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Arts and Culture, Nonprofit and Social Impact

Chief Digital Officer

  • The J. Paul Getty Trust
  • Los Angeles, CA
About The J. Paul Getty Trust

The J. Paul Getty Trust is the world’s largest cultural and philanthropic organization dedicated to the visual arts. Through conservation work, publications, exhibitions, grant initiatives, training programs, and other efforts, the Getty makes a lasting difference in conservation practice and art historical research and promotes knowledge and appreciation of art among audiences of all ages.

The J. Paul Getty Trust is one of the world’s most influential cultural and philanthropic institutions dedicated to the visual arts. Through its work in Los Angeles and around the world – including conservation, research, publication, exhibitions, grants, and education – the Getty’s leadership advances the understanding, presentation, and conservation of the world’s cultural heritage.

Through the collective and individual work of its four constituent programs – the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute – the Getty pursues its mission internationally, serving both the general interested public and a wide range of specialized professional communities to promote a vital society through an understanding of the visual arts.  

Nearly two million visitors each year enjoy art, architecture, and gardens at the Getty’s two locations in Los Angeles: the Getty Villa, which first opened in 1974, and which was extensively remodeled and reopened in 2006 to house the Getty Museum’s antiquities collection; and the Getty Center, which opened in 1997 and where the Trust offices are housed, together with the Getty’s four programs.

For more information on The J. Paul Getty Trust, please visit their website.

The Opportunity

The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) will be Katherine Fleming’s first appointment to the Getty’s leadership team as President and CEO. A highly visible position within the Getty, the CDO has tremendous potential for institution-wide impact.

The CDO leads all cross-collaborative digital projects, embracing the strategic objectives of the Getty, while innovating to enact digital transformation. The CDO strategizes, negotiates, and builds partnerships, implementing projects that uphold the Getty’s inclusive mission, “to share the world’s visual art and cultural heritage for the benefit of all,” through embracing and adapting to emerging technology.

The CDO is broadly responsible for the technology enablement of institution-level and key program-level strategic initiatives. Included in this is ensuring a sustainable, resilient, and secure technology infrastructure and ensuring that IT governance at the Getty appropriately assigns and enforces decision making related to IT investment and policy development.

The CDO is responsible for creating a governance structure to make decisions and set priorities for Getty’s technology projects and digital portfolio (web sites, distribution platforms, applications, social media accounts, publicly accessible databases). They will pursue a governance structure that will encourage all future proposals to consider digital potential and outreach potential at their inception, establish strategic priorities for the Getty’s many digital products, focusing on those that are core to the Getty mission and merit attention and resources, evaluate new proposals in the context of this strategy.

The CDO will take ownership of the Digital First Initiative and take appropriate steps to adjust the plan and ensure that it meets the expectations and needs of the varied Getty stakeholders. Current Getty Digital leadership has determined a set of digital/technology priorities, including upgrading the institutional data network (RFP out), upgrading and improving the Getty’s procurement system, automating the process for imaging work, replacing the intranet system, creating a Frank Gehry Disney Concert Hall immersive experience, a massive digital archiving project with Johnson Publishing Company, and upgrades to a number of systems (museum audio guide, digital publishing platform, and cultural heritage data management). As the Getty considers further modernization to its IT infrastructure through the accelerated adoption of cloud technologies and the demand on Getty Digital services and products, it will be vital for the new CDO to chart a clear path forward.

Reporting to the President and CEO, the CDO will be focused on the Getty’s vast and diverse community of users and potential users and be responsible for leading Getty’s Digital First Initiatives. As the head of Getty Digital, the CDO leads an overall team of approximately 125 staff through a team of 6 direct reports that oversee the following areas: digital workspace; high speed data network and telecommunications; enterprise financial, human resources and payroll systems; application development; server, data storage, and backup systems both on premise and in the cloud; point of sale systems; museum collection systems; library information systems; imaging and scholarly research technologies; web infrastructure management; emerging platforms supporting immersive experiences; and a variety of other applications and systems that support Getty’s work as a leading cultural institution (Organizational Chart can be found in Appendix A).

The CDO oversees an annual budget of roughly $24 million, with an average annual capital expenditure of $2-$3 million.

