Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Appoint Susan McConkey Chief Administrative Officer

Susan McConkey

SAN FRANCISCO — The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) announced today the appointment of Susan McConkey as its Chief Administrative Officer, effective April 13, 2020. Reporting to the Director and CEO of FAMSF, McConkey will oversee the Information Technology, Facilities and Operations, Security, and Retail departments of the institution. McConkey comes to FAMSF from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), where she has served as the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives since 2015. Prior to joining the SFCM, she was a Client Principal at the global software-consulting firm ThoughtWorks, Inc. Before that she spent eight years as the Chief Information Officer of the San Francisco Opera.

“I am delighted to welcome Susan as our new CAO. Bringing unique experience of strategic leadership across cultural organizations in the Bay Area, paired with an extensive tech background, she is an ideal candidate for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco at this crucial stage in our institutional transformation,” states Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “Her strong track record of leading change, driving results, and coaching teams in addressing organizational challenges will be a great addition to our leadership team as we evolve and implement our new institutional strategy.”

As she will join the FAMSF leadership team at an extraordinary time during the closure of the de Young and Legion of Honor museums, an immediate priority for McConkey will be to manage institutional operations with an adjusted business model in light of the financial downturn, and to assist in the planning for the two museums’ reopening under likely constraints for continued social distancing. Part of McConkey’s responsibilities will also be the development and implementation of operational and revenue-generating plans tied to the newly established strategic plan, with special emphasis on technology, facilities needs, security, and retail operations. McConkey will serve as a key institutional liaison with the City of San Francisco. 

“Stepping into this new role gives me the opportunity to join the leadership team, staff, and trustees of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco to ensure the ongoing vitality and accessibility of the treasured San Francisco landmark buildings and the art collections they house,” says Susan McConkey. “I’m thrilled to bring my experience and passion for change leadership to help further the implementation of FAMSF’s new strategic direction.”  

About Susan McConkey
As the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the SFCM, Susan McConkey led the highly successful implementation of the SFCM’s strategic plan, including the launch of the organization’s new brand and website, and the design and implementation of all technology aspects of SFCM’s new student dormitory and performing arts facility in the Civic Center. McConkey started her career at Tandem Computers, Compaq, and Hewlett Packard, where she held senior positions in software development. In 2005, she joined the San Francisco Opera as its first Chief Information Officer, where she led the modernization of systems and business processes and championed the use of technology and new media to reach new audiences. Prior to joining the SFCM, she spent two years as a Client Principal at ThoughtWorks, Inc., a global IT consultancy, managing relationships with strategic accounts and mentoring and coaching staff, including furthering the role of women in technology. A native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, and a long-term San Francisco resident, McConkey just concluded more than four years of service on the San Francisco Civic Center Community Benefit Board, and is a former Board President at Opera Parallèle. 

About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the de Young and the Legion of Honor, is the largest public arts institution in San Francisco.

The de Young originated from the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in Golden Gate Park. The present copper-clad landmark building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, opened in 2005. Reflecting an active conversation among cultures, perspectives, and time periods, the collections on display include American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 17th to the 21st centuries; arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; costume and textile arts; and international modern and contemporary art. The Legion of Honor was modeled after the neoclassical Palais de la Légion d’Honneur, in Paris. The museum, designed by George Applegarth, opened in 1924 on a bluff in Lincoln Park overlooking the Golden Gate. It offers unique insight into the art historical, political, and social movements of the previous 4,000 years of human history, with holdings including ancient art from the Mediterranean basin; European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; and the largest collection of works on paper in the American West.