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Chief Development Officer

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation
New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Jun 13, 2024

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Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time


Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, architecture, and other manifestations of visual culture, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, and exploring ideas across cultures through dynamic exhibitions, programming, initiatives, and collaborations. The Guggenheim is a unique institution, with a constellation comprised of four architecturally and culturally distinctive museums on three continents that exists to engage local and global audiences with the transformative and connective power of art and artists, from New York to Bilbao to Venice to Abu Dhabi.

Offering an unparalleled arts experience – whether physical or virtual – to a global audience, the Guggenheim constellation is redefining its role in public discourse and committed to engaging and educating an increasingly diverse international audience through its unique network of museums and partnerships. With nearly 2.6 million annual visitors worldwide, the Guggenheim constellation of museums is one of the most visited cultural institutions in the world.

A masterpiece of a museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a collection that has been shaped by visionary collectors and curators.

The Guggenheim has always sought to provoke new ways of thinking about and interacting with art, and the impressive background of incoming Director and CEO Dr. Mariët Westermann makes her uniquely qualified to advance that institutional profile. She brings myriad accomplishments in art historical scholarship, the respect of her peers, experience serving as a leader of an international organization, and a fundamental belief in the transformative power of art. Dr. Westermann will ably uphold the Guggenheim’s founding vision as she leads the institution to realize its full potential and a more sustainable future as a constellation of museums, united in one mission and grounded fully in their local environments and communities.

Amid this backdrop of institutional preeminence, global presence, and forward-looking investment, the Guggenheim seeks candidates for the role of Chief Development Officer (CDO). The CDO will design and lead a comprehensive, robust fundraising strategy to meet the Guggenheim’s current and future resource challenges as well as its ambitious aspirations. Reporting to the Director and CEO, the CDO will work in partnership with leadership and colleagues, including the Board of Trustees, to leverage the Guggenheim’s extraordinary assets to focus on innovative, strategic approaches to expand its philanthropic base.

The CDO will join a passionate, well-respected, and dedicated leadership team at this world-renowned cultural institution while also partnering with highly engaged Trustee leadership that is actively positioning the Board for increased impact on philanthropy. The CDO will lead, motivate, and inspire a 30-person team to build upon the current Development program to expand the Guggenheim’s philanthropic base and to create a robust, sustainable culture of philanthropy commensurate with the Museum’s overall excellence. Key initiatives will include planning and launching a comprehensive fundraising campaign soon as well as a smaller-scale, targeted campaign to occur beforehand that will foster the requisite philanthropic growth mindset and campaign readiness of the institution.

The successful candidate will be a dynamic self-starter with a track record of success in a development leadership role as both a collaborative team leader and a frontline major gift solicitor. They will be a creative innovator, an exceptional relationship builder, and a proven manager and mentor.

While the Guggenheim will consider a broad range of backgrounds, the ideal candidate will have the following qualifications/experience:

  • Genuine passion for the Guggenheim’s multi-faceted global mission and for the importance of art and arts education more broadly.
  • Significant leadership experience within a sophisticated fundraising operation, preferably in a major museum or other cultural institution. Familiarity working with curators preferred.
  • Demonstrated success as an innovator and in advancing a development program with a high preference for such experience on a global/international scale.
  • Broad-based knowledge of strategic fundraising program building; ideally, experience in the entire range of development and membership tactics and strategies.
  • Proven track record of success in individual major and leadership gift solicitation and closing of seven to eight-figure gifts.
  • Knowledge of development best practices, including ethics, good governance, and emerging fundraising practices.
  • Experience successfully leading capital/endowment and/or comprehensive campaigns.
  • Strong record of recruiting and developing exceptional people and fostering a transparent, collegial work environment.
  • Commitment to inclusion, diversity, and equity in hiring, managing and in expanding support for the institution from new sources.
  • Reputation as a generous colleague and team builder and for fostering collaborative working relationships at all levels.
  • Capacity to be strategic as well as hands-on and tactical.
  • Experience across digital and social media as well as traditional platforms to extend development outreach.
  • Sound financial acumen and knowledge of budget preparation, monitoring, and administration.
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with the New York City, national, and global philanthropic, business, and cultural communities.
  • Hybrid workplace management experience.
  • Understanding of the changing philanthropic landscape and track record of deploying new strategies to appropriately capture new philanthropic audiences and opportunities.
  • Ability and willingness to attend evening and weekend events and activities on a regular basis and to travel nationally and globally as needed.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

Download the full position description via the following link:

The Guggenheim has retained the DSG Fundraising & Advancement Practice of the Diversified Search Group to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) may be submitted via the following link or directed to the leader of the search team:

Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.
Managing Director, Practice Leader and Founder – DSG Fundraising & Advancement
Diversified Search Group
The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, New York 10174 | 212.542.2587

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