Emily K. Rafferty

President Emerita, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Principal, Emily K. Rafferty & Associates

Emily Kernan Rafferty, President Emerita of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, served for 40 years in a progression of leadership roles at the nation’s largest art Museum: as Chief of Institutional Advancement, Senior Vice President of External Affairs, and as President of the Met from 2005 to 2015. As President, she was the Museum’s chief administrative officer, supervising a staff of 2,000 full- and part-time employees and volunteers, and founding the Met’s first multicultural outreach, diversity, and inclusion program. In addition to serving as a cultural leader in New York City, Ms. Rafferty’s global responsibilities took her to more than 50 countries, where she worked with government and private sector officials on initiatives involving funding, marketing, international art loans, legislative affairs, patrimony, and cultural exchange. Currently, Ms. Rafferty is a Vice Chairman of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum (board member 2005-present); a Board member of Carnegie Hall (October 2018- ), the Asia Society, (2021-); Civitella Ranieri, an Artist Residency Program in Italy (2018- ); the Hispanic Society Museum and Library (2019- ); and the Association of Art Museum Curators (2019- ). She also serves on the corporate boards of PJT Partners (2015- ) and Koç Holdings, Istanbul (2018- ). A member of the eight Women, a bipartisan Congressional Commission to study the feasibility of an American Museum of Women’s History in Washington, D.C. (2015-2016), she continues to serve as an advisor to the project, which has received Congressional approval to proceed as part of the Smithsonian Institution. She is also a member of the Advisory Council of the American University of Beirut.

She is principal of Emily K. Rafferty & Associates, a consulting resource for non-profit institutions. She served at Russell Reynolds Associates as Senior Advisor in the non-profit sector (2015 - 2021), has worked with The Shed (2015-2019) and continues with multiple independent clients. She has also been a Hauser Leader at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership (Fall 2019). A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, she lectures widely on topics relating to non-profit and board governance issues, fundraising, and cultural heritage

The recipient of many awards and honors, Rafferty was named by Crain’s New York Business one of New York City’s 100 most influential women over a five-year period, and in fall 2015 she was elected to its Hall of Fame. She is a recipient of New York University’s Lewis Rudin Award for Exemplary Service to New York City, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, and was recognized as a Living Landmark by the New York Landmarks Conservancy. In 2021, she received with her husband the Lillian D. Wald Award from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

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