The Museum of Contemporary Art announced Thursday that it has created the position of executive vice president and chief operating officer and hired David M. Galligan to fill it.
Galligan, who began work Tuesday, will oversee the business side of the museum, including finance, operations and administration, reporting to director Jeffrey Deitch, who joined the museum last year.
Galligan worked at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis from 1986 to 2002 as that museum’s COO and treasurer.
Since that time, he worked as the chief executive officer of the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul and then as a management consultant to such nonprofits as the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus.
“We wanted someone with a real businesslike approach and lots of nonprofit museum experience, and I think we found it in David,” says Deitch. “He worked for the Walker for 17 years, and he ran another arts organization. He is really seasoned and understands the management of a museum.”
“Almost every museum has someone in an equivalent role, a COO responsible for managing administrative and finance departments,” adds Deitch. “In addition, because development is a big priority for us, he will also be overseeing that side.”
Fundraising is a big challenge for the museum, which has an endowment of only $18.5 million, down from reserves over twice as large a decade ago and not much more than the museum’s 2011 budget of $16.5 million. Last summer, Jennifer Arceneaux left her position as development director, and the post is open.
“I spent 17 years at the Walker Art Center in a very similar job, working with directors Martin Friedman and Kathy Holbreicht,” Galligan said. “It’s an equal privilege and honor to be Jeffrey Deitch’s choice. His energy, enthusiasm and vision for the museum is the reason I accepted his kind offer to join the staff.”