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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation Appoints Leah E. Heister Deputy Director and Chief Advancement Officer


Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation announced the appointment of Leah E. Heister to the position of Deputy Director and Chief Advancement Officer. In this role, Heister is responsible for the planning, management, and execution of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation’s strategic engagement with current and prospective donors regionally, nationally, and internationally. She comes to the Guggenheim from CCS Fundraising, a strategic consulting firm where, as Vice President, she advised nonprofit clients in the art and culture, higher education, healthcare, and social services sectors. She has worked as a consultant for the Guggenheim since 2016. Heister begins her new position on September 3, 2019.

“Leah is an experienced leader with wide expertise in building and implementing far-reaching fundraising programs,” stated Armstrong. “Her background as a consultant and her demonstrated success leading comprehensive campaigns, together with her enthusiasm for the Guggenheim’s mission, make her an exceptional choice to lead our efforts. We extend a new welcome to Leah.”

As the architect of a robust advancement strategy, Heister will oversee the raising of funds for all areas of the museum, including exhibitions, acquisitions, conservation, and education, as well as spearhead the Campaign for the Guggenheim to increase the endowment. Reporting to Armstrong, she will lead a department that seeks support from individuals and affinity groups, foundations, corporate sponsorship and global partners, membership, special events and annual fundraising. She will work closely with the Board of Trustees, the museum’s Chief Operating Officer, and fellow members of the Executive Cabinet, and will sit on the Advancement Committee of the Board.

Heister’s areas of expertise include overall strategy development across a number of fundraising functions, including annual giving, corporate and foundation relations, major and planned giving, and board development. Prior to her role at CCS, she served as the Interim Regional Director and Associate Director for ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in New York, where she oversaw fundraising initiatives for the greater New York and New Jersey area in support of the hospital. She previously was the Director of Development for St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children, where she managed a prospect portfolio, developed strategies for donor solicitation and cultivation, and prepared the organization for campaign readiness.

Heister serves as an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University in the Master of Nonprofit Management program, where she teaches fundraising fundamentals and nonprofit governance. She received her Master of Science in Nonprofit Management with a focus in fundraising from Columbia University. A member of the Columbia University School of Professional Studies Alumni Council, Heister is also a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, New York City, and received the National Young Professional of the Year Award from AFP in 2017.

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation was established in 1937 and is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of modern and contemporary art through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The Guggenheim international constellation of museums includes the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; and the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. In 2019, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum celebrates 60 years as an architectural icon and “temple of spirit” where radical art and architecture meet. To learn more about the museum and the Guggenheim’s activities around the world, visit


Admission: Adults $25, students/seniors (65+) $18, members and children under 12 free. Open daily from 10 am to 5:30 pm; Tuesdays and Saturdays until 8 pm. Admission is pay-what-you-wish on Saturdays from 5 to 8 pm.

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