Thomas Krens, Chairman & CEO GCAM
New York, NY, USA
Director Emeritus Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation New York
Former Director and Chief Artistic Officer Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation New York 1988-2008
Recent: For 20 years, Director and Chief Artistic Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which oversees and operates five museums—the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin, and the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum Las Vegas; produced 292 exhibitions for the Guggenheim network (1988-2008). As Guggenheim Director, Mr. Krens doubled the size of the Guggenheim Collection; completed two major restorations of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Guggenheim Museum New York; doubled the size of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Venice; increased Foundation endowment from $25 million to $130 million; and conceived of and executed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin.
Awards/Education: Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from Yale University (2004), Williams College (2003), and the State University of New York at Albany (1990); Golden Lion Prize for Architectural Patronage at the Venice Architecture Biennale (2000); Lifetime Achievement Award, Americans for the Arts (2007); decorated with the Order of the Aztec Eagle by the Government of Mexico (2007); MBA Yale University (1984); MA State University of New York (1971); BA Williams College (1969).
History: Assistant Professor of Art History, Williams College (1974-1982); Director of the Williams College Museum of Art and Adjunct Professor of Art History (1982-1988); Lecturer, Yale University School of Management 1990-1991); founder and Chairman of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) 1988-1992.
Memberships/Boards: the Association of Art Museum Directors; the Reunion de Musées Nationaux, Paris; the Council on Foreign Relations, New York; and the Societé Kandinsky of Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
Senior Vice-President and Curator
Founder of MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, USA (1994)
Former Director of the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), Vienna (1986-2011)
During his tenure as the Artistic Director and CEO of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture (1986-2011), Peter Noever successfully transformed the institution into a trailblazing force representing a unique crossover between art, applied art, architecture, and design on an international scale. An authority in the field of design and architecture, Mr. Noever publishes widely and lectures at various international institutions in Europe, the US and Asia.
Among the exhibitions he curated are Anish Kapoor - Shooting into the Corner at the MAK (2009), Zaha Hadid - Architecture (2003), and Richard Prince - Up-state (2000). He has been a juror for international architecture competitions, including the 7th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, Italy, and continues as curator, designer, lecturer, and writer.
Senior Vice-President and Curator
Former Senior Curator of Contemporary Art of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York (1989-2008)
Artistic Director of the Prada Foundation, Milan (1998-present)
Germano Celant is widely recognized as one of the most influential interpreters of the late 20th century avant-garde. Mr. Celant is internationally acknowledged for his theories as one of the principal proponents on Arte Povera, a term he coined for that movement. He has curated hundreds of exhibitions in the most prominent international museums and institutions worldwide, including the anthological exhibition of Frank Gehry 1998-2008 for the Triennale of Milano. He also supervised the opening of the Annabianca and Emilio Vedova Foundation in Venice (with the building project by Renzo Piano). In collaboration with Rem Koolhaas and Miuccia Prada, he oversaw the conceptualization and realization of the new location of the Prada Foundation, opened in Milan in 2015.
Dr. Wilfried Seipel
Senior Vice-President and Curator
Director, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna (1990-2008)
Recent: As General Director of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Dr. Seipel has conceived of and organized more than 350 exhibitions covering a wide range of artistic and cultural themes. These exhibitions have significantly promoted and refined the professional standing of the Kunsthistorisches Museum within the global museum landscape. Since 1976, Wilfried has participated in numerous archaeological excavations in Egypt (Middle Egypt and the Nile Delta) and traveled extensively to the Middle East, primarily in Egypt, Northern Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and Iraq.
Awards/Education: University of Vienna, Austria (1956); University of Heidelberg, Germany (1980); Kommandeurkreuz des Adlerordens, Mexico (1994); Conciliare dell`Ordre Ufficiale, Italy (1995); Silberner Verdienstorden des Landes Niederösterreich, Austria (1998); Verleihung des Ehrentitels Professor, Austria (1999); mandeurkreuz des Ordens Isabel la Catolica, Spain (1999); Großkommandeurkreuz des Phönixordens, Greece (2000); Kommandeurkreuz Ordre Leopold des Leopold Ordens, Belgium (2000); Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst 1. Klasse, Austria (2000); Kommandeurkreuz des Verdienstordens der Republik Ungarn mit Stern, Hungary (2004); Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres; Orden für Kulturelle Verdienste für die Republik Polen, Polande (2003)
History: Former Director of the Regional Museum of Upper Austria Linz, Austria 1985-1990); Former Director of the City Museums - Konstanz, Germany (1980); Professor of Egyptology, University of Hamburg (1983).
Daniel J. Arbess
New York, USA
Daniel J. Arbess is a professional investor and policy analyst recognized for his prescient calls on multi-year macro economic and geopolitical developments. He is a former Partner and Head of the Global Privatization practice group at White & Case from 1992, co-founder of investment firms Stratton Investments and Triton Partners (’95-’02) and founder of Xerion Investments and the $3.25 Billion Xerion Hedge Funds, which he managed from 2003 to 2014. Dan is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and co-Founder of No Labels, a U.S. political organization promoting collaboration across the political spectrum.
Governor William F. Weld
Boston, MA USA
William Weld is an attorney, businessman, and politician who was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 1990 and reelected in 1994 with 71% of the vote. He reduced taxes and unemployment and his pro-business policies are widely considered to have made a positive impact on the state. As Governor, he led sixteen official trade missions to Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. He also served as national co-chair of the Privatization Council, which pioneered public-private partnerships, particularly in the area of infrastructure. He also deregulated the electric industry, creating a model for other US states to follow to introduce competition and market mechanisms. In 2016, Weld received four and half million votes as the Vice-Presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party, culturally liberal and fiscally conservative. This was more than triple the party’s best previous showing. Weld served in Washington as an Assistant US Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department and, prior to that, as US Attorney for Massachusetts. He also spent a dozen years practicing as a securities and antitrust litigator. Earlier, he served as a staff member in both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. From 1988 to 1990, Weld was a senior partner at Hale and Dorr. He is an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, and served by appointment of the President on the US Holocaust Memorial Council.