Additional responsibilities include:

  • Serve as a strategist/advisor to the President and CEO and executive team on all digital activities.
  • Work collaboratively with the Getty’s Vice Presidents and four program directors to help set goals and realize digital aspirations in their areas of expertise.
  • Lead a digitally focused organization that drives the strategic and tactical direction of the Getty, secure delivery of all information technology systems/solutions that support the Getty’s mission and variety of operations.
  • Work closely with Getty content experts to understand and support innovative digital platforms.
  • Ensure that infrastructure systems are such that operations can support the Getty’s work and keep Getty current with respect to technology, security, etc.
  • Maximize the utilization of the Getty’s digital assets, protect, and deploy them creatively to enhance research, education, and physical and virtual visitor experiences.
  • Deploy tools to make exploration of the Getty’s collections online faster, easier, and more robust.
  • In partnership with HR, develop a Getty Digital team to further build Getty’s user base and impact and lead the team to advance an inclusive culture that becomes a destination for technology professionals.
  • As the digital thought leader and advisor for the Getty, this executive will stay abreast of technology trends and innovations and help the four programs apply them to their work to be the most effective they can be both individually and collectively.
  • Manage and direct staff, conduct annual performance evaluations, and provide clear and directed opportunities for staff development and mentoring; prepare and oversee annual operating budgets, multi-year forecasts for equipment maintenance, equipment changes and/or purchases, facility’s needs, and staffing requirements.

Please find a recent example of digital content created at the Getty Villa here.

Candidate Profile

The CDO will possess the following skills, qualities, and characteristics:

A Visionary Leader

The CDO will have the combined skill sets and experience of a Chief Digital and Chief Information Officer. They will employ industry best practices in the management of technology architecture and digital applications to ensure that processes and systems are reliable, scalable, and secure to evolve with the Getty’s needs. The CDO will combine these attributes so the Getty can continue the work and develop new ways to maximize its contributions as a leader at the intersection of digital technology and the visual arts. The CDO will be adept at overseeing and executing strategic projects with significant visibility and impact. They will be skilled at looking downstream and focusing organizational and team efforts on big picture, long term impactful initiatives. The CDO will have experience with the effective use of IT Governance and will have a clear understanding of technology and digital engagement trends, possessing the ability to influence the creation of a technology portfolio that delivers the highest potential value for the Getty.

A Collaborator and Partnership Builder

The CDO will build collaborative working relationships across the Getty and evoke respect from others. They will possess the executive presence and interpersonal skills to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and effect change through diplomacy, influence, and negotiation. They will collaborate with senior leaders to deliver strategic business results and build and execute a plan to ensure current and future technology needs are met. The CDO will have frequent contact with senior executives both within and outside the Getty and will be an expert advisor to senior team members, the Board of Trustees, and internal and external constituents. They will be skilled at communicating to both technical and non-technical audiences in language appropriate to the group.

An Experienced Manager

The CDO will be a proven leader with experience developing and managing cross-functional teams in a fast-paced, complex, mission focused environment. They will direct, coordinate, and provide leadership to, and review the work of, professional and supervisory level employees to accomplish operational plans and results. The CDO will promote a culture of continuous improvement that is empowering and prioritizes the professional development of all members of Getty Digital. The CDO will have excellent analytic, problem solving, coaching, and conflict-resolution skills. They will recommend policies, methods, processes, and techniques for information technology based on change management principles and practices. They will create/conceptualize new methods, techniques, and /or processes across information technology and be an inspirational leader for the team.

A Passion for the Mission

The CDO will be intellectually curious with a keen interest in the visual arts and humanities and have a passion for the Getty’s mission to promote and ensure a vital civil society. They will have demonstrated personal and professional commitments to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. They will be a leader of unquestioned integrity, ethics, and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

Experience leading digital initiatives and teams in a complex organization or institution of higher education is strongly preferred.

Compensation & Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

Contact

Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Alex Corvin and Tom Phillips of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here, or email Alex and Tom directly at gettycdo@koyapartners.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email NonprofitSearchOps@divsearch.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.

Appendix A – Getty Digital Org Chart (View here).
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