Nancy E.

General Counsel

Nancy E. Weiss serves as General Counsel of the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as a member of the Senior Executive Service. In this capacity, she advises the Director of IMLS, the National Museum and Library Services Board, and agency officials on the legal aspects of cultural activity, grant-making, public-private partnerships, and the full range of legal issues involving in carrying out the work of a federal agency that supports 35,000 museums and 123,000 libraries through research, policy development, and programs of financial assistance. She serves as the Secretary to the National Museum and Library Services Board, a presidentially-appointed policy advisory board.

Nancy currently serves on the U.S. delegation to the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights at the World Intellectual Property Organization, and has represented the United States Government on delegations to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and international conferences relating to Holocaust-Era Assets. In several of these positions she has played a key role in drafting international instruments pertaining to copyright and digital content, cultural activity and expression, human rights and information policy, and Nazi-confiscated art.  

Prior to joining IMLS, Nancy served as Deputy General Counsel of the National Endowment for the Humanities, where she also provided counsel to the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Program (which helps defray the costs associated with international museum exhibitions) and represented the agency on the National Archives Trust Fund Board.

Earlier in her career, she practiced litigation and media law at Williams and Connolly in Washington D.C., held a legal research fellowship in New Delhi, India, and held a federal judicial clerkship with the Hon. William W Schwarzer (N.D. California and Director of the Federal Judicial Center). Prior to attending law school, Nancy directed a student retention program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Nancy graduated with honors from the University of Michigan Law School, and phi beta kappa with a degree in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She has been admitted to the bars of California and the District of Columbia.