th Street stations), the Second Avenue Q subway (96th Street station), and the Fifth and Madison Avenue buses. Adult admission, $16 in advance via, $18 at door; seniors, $10 in advance via, $12 at door; students, $7 in advance via, $9 at door. Cooper Hewitt members and children younger than age 18 are admitted free. Pay What You Wish every Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. The museum is fully accessible.

For further information, call (212) 849-8400, visit Cooper Hewitt’s website at and follow the museum on, and