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Kelly M. O'Brien Named Executive Director of Development at Philadelphia Museum
Kelly M. O’Brien is the new Executive Director of Development at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo: Jason Wierzbicki/Philadelphia Museum of Art.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The Philadelphia Museum of Art announced the appointment of Kelly M. O’Brien as Executive Director of Development. Ms. O’Brien, who has served as Interim Director of Development since October 2009, has been a member of the staff for the past nine years and during that time has held positions of increasing responsibility, including Major Gifts Officer, Director of Major Gifts, and Director of Individual Giving. Her appointment follows an extensive national search and is effective immediately.

Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, stated: “We felt it was critical to appoint someone who understands this institution, can build upon our past fundraising successes, and provide the leadership required to strengthen all aspects of our work in this area, with individuals, foundations, and corporations. Kelly has proven her ability to direct and execute high-level fundraising strategies and has successfully guided numerous development efforts. It is gratifying to find right here at the Museum an extremely talented and capable person to assume these important responsibilities.”

As Executive Director of Development, Ms. O’Brien will report to Gail Harrity, President and Chief Operating Officer at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Ms. Harrity stated: “Kelly’s demonstrated dedication, graceful diplomacy, and leadership skills position her admirably for the challenges ahead. I am delighted that she has agreed enthusiastically to take on these additional responsibilities as the Museum seeks to build its endowment to strengthen its financial resources, enhance the collection and programs, address critical capital needs, and renovate and expand the Museum's facilities.”

Ms. O’Brien will work with the Director and President in developing a comprehensive fundraising plan to meet short and long term fundraising goals and implement strong programs that will draw sustained philanthropic support from individuals, organizations, and corporations. She will also work with members of the Board of Trustees and with the Museum’s senior administrative and curatorial team to achieve annual fundraising goals and maintain a robust development program to fund Museum programs and priorities. Ms. O’Brien will be responsible for the execution of all fundraising activities including the identification of individual, corporate, and foundation prospects, the development of effective strategies for donor cultivation and stewardship, the solicitation of leadership gifts, and the oversight of development staff. In addition, she will serve as a member of the senior leadership team and as the primary liaison to the Committee on Philanthropy, a subcommittee of the Board of Trustees.

“I am honored to have been named Executive Director of Development,” commented Ms. O’Brien. “The Museum is a truly special place—not only because of its extraordinary collections, but also because of the profound dedication of its Trustees, donors, Members, and staff. I look forward to working closely with our new director, Timothy Rub, and with our president, Gail Harrity. The Museum’s vision is one that any development professional would be proud to work toward”

Prior to joining the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ms. O’Brien was the Development Officer dedicated to Major Gifts and Capital Projects at the Seattle Art Museum (1997-2001). She was Director of Development and Alumni Affairs at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, at Emory University in Atlanta (1992-1997) and previously held positions at Emory as Director of Alumni Giving and as Director of the Parents Fund and Telefund (1989 – 1992).

Ms. O’ Brien is a graduate of Emory University, where she received a BA in Political Science and Economics in 1989. She is a native of Mamaroneck, NY, and grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She lives in Center City, Philadelphia, with her husband Robert J. Binney, a management consultant.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art | Kelly M. O'Brien | Gail Harrity |

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