New Appointments Reflect MFA’s Commitment to Financial Sustainability, Inclusion and Diversity
Edward E. Greene Is the First African American President of MFA’s Board of Trustees in Its 150-Year History
BOSTON (October 1, 2020)—The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), has announced the election of Cathy E. Minehan as Chair and Edward E. Greene as President of its Board of Trustees. Nominated in 2019 and officially appointed at the Board’s annual meeting on September 21, the new officers are joined by Azi Djazani, who was elected as Chair of the Board of Advisors. The Board also welcomed three new Trustees and 10 new Advisors, including artists Jeffrey Gibson, Matt Saunders, Jeannie Simms, Gabriel Sosa and Caron Tabb.
In the coming year, the Board will focus on a number of critical financial goals, including the development of a sustainable business model in light of the current economic environment. Cultivating long-term systemic change at the Museum—with broadened commitments in areas of inclusion, diversity, equity and access—will also be a top priority for new Board leadership, acting in partnership with Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director, the MFA’s Leadership Team and staff. Their joint effort will build on many important initiatives introduced at the Museum since the launch of its strategic plan in 2017—including the appointment of Makeeba McCreary as the first Patti and Jonathan Kraft Chief of Learning and Community Engagement and the first African American member of the Leadership Team. More recent initiatives include naming Rosa Rodriguez-Williams as the MFA’s first Senior Director of Belonging and Inclusion; the engagement of a diversity consultant to study the culture and climate of the Museum; shifting to paid college internships; and the development of a mentorship program and affinity groups for staff.
“The MFA has long been fortunate to have extraordinary leaders and that tradition continues with the appointments of Cathy, Edward and Azi. Their voices, expertise and esteemed leadership are essential as we set out to create a sustainable future for the Museum. Although there will be challenges ahead, we will lead through good governance, thoughtfulness about alignment with mission-driven budget priorities, and a commitment to embrace diversity and inclusion and move towards an MFA that is truly serving all of Boston,” said Teitelbaum.
“We are resolute in our commitment to being a Museum for all and one that represents diverse communities throughout our city—and that also means broadening and deepening our Boards to seek additional expertise in business, academia, nonprofits, community and the arts. New voices will enrich the conversation and ensure dynamic exchange which, to me, makes for good governance. There is much to be done. I’m grateful for Cathy, Edward and Azi’s partnership as we continue forward on our journey.”
The new Board officers bring decades of experience in their professional fields as well as in leadership roles on corporate and nonprofit boards. Cathy E. Minehan was the first woman President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets U.S. interest rates, for 13 years. She was Dean of the School of Management at Simmons College from 2011 to 2016. She chaired the board of Massachusetts General Hospital for more than a decade, and together with her husband Jerry Corrigan, founded the Corrigan-Minehan Heart Center. A patron of the MFA since 2008, Minehan is also a member of the boards of Bright Horizons Family Solutions, the MITRE Corporation, the University of Rochester, the Brookings Institution and GBH. She co-chairs the Boston Women’s Workforce Council, which works to close the gender wage gap in Boston, and is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
“I am pleased and honored to have been named with Edward and Azi as the new board leaders of the Museum of Fine Arts, one of the premier art museums in the world," said Minehan. "At a time of local and national challenges, I am confident that the Museum can and will be a conduit of ideas and experiences that bring us closer together as a community.”
The MFA's first African American President of the Board of Trustees, Edward E. Greene is a seasoned human resources executive whose involvement with the Museum dates from 2006. He served as Chair of the MFA’s Board of Advisors from 2017 to 2020 and prior to that as Vice Chair. Greene served in senior human resource roles at FactSet Research Systems, Voya Financial and Fidelity Investments. He was a partner in the executive search firm of Isaacson Miller and began his career as a labor employment litigator at Goodwin Procter in Boston. He is an advisor of Eastern Bank Corporation; Chair Emeritus of The Partnership, an organization that supports multicultural professionals at all levels in an increasingly diverse and global workforce; and is the former President of the Board of Directors for ArtsBoston.
“I’m proud to be assuming this leadership role, especially at a time when Black voices are so necessary and need to be heard. An institution of our size and stature is particularly well positioned to break barriers, and I look forward to working alongside the staff to grow community and welcome new audiences," said Greene. "I’m eager to take on this role with Cathy as Board Chair and Matthew, who as Director, shares my values and wants to lead from the front. This is a watershed moment in the Museum’s history, when we can celebrate a number of notable milestones—from Makeeba’s position on the Leadership Team to my appointment to Rosa’s new role—while also acknowledging that we have much more to do. I look forward to continuing this good work and creating a Museum that reflects its community and our shared values."
Azi Djazani’s dedication to the MFA began when she joined the Gallery Instructors, a committed team of volunteers who lead guided tours for school groups at the Museum. She chaired the group from 2012 to 2014, which was followed by her chairmanship of the Museum’s Patron Program. She was elected a Trustee in 2018. During her time with the MFA, Djazani established the Azi Djazani Lecture Fund to support an annual lecture focused on the Art of the Americas; supported the MFA’s annual celebration of Nowruz, the Persian New Year; and endowed the Dori H. Rahbar and Cameron R. Rahbar Fund to support The City Talks—a series of free public forums with Boston-area thinkers, activists, city officials and artists on issues related to themes explored in current exhibitions.
“I am deeply committed to creating an MFA where every person who walks through our doors feels a sense of belonging. I believe that the Museum can be our community’s home away from home, a place they can share with their family and friends, a place that’s inspiring, engaging and welcoming to all,” said Djazani.
At the annual meeting, the MFA also welcomed three new Trustees: Michele Courton Brown, VP of Business Development at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; Thomas A.J. Frank, EVP and CIO at Interactive Brokers Group; and Emi M. Winterer, a dedicated MFA leadership volunteer. In addition, 10 new Advisors were named: Beth Chandler, President and CEO of YW Boston; Barbara Eisenson, Trustee at the New England Aquarium and recent past chair of the regional board of UNICEF; Alexandra Hastings, digital marketing consultant; Sinesia Karol, entrepreneur; Melissa Nobles, Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at MIT; and artists Jeffrey Gibson, Matt Saunders, Jeannie Simms, Gabriel Sosa and Caron Tabb. The addition of this cohort of artists is an extension of the MFA’s commitment to broadening conversations across the Museum, including at the Board level.
Finally, Maureen Sweeny, Chair of the Gallery Instructors, Dorothy Saunders and Judith LoGerfo, Co-Chairs of the Gallery Instructor Associates, and Charlotte Zawel, incoming Chair of the Museum Council, have been elected as Appointed Advisors in conjunction with the leadership volunteer roles they hold within the organization.