About The Met/ Office of the Director/ Global Museum Leaders Colloquium/ 2016 GMLC Participants

2016 GMLC Participants

Participating Countries

Map of participating countries

Museum Directors

Polyxeni Adam Veleni Greece
Polyxeni Adam-Veleni

Director, Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

Polyxeni Adam-Veleni assumed her post as director of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki in 2006. First housed in the Yeni Cami mosque in 1925, the museum reopened in a new building in the heart of modern Thessaloniki in 1962. The museum's collection contains more than 45,000 artifacts from the Prehistoric, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman Periods. Under Dr. Adam-Veleni's leadership, the museum has organized a wide range of activities including cultural events, scientific meetings, concerts, and performances. Prior to her current role, Dr. Adam-Veleni served as director of the Ephorate of Antiquities in Pieria (2004–6) and as the curator of antiquities in Greece's Ministry of Culture (1979–2003) in the Ephorates of Antiquities in Edessa and Thessaloniki. A noted art historian, archaeologist, and curator, she is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, has participated in numerous archaeological digs, and has produced dozens of exhibitions, publications, and academic symposia. Dr. Adam-Veleni received her BA and her PhD degrees from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Back to Top

Zeina Arida Lebanon
Zeina Arida
Director, Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum

Zeina Arida has served as the director of the Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum in Beirut since June 2014. Founded in 1961, in the former mansion of art collector Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock, the museum reopened in 2015, after a seven-year renovation, with expanded and modernized facilities and a renewed mission to showcase local and international modern and contemporary art. From 1997 to 2014, Mrs. Arida served as the founding director of the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut, an organization dedicated to the preservation and study of photographs from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Arab diaspora. She has been a board member of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture in Beirut and of the Prince Claus Fund Network Partner Committee. Raised in Paris and Beirut, Mrs. Arida earned a degree in comparative literature from Paris-Sorbonne University. Since 2010, she has been a member of the Beit Beirut Museum Scientific Committee, which is dedicated to artistic and cultural research.

Back to Top

Thomas J. Berghuis Indonesia
Thomas J. Berghuis

Director, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (MACAN)

Thomas J. Berghuis is the director of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN), which will open in 2017. He is also a principal fellow in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. A widely published scholar of Asian art, Dr. Berghuis is the author of Performance Art in China (2006), the first major art-historical survey on the topic. From 2013 to 2015, Dr. Berghuis was the inaugural Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Curator of Chinese Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. He was also previously a lecturer at the University of Sydney and deputy director of the Australian Centre for Asian Art and Archaeology. Dr. Berghuis has curated exhibitions including Wang Jianwei: Time Temple at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2014); Suspended Histories at the Museum van Loon, Amsterdam (2013); and the Sharjah International Biennale (2003). He received a degree in sinology from Leiden University and a PhD in Asian art history from the University of Sydney.

Back to Top

Mikkel Bogh Denmark
Mikkel Bogh

Director, Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK)

Mikkel Bogh has been the director of Copenhagen's Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), Denmark's National Gallery, since 2014. An art critic, curator, and art historian, Dr. Bogh previously served as rector of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art's School of Visual Arts. Until 2005, he held teaching posts at Aaerhus University and the University of Copenhagen's Department of Art and Culture. As a museum director, Dr. Bogh is interested in reshaping museum practice by integrating 21st-century notions of inclusiveness, participation, and cultural citizenship. Educated at Copenhagen University, he has published widely in newspapers, blogs, and scholarly publications on topics relating to Western art and culture from the 17th century to the present. Recently, he curated the exhibition Closer: Intimacies in Art 1730–1930, which opened in February 2016 at the SMK.

Back to Top

Paola D'Agostino Italy
Paola D'Agostino

Director, Museo Nazionale del Bargello

Paola D'Agostino, the recently appointed director of the Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence, is an expert on Renaissance and Baroque sculpture. From 2013 to 2015, she served as the Nina and Lee Griggs Assistant Curator in European Art at the Yale University Art Gallery. Previously, she was a senior research associate in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she co-organized the exhibitions Bernini: Sculpting in Clay (2012–13) and Antonio Canova: The Seven Last Works (2013). Dr. D'Agostino has published widely on Baroque sculptors and the relationship between Spanish and Italian art in the 17th and 18th centuries. Her book Cosimo Fanzago Scultore, about the leading Neapolitan Baroque sculptor, was published in 2011. She earned an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and holds a PhD from the Università degli Studi di Napoli 'Federico II'.

Back to Top

Nick Mitzevich Australia
Nick Mitzevich

Director, Art Gallery of South Australia

Nick Mitzevich has served since 2010 as the director of the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide, which was founded in 1881, and is home to one of the country's premier encyclopedic collections of art. He has shepherded numerous initiatives at the museum, including a new and diverse artistic program, significant attendance growth, the revitalization of the building and its displays, and the expansion of community engagement. Previously, Mr. Mitzevich was the director of the University of Queensland Art Museum in Brisbane, where he enhanced the museum's national profile, increased visitorship, and broadened philanthropic support. Mr. Mitzevich holds graduate diplomas in education and fine art from the University of Newcastle, New South Wales. In 2009, he received the Museum and Gallery Services Queensland Outstanding Achievement Award.

