Maya Allison is founding Director of the Art Gallery and Chief Curator at New York University Abu Dhabi. Her background is in academic museums, including at the RISD Museum (Rhode Island School of Design) and Curator at the Bell Gallery (Brown University). She was also director of the city-wide, international new media showcase Pixilerations, and of the 5 Traverse Gallery, both in Providence, RI, USA. She holds an MFA from Columbia University, a BA in art history from Reed College, and was awarded a research fellowship on curatorial practices at Brown University's Center for Public Humanities.

She has curated numerous exhibitions at these and other institutions. Those for which she developed book-length projects include Wunderground: Providence, 1995 to the Present (RISD Museum, 2006), Slavs and Tatars: Mirrors for Princes (JRP | Ringier, 2015, with NYUAD Art Gallery and Kunsthalle Zurich), Diana Al-Hadid: Phantom Limb (Skira, 2016, with NYUAD Art Gallery and Brown University), and But We Cannot See Them: Tracing a UAE Art Community, 1988-2008 (Akkadia, 2017 with NYUAD Art Gallery). Through a series of in-depth interviews, But We Cannot See Them surveyed a particular UAE avant-garde community of artists and writers, among them Hassan Sharif, over two decades of vibrant activity prior to the international art world's intense focus on the UAE after its announcement of the Saadiyat Island museums plan.