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Stanford University


Susan Dackerman

John & Jill Freidenrich Director of the Cantor Arts Center

Susan DackermanSusan Dackerman joined the Cantor in September 2017 with a vision to transform the museum into an inclusive gathering place that connects people through the presentation of diverse art and ideas.

As a scholar, curator and professor, Dackerman has deep experience refining the role of university museums and creating innovative collaborations in academic settings, including the development of training programs for museum-based scholarship. She has also written extensively about art and its histories from the Renaissance to the present.

Prior to her role at Stanford, Dackerman was a Getty scholar and consortium professor at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, where she worked on a book about the materiality of Albrecht Dürer’s prints and co-authored Jasper Johns: Catalogue Raisonné of Monotypes. From 2005-2015, she served as the Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator at the Harvard Art Museums. At Harvard, Dackerman helped expand the museum’s collection, developed plans for the renovation of building and gallery spaces and organized two major exhibitions, Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe (2011) and Corita Kent and the Language of Pop (2015). In addition, she was curator of prints, drawings and photographs at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Dackