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Heidi Zuckerman. Photo: Karl Wolfgang.
Heidi Zuckerman. Photo: Karl Wolfgang.

Orange County Museum of Art Names Heidi Zuckerman CEO and Director

The Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) has announced Heidi Zuckerman as its new CEO and director. Zuckerman, who previously served as CEO and director of the Aspen Art Museum, will assume her new role February 8. She succeeds Todd Smith, who led the institution from August 2014 through summer 2020.

“Heidi is an innovative and inspiring museum leader who combines a deep love for art and artists with an exceptional record of leading museums to be entrepreneurial, vibrant, and sustainable,” said Craig Wells, OCMA board chair and a co-chair of the search committee in a statement. “The programmatic vision she has articulated for the museum combined with her deep and proven experience in institutional growth make her exceptionally qualified to lead OCMA.”

Zuckerman holds a BA in European history from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in art history from CUNY Hunter College. During her tenure at the Aspen Art Museum, from 2005 to 2019, she oversaw the revitalization of the museum, securing more than $130 million in investments and working with Pritzker Prize–winning architect Shigeru Ban to create a new home for the institution. She developed the museum’s first multiyear strategic plan and devised strategies for increased investment, audience growth, and financial stability; under her direction, the Aspen Art Museum achieved a budget surplus annually. She is the host of the podcast Conversations about Art.

Among her tasks at OCMA will be overseeing the completion of the institution’s new home at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Thom Mayne of Morphosis, the 53,000-square-foot building is slated to open in mid-2022 and will allow the museum to host major special exhibitions as well as education programs, performances, and public gatherings.