“We hope that her gender will be seen through our lens, which is emblematic of the institution’s ongoing commitment of furthering D.E.I. in everything we do,” Miller continued, referring to the museum’s attention to diversity, equity and inclusion. “Sasha understands the critical importance of building on our efforts to date to reach out to the community, to engage through the exhibitions.”
Suda, 41, who starts in September as the 14th director and chief executive, will take over a
145-year-old institution still healing from controversy. In 2020, a New York Times report revealed that a young male manager had been accused of mistreating several women on the staff. Government officials criticized the museum; employees unionized, citing gender and equity issues; and the museum’s former director, Timothy Rub, apologized to his staff. Rub ultimately announced his resignation last summer, having served for 13 years.
At the National Gallery, where she was appointed in February 2019, Suda focused on justice and equity with a commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
“I am passionate about human-centered leadership and really interested in building that strength, so people can see the value of the work they do and the value of their own lived experience — where managers and leaders are holding space for discomfort and very necessary conversations,” Suda said in a telephone interview.
“That’s really what this moment is about for me as a leader,” she continued, “coming into those conversations with a willingness to make space and be there for them and have eyes wide open.”