Brooklyn Museum appoints KP Trueblood as its new president and chief operating officer

Trueblood, who will replace David Berliner early next year, has a background in government and public service

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KP Trueblood. Photo: Ezra Mechaber.

KP Trueblood. Photo: Ezra Mechaber.

Kimberly Panicek (KP) Trueblood has been appointed the new president and chief operating officer of the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

Trueblood, who does not come from a traditional arts background, has held leadership roles in several public service organisations. She most recently served as chief of staff for the American Civil Liberties Union, a role newly created by the non-profit humanitarian organisation in the wake of the election of Donald J. Trump. She has also held several roles in government, including positions under Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and served in the United States Air Force as staff sergeant of the Washington Air National Guard. She studied public affairs at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris and political science at the University of Washington.

In a statement to The Art Newspaper, Trueblood says she is “passionate about the museum’s commitment to art as a powerful engine for social impact that advances opportunity and equity”. Her overarching objective will be “to support the museum’s future plans for expanding its mission [by] strategically aligning the museum’s resources with its values and priorities”.

She adds: “To achieve this, the core areas that I will focus on include implementing a new strategic plan, fortifying the museum’s finances, furthering plans for major capital improvements, championing social impact and DEIA across the museum’s operations and decision-making processes, and expanding partnerships with local, national, and international organisations.”

Trueblood replaces David Berliner, a former real estate developer and museum trustee since 2011, who was appointed the position in 2016. During his tenure, the museum received significant capital grants, including $10m that will be dedicated to a new gallery of African arts and $50m from the city. Berliner was also repeatedly targeted by protestors who argued that the museum had failed to address a lack of BIPOC representation among high-ranking staff, and that it has been implicit in the borough’s gentrification.

Trueblood will take up the role in 2022 and work closely with the museum’ director, Anne Pasternak. In a statement, Pasternak says Trueblood’s appointment comes “at a moment of incredible growth for the Brooklyn Museum”, and that her “exceptional leadership experience in social action–oriented organisations will contribute greatly to strengthening our mission and reach”.

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