Chris Begley, Senior Vice President, has spent her career advancing prestigious institutions in the arts, including the American Academy in Rome and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Chris’ 20 plus years in the philanthropic sector have been focused on program analysis, strategic positioning, and working collaboratively with major donors.
Before joining GG+A, Chris spent three years as the Vice President of Development at the American Academy in Rome, where she oversaw all aspects of fundraising in the United States and in Italy. During her time there, Chris was a key driver in the institution’s strategic planning process. She created new membership groups, increased corporate approaches, and restructured gala events to increase revenue. Under her direction, the institution exceeded its fundraising goals each year, engaged and enhanced key major donor relationships, and saw an increased emphasis on corporate giving.
Prior to joining the American Academy in Rome, Chris enjoyed a seventeen-year career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the largest and most complex cultural institutions in the world, at which she occupied a full range of positions. Throughout her career there, Chris was responsible for writing materials on a range of issues for the Museum. As Senior Deputy Chief Development Officer for Government and Foundation Giving, she provided strategic vision, leadership, and coordination for all fundraising efforts, and managed over $20 million in grants annually, as well as a portfolio with more than 200 donors. Through focused research and relationship-building with key individuals, Chris increased the number of foundation donors by 20% and giving by 25%. In this role, she also collaborated with curators, conservators, educators, trustees, and senior staff to develop nuanced and impactful proposals for general operating support, exhibitions, conservation, publications, education programs, and technology.
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chris also served as Senior Development Officer for Individual Giving and Departmental Communications. In this role, she managed Major Gifts staff and daily operations, while developing campaign fundraising materials and case statements for the museum’s $900 million capital campaign.
Chris holds a Master of Arts in Art History from Syracuse University, where she studied Italian Renaissance Art. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin with an additional year of independent study at the University of Rome. In 2003, Chris provided research assistance to curator Carmen C. Bambach for the Metropolitan Museum exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci, Master Draftsman.”
Chris is also an active community member. From 2011-2014, she served on the board of Pony Power Therapies in Mahwah, NJ in support of its mission to give special needs and under-served children and adults a unique opportunity to ride, care for, and interact with horses.