Carter Arnot Polakoff Named President & CEO of Port Discovery Children’s Museum

Carter Arnot Polakoff President & Chief Executive Officer

Port Discovery Children’s Museum has named former intern and founding staff member Carter Arnot Polakoff to be the Museum’s next President & CEO.  

Baltimore, MD (October 26, 2021) – Port Discovery Children’s Museum’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Carter Arnot Polakoff, a former Port Discovery intern and founding staff member, has been selected as the Museum’s next President & CEO, effective immediately.  

Selected after a nationwide search, Polakoff replaces Bryn Parchman, who retired in October 2021.  

Polakoff proudly assumes the role of President & CEO at Port Discovery after starting her career at the Museum as an intern and founding staff member, then spending more than 20 years at Baltimore School for the Arts working in roles ranging from Development Associate to Foundation Director. In 2020, Polakoff returned to Port Discovery Children’s Museum to lead fundraising and external affairs efforts at the Museum. In 2021, she was promoted to also oversee Museum operations as Executive Vice President of Port Discovery in 2021. 

“When children come to Port Discovery Children’s Museum, they are creating memories that will stay with them throughout their lives,” said Polakoff. “There’s nothing more powerful and important than the impact those memories can have, both for children and for the adults in their lives. It’s a rare, important opportunity to be able to create experiences that create joy, that ignite imaginations, and that bring communities together, and I could not be prouder or more excited to lead Port Discovery’s teams of educators, dreamers, planners, and play experts as they do just that.”  

“Carter is an inspiring, compassionate and thoughtful leader who understands Port Discovery’s mission, and the importance of building relationships with community members to help develop programs, experiences, resources and places where our community can connect through and benefit from play,” said Dennis Rasmussen, Chair of Port Discovery’s Board of Directors. “Carter’s focus on inspiring and supporting staff members, embracing innovation and change, and creating community connection is energizing, and will surely power Port Discovery’s efforts to continue providing our community with play, learning and resources that they will value for years to come.”   

Carter lives in Baltimore City with her husband Sam, her teenage sons Nate and Samson, and dog Hogan. She is a graduate of Goucher College and is also a 2019 graduate of Baltimore’s flagship civic engagement program, The Leadership. When Carter isn’t working, you’ll often find her playing at Port Discovery, enjoying time with friends and family at community events and festivals, or relaxing near a riverbank.  

About Port Discovery Children’s Museum
As the premier children’s museum in the mid-Atlantic, Port Discovery Children’s Museum educates children and inspires life-long curiosity. Our play-to-learn philosophy opens the door for children to discover and explore the world around them and to lead smarter, healthier, more engaged lives. The Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution, offers 3 floors of educational, interactive exhibits and programs and is ranked among the Top Children’s Museums in the United States. To learn more, visit    


MEDIA CONTACT: Sophie Shippe,, 410.864.2681