Longtime fundraising professional Paul Bessire has been appointed Deputy Director for Development at the Brooklyn Museum
following an intensive search. Mr. Bessire, will assume his new position, which will report to Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman, in early September.
Dr. Lehman, who conducted the search, states, "We are delighted that Paul Bessire will join the Brooklyn Museum team. Paul's breadth of experience on behalf of art museums-especially in the areas of individual and corporate giving, as well as in communications and membership development-will serve to further increase and strengthen the Museum's fundraising capacity in all areas, as he leads our excellent Development team."
John S. Tamagni, Chair of Brooklyn's Board of Trustees, comments, "With more than twenty-five years of successful fundraising for museums, Paul brings outstanding experience to Brooklyn. I know that he welcomes the opportunity to work with our Trustees and the Museum's many generous friends to increase and strengthen support of the exceptional programs for which Brooklyn is known in its community, nationally, and internationally."
Paul Bessire joins the Brooklyn Museum following more than a decade at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, where he served as Deputy Director for External Relations, overseeing development and communications activities.
There, he played a leading role in transforming the ICA as it moved to its new Diller Scofidio+Renfrodesigned museum on Boston's waterfront in 2006. In addition, he was instrumental in repositioning the museum locally and nationally, in completing the $75-million Campaign for the New ICA, and in launching the ICA's $50-million Campaign for Leadership and Legacy in January 2012.
Prior to his tenure at the ICA, Bessire served as Director of Marketing for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
He has also worked in fundraising capacities at the American Museum of Natural History, New York, the fundraising management consultancy Brakely, John Price Jones, and at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, in New York, where he developed a strong knowledge of fundraising in New York City.
A graduate of Kenyon College with a B.A. in history, Paul Bessire has a long association with Brooklyn, having spent his early childhood in Brooklyn Heights and having lived in Cobble Hill in the 1980s and '90s. He is married to the educational-video producer Anne Kaplan, and they have two children. Fluent in French, Bessire was recently awarded the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Consul General for his contributions to French culture and its diversity.