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The Chief Executive Program™
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Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy »

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The Chief Executive Program


Funding Partners

The development of this program was made possible by the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Fidelity Foundation and The Kresge Foundation.

These three foundations have made an extraordinary commitment over many years to help arts and culture institutions address key challenges. We would like to thank each of them for their support – for NAS and the cultural sector.

About the Community

Across the cultural field and around the globe, there are leaders thinking creatively about the problems they face – finding new ways to engage with their communities, experimenting with their models and leading their organizations through an environment that is rapidly changing. The Chief Executive Program is designed as a place to help those outstanding leaders who are pushing forward along that path and tackling the big questions facing the field.

We are currently working with the third class of this program. Leaders in this class represent organizations that respond to community needs. We will continue to challenge these leaders to think about how to respond individually, in their own organizations and as a community of top cultural executives.

Learn more about the program »

The Current Class

These leaders are currently engaged in this unique professional development experience designed for CEOs working at the intersection of culture and community. Click on an image to learn more about the executive.

Neil Barclay Jim Beirne Michael Bobbitt Jennifer Boomgaarden Tony Butler Polly Carl Tim Carroll Uli Das Robert Davidson Gretchen Dietrich Lucinda Einhouse Ahmed El Attar Patricia Finneran Gary Ginstling Daniel Gorman Brent Hasty Jeffreen Hayes Cristy Johnston Limon Anne Katz Geoffrey Kershner Karen Kienzle Scott Kratz Lex Leifheit Sheila Lewandowski Frank Little Maria Claudia Lopez Karen Mack Jeff McCarter Lynne McCormack Hope McMath Tanner Methvin Andreas Mitisek Donna Neuwirth Adam Philipson Kelly Pollock Michael Rohd Abe Rybeck Susan Schardt Roger Schmidt Michael Seiwerath Michael Shanklin Scott Showalter Connie Spreen Tracy Straus Alicia Sutton Clyde Valentin Carol Varney Gerd Wuestemann



“The program provided an extraordinary opportunity to reflect on the nature of our sector, especially as it relates to my specific organization. It was intellectually stimulating and provided a needed boost for the work ahead. I loved the opportunity to be with and learn from peers—in both the formal and informal settings and structure of the convenings. The new friendships and broader network will be invaluable moving forward. I am forever grateful to all in the program at NAS and the funders for providing this incredible professional development and renewal experience.”

Cathy Leff
Director, The Wolfsonian- Florida International University


“During my sixteen years as an arts organization CEO, I have attended numerous professional development sessions offered by highly reputed business schools, leadership institutes and consultants. The Chief Executive Program was exponentially more relevant, insightful and applicable. It was carefully structured to build our knowledge and engagement with an evolving curriculum over a multi-year period. It was considerate of a CEO's time constraints, and it capitalized on the tremendous synergy and intellectual equity of a broad mix of arts leadership across the field.”

Leslie Greene Bowman
President, The Thomas Jefferson Foundation


“As a new executive director, this opportunity was invaluable. It gave me the resources, the tools and most of all, the space to explore how I could best support my organization both strategically and tactically.”

Nina Simon
Executive Director, Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History


“My experience was transformative. Every session widened my perspective, deepened my connections internationally, and strengthened my ability to build a better, more responsive and more relevant organization. My organization is already better positioned to serve in the future.”

Andrew Proctor
Executive Director, Literary Arts in Portland



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