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.
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). Mr. Celant was the Senior Curator for Contemporary Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City from 1988 to 2009. While he was at the Guggenheim, Mr. Celant curated numerous legendary exhibitions, including The Italian Metamorphosis, the Giorgio Armani Retrospective, the Andy Warhol Retrospective, and the Frank Gehry: Architect exhibitions. Mr. Celant has worked with Thomas Krens on museum development projects throughout the world for three decades. As Artistic Director of the Prada Foundation, 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. His responsibilities at the Prada foundation— begun in 1993 and continuing to this day-- overlapped with his role at the Guggenheim for 16 years. Mr. Celant has been Senior Curator for Contemporary Art at GCAM since 2009.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.