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 our second class of this program. While the classes represent two distinct 18-month experiences, we see this as a singular community of leaders with a shared goal. As we ready for the third class, we want to integrate and activate this network. 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.
These 50 leaders are currently engaged in this unique professional development experience. Click on an image to explore the executive's biography, work and thoughts on the issues facing art and culture institutions.
The Chief Executive Program Fellows
The participants listed below were members of the first class of The Chief Executive Program. They continue to work individually and collectively on the big issues facing the field. Click on an image to explore the executive's biography, work and thoughts on the issues facing art and culture institutions.
“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.”
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.”
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
The complex issues involved in leading a cultural nonprofit today can challenge even the most skilled management team. Using our first-hand experience in the arts and working with faculty from leading business and graduate schools, we deliver executive-level programs that help you find new opportunities, manage your resources and lead your organization toward its mission.