New York, NY USA
Judith Cox currently serves as President and Director of Special Projects for the World Science Foundation, a non-profit organization whose annual week-long Festivals have collectively drawn over 2.5 million visitors worldwide since 2008. The Festivals have been hailed by the New York Times as a “New Cultural Institution”. Prior to joining the Foundation, Cox served as General Counsel and then as a Deputy Director for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, she was involved in major development projects, including the restoration and expansion of the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue and the negotiation and structuring of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, for which she served on the Executive Committee. As Deputy Director for Special Projects, Cox had responsibility for the development, structuring and planning of international projects. Prior to joining the Guggenheim Foundation, she was an associate in the New York and Paris offices of White & Case and a Vice-President of Bankers Trust Company. She earned a JD from University of Michigan School of Law and a BA from Bryn Mawr College.
Oussama Rifahi is a board member of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, and served as its executive director from 2010 to 2016. He started his career as a geophysical engineer, moving on to take management roles in aerospace and renewable energies. Since 2007 he has provided consultancy services to GCAM and was, for several years, Managing Director for Museum Development. In that role, he worked on the development of tourism and culture strategies and led feasibility studies for contemporary museums across the world. He worked closely with governments, cities, foundations and private collectors in Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia. Prior to that, as Director of Special Projects for the Guggenheim Foundation, Rifahi led feasibility studies of modern and contemporary museums in Lithuania and France in 2007. From 2003 to 2006, he was project manager at Mubadala in Abu Dhabi and an advisor to the chairman of Tourism Development and Investment Company—TDIC. Rifahi directed the market analysis, strategy definition and development of the business model for tourism and culture in Abu Dhabi and supported the first architectural developments on the cultural district of Saadiyat Island, as well as the initial negotiations between Abu Dhabi and the Louvre and Guggenheim museums. He advises individuals and corporations on strategic philanthropy, and institutions and non-profits on communications and fundraising.
Dr. Stephen Sheppard
Williamstown, MA USA
Dr. Stephen Sheppard is the Class of 2012 Professor of Economics at Williams College and founding Director of the Williams College Center for Creative Community Development (C3D). Before coming to Williams, he had been at Oberlin College, the London School of Economics, Washington University in St. Louis and Virginia Tech. Professor Sheppard’s research focuses on the economics of housing markets and urban areas, particularly the impacts of environmental and cultural amenities on property values, land use regulation, the causes and consequences of urban expansion in cities around the world, and the impact of cultural organizations on urban and community development. His research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the World Bank, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Center for Real Estate Research, the UK Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions and the UK Department for International Development.
Jung Ah Suh
New York and Los Angeles, USA
Jung Ah Suh has twenty-six years of brand strategy and marketing management experience. She is the Founder and Creative Director of MEWS, a strategic brand and marketing consultancy firm and in 2016 served on the board for Bolstra Foundation. She has also worked with Silver & Ziskind as the Art Director, and Arnell as the President and Chief Creative Officer of Innovation Lab (1995-2011). During her tenure at Innovation Lab, she has worked with clients such as Samsung, Mikimoto, Iceberg, Masterfoods, Reebok, GNC, Gucci, Fontainebleau, Jacob & Co, Kerzner International, Goop, Chrysler, PepsiCo, Home Depot, Guggenheim, and Special Olympics.
Director of GCAM Special Projects for China
As the Deputy Director of Shanghai MoCA, Zhicong Zhou is responsible for museum exhibitions and general management for Shanghai MoCA, and has worked with GCAM since 2008. Mr. Zhou also serves as a consultant to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA on exhibition programs related to China. He formerly served as Director of International Affairs for the Shanghai Museum, and has worked extensively with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York on numerous special exhibition projects, including China: 5000 Years and America 300. He has 25 years of experience in organizing international programs for major museums. Based in Shanghai, Mr. Zhou has participated in all of the 11 projects GCAM has undertaken in China.
Designer and Architect
North Adams, MA, USA
James Jarzyniecki is a multidisciplinary designer and fabricator. He received a Master of Architecture degree with distinction from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA. He has experience working for award-winning architecture firms in Boston and NYC. James has been recognized with numerous honors, including the prestigious American Institute of Architects Henry Adams Medal and a selected fellowship with Architecture OMI. His work has been exhibited at Mass MoCA, OMI International Art Center, Gallery 440 NYC, BSA SPACE Boston, and the Shed Space Brooklyn. James’ curatorial and exhibition work has been featured in numerous publications including Creative Boom, thisispaper, OEN, Minimalissimo and Art New England. In early 2016 he moved his practice from New York City to North Adams, MA and founded outside, a storefront gallery for contemporary art & design.
Ben L. Sosne
In-house Counsel and Senior Project Manager
North Adams, MA, USA
Ben Sosne is an attorney specializing in real estate, land use, environmental law, and appellate practice. Prior to relocating to the Berkshires, he spent seven years as a principal court attorney for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, in Brooklyn Heights. He also has experience at the New York State Attorney General’s Office, Environmental Protection Bureau, and the Pace Energy and Climate Center. He received a BA from Columbia University and a JD from Pace University School of Law, where he was a Presidential Merit Scholar, an Environmental Law Consortium Merit Scholar, and Editor-in-Chief of the Pace Environmental Law Review. He is admitted to the bar in New York and Massachusetts. He has served as Senior Project Manager and Legal Advisor on the North Adams Cultural Development Master Plan since 2016.