Back to Top

Yusuf Said Natsheh Jerusalem
Yusuf Said Natsheh

Director of Tourism and Archaeology, Al-Aqsa Mosque, Awqaf Administration

As director of tourism and archaeology at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Awqaf Administration, Yusuf Said Natsheh oversees the architectural and artistic heritage of the Al-Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary). Educated in Jerusalem and Cairo, Dr. Natsheh received his PhD in Ottoman architecture from the University of London. Since 1983 he has been a part-time university lecturer, notably at Al-Quds University, and has supervised the Arab League Institute's effort to restore, maintain, and document Jerusalem's architecture. Dr. Natsheh is active in numerous organizations focused on Jerusalem's architecture and consults actively on heritage projects. The author of numerous books, including a survey of Jerusalem's Ottoman architecture (2000) and, most recently, Discovering Jerusalem's Secrets: Walking Trails through the Old City and Beyond (2016), Dr. Natsheh was selected to supervise the restoration of the Mamluk monuments in and around the Al-Haram al-Sharif, and was nominated the key Palestinian expert for the UNESCO mission to Jerusalem.

Back to Top

Jamal S. Omar Saudi Arabia
Jamal S. Omar

Director General, National Museum of
Saudi Arabia

Jamal S. Omar has served since 2014 as director general of the National Museum of Saudi Arabia. Established in 1977, the museum is dedicated to illuminating the past and present culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Located at the heart of the King Abdul-Aziz Historical Center, it is considered Riyadh's top cultural tourist attraction. Mr. Omar's previous positions include director general of the Research Center at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage - Antiquities and Museums Sector (2011–14) and lecturer at King Saud University (1996–2011). Mr. Omar participated in the Khuraiba ancient Dadan archaeological excavation project in northwestern Saudi Arabia (2003–7) and the Tell Mozan ancient Urkesh excavation in Northeastern Syria (1994–2005).

Back to Top

Rooksana Omar South Africa
Rooksana Omar

Chief Executive Officer, Iziko Museums of
South Africa
Cape Town

Rooksana Omar is chief executive officer of the Iziko Museums of South Africa in Cape Town. This conglomerate of 11 museums, a public entity of the South African Department of Arts and Culture, has been designated a national heritage institution. Founded in 1825 as South Africa's first museum, the Iziko houses important collections of African zoology, paleontology, archaeology, art, and social history. Prior to her appointment as CEO in 2010, Ms. Omar directed the Luthuli Museum in Groutville, South Africa, an institution devoted to the history of the Liberation Struggle and human rights. From 2001 to 2005, she was acting director of the eThekwini Heritage Department in the municipality of Durban. Ms. Omar has served as president of the South African Museums Association and the International Council of Museums, South Africa. She currently serves as president of the Commonwealth Museums Association. Ms. Omar received a BA and an Honours Degree in history, as well as an MBA from the University of Durban-Westville.

Back to Top

Adriano Pedrosa Brazil
Adriano Pedrosa

Artistic Director, Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP)
São Paulo

Adriano Pedrosa is the artistic director of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP) in São Paulo, Brazil. Established by Brazilian businessman Assis Chateaubriand in 1947, MASP is Brazil's first modern museum and contains the premiere collection of European art in the Southern Hemisphere. A widely published author and editor, Mr. Pedrosa has twice served on the curatorial team of the Bienal de São Paulo (1998, 2007). Other curatorial appointments include the Museu de Arte da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte (2000–3); InSite_05, San Diego Museum of Art, Centro Cultural Tijuana (2005); Trienal de San Juan (2009); the 12th Istanbul Biennial; and the São Paulo pavilion at the 9th Shanghai Biennale. Mr. Pedrosa has curated numerous exhibitions including F[r]icciones at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (1999); Desenhos: A–Z at the Museu da Cidade, Lisbon (2008); The Traveling Show and El Gabinete Blanco at the Colección Fundación Jumex, Mexico City (2010); and Mestizo Histories at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo (2014).

Back to Top

Zelfira Tregulova Russia
Zelfira Tregulova

Director General, The State Tretyakov Gallery

Zelfira Tregulova is the director general of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, a position that she has held since 2015. Founded in 1892, the State Tretyakov Gallery is Moscow's largest museum, with more than 170,000 works by Russian artists, from early religious paintings to modern art. Between 2002 and 2013, Ms. Tregulova was the deputy director in charge of exhibitions and international exchange at the Moscow Kremlin Museum, and, in 2013, she was appointed as general director of the State Museum and Exhibition Center ROSIZO. She has been involved in numerous major international exhibitions of Russian avant-garde, social realist, and contemporary art, including The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915–1932 (1992) and Russia! (2005) at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Malevich exhibition, which was on view at London's Tate Modern, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn from 2013 to 2014.

Back to Top

Pema Chhoden Wangchuk Bhutan
Pema Chhoden Wangchuk

Curatorial Director, Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan (RTA)

As curatorial director of the Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan (RTA), Pema Chhoden Wangchuk has broad artistic and administrative responsibility over a one-of-a-kind museum devoted to Bhutan's traditional art of weaving. Established in June 2013, the museum has approximately 1,500 pieces in its collection, most of which are hand-woven textiles. As one of only three trained museum professionals in the country, Mrs. Wangchuk has played a key role in establishing the Royal Textile Academy and in designing and curating its exhibitions. She was chief coordinator for the exhibition Bhutan: Land Close to Heaven, at the National Museum in Prague, Czech Republic, and she coordinated the exhibition catalogue Thagzo: The Textile Weaves of Bhutan, published in conjunction with the RTA's opening. Mrs. Wangchuk holds a BA in economics from the University of Pune, India, and a MA in museology from the University of Washington, Seattle.

Back to Top


Andras Szanto András Szántó
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, United States

András Szántó is a widely published author and adviser to arts and cultural organizations. He has lectured on art business at the Sotheby's Institute of Art and has directed the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University. A former visiting critic at the American Academy in Rome, visiting senior fellow at the Center for Arts and Culture in Washington, and affiliate of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies at Princeton University, he advises museums, foundations, and corporations on strategy and program development worldwide. A frequent moderator of the Art Basel Conversations series, he earned his PhD from Columbia University.

Image: Photograph by Magnus Torsne

Back to Top