The J. Paul Getty Trust : Director

Job Summary

The J. Paul Getty Trust is seeking candidates for the Director of the Getty Foundation. The position is the senior executive managing the Getty Foundation and is a key member of the Trust’s overall executive leadership team.


Reporting to the President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, and working closely with the Getty’s other Program Directors and Vice Presidents, the Foundation Director is responsible for overseeing and guiding the Getty’s grant making activities in alignment with the Getty Trust’s programmatic priorities and goals.


The Foundation Director will have a key role in the design and management of Getty-wide strategic grant initiatives, which promote the interdisciplinary practice of conservation, strengthen art history as a global discipline, increase access to and public interest in museum and archival collections, and develop current and future leaders in the visual arts.


This is a unique opportunity to help lead one of the world’s most influential cultural and philanthropic institutions dedicated to the visual arts. The Foundation Director will join a dedicated, passionate, and talented leadership team that works together to foster and advance a collective culture of innovation, collaboration, and transparency.

Major Job Responsibilities

Specific responsibilities include:
• Providing vision and a strategic framework for the Getty Foundation’s activities;
• Contributing to the development of Getty-wide strategies and initiatives;
• Aligning Foundation programs with Getty-wide priorities;
• Establishing an overall strategy for grant activities and setting priorities for grant making that are consistent with that strategy;
• Leading, developing, evaluating, and mentoring a team of professional and support staff;
• Overseeing and stewarding contracts and budget for the department;
• Serving as a contributing member of the Getty executive team;
• Participating in both strategic planning as well as in tactical, operational day-to-day execution of priorities;
• Establishing a trusted partnership relationship with the President and CEO and other Program Directors; and
• Representing the Getty externally, as appropriate, in consultation with the President and CEO.


The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

Passion for the Mission

The Director will be a global citizen. They 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. The Director will be committed to, and knowledgeable about, best practices in the field and among peers. They will be an accomplished scholar in their areas of focus and will be well respected for their contributions and intellectual heft.

Forward-Thinking Leadership

The Director will be a forward-thinking leader who will guide the Getty Foundation into and through a successful next chapter. Working in close collaboration with the President and CEO and the Getty’s three other Program Directors, the Director will help define and articulate the Foundation’s strategic objectives and grant making initiatives. With a big-picture mindset, the Director will push boundaries to uncover new possibilities and partnerships for the Getty Foundation.

Leading Through Influence

The Director will be skilled at developing effective working relationships within a complex environment and with external partners. He or she will have a collaborative style and be able to lead through influence. The Director will have demonstrated experience or detailed knowledge of grantmaking and foundation management in a multifaceted organization, preferably in higher education or other relevant settings in the humanities, culture, art, advanced research or conservation. They will be a strong listener, have a high level of emotional intelligence, and be an engaging hands-on leader who can effectively motivate and manage a team.

An Ambassador for the Getty

The Director will be a confident leader who will serve as an ‘Ambassador’ for the Getty. The Director will have experience working with a Board of Trustees and trustee-level committees, and be a compelling representative for the organization in the humanities, culture, art, advanced art historical research, and conservation. The Director will be resourceful and able to tap into relevant networks on behalf of the Getty. They will be a strong oral and written communicator who serves as an effective face and voice for the organization.

PhD or equivalent terminal degree, in the fields of art history, history, architectural history, archaeology, or the humanities is preferred, but not required.


Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that exclusively leads mission-driven searches, has been retained for this search. The Koya team for the Getty Foundation includes Alison Ranney, Naree Viner, Alexandra Corvin, and Stephen Milbauer.


To make recommendations, or to express your interest in this role, please email Koya directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


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