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President and CEO, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
How is the Met, as an institution, reacting to the seismic changes in our world right now?
We are working hard to figure out how to be a more equitable, just, fair institution that serves all of our audiences more effectively than we have in the past, without pandering to political opinion or posturing in order to take advantage of a moment of great catharsis for so many people. We believe that action has to be sustainable for it to be meaningful, and that’s the path we’re embarked on.
What can people do to engage with and support the Met?
We remain a well-endowed, strong, healthy institution. I think the greater risk to our society may be the myriad of cultural organizations that have very modest resources that may disappear from the world forever if we’re not careful. People need to notice what matters to them in their community, and recognize that we have a responsibility to support our arts and culture through philanthropy.
Personally, where do you look for inspiration?
When I walk through the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I’m inspired by the richness and depth of the human cultural experience over more than 5,000 years. It's a very powerful experience to remind myself of the great human experiment that I’m part of.
Before you were head of the Met, you were a consultant at PwC. What was that like?
My experience at what was then Booz Allen was transformational. I learned to value serious thinking and merit as the most important part of what effective organizations do.
Reflecting on your many professional achievements so far, what makes you most proud?
I’ve been fortunate to have jobs where I have the ability to do things. And to be able to do that responsibly, to put in motion resources and strategies and decisions in service of what I think is the right thing to do, and how to advance the wellbeing of others, is something that gives me satisfaction every day.
What’s the best advice you can offer to others?
If you don’t feed your spirit and find ways to enrich what’s important to you, your work may be more hollow and your life potentially less interesting. I think you owe it to yourself, but also to your colleagues, to find some balance in your life one way or the other. So fight for your time and your space, and use places like the Metropolitan Museum or whatever it is that works for you, to remind yourself about why you do your work in the first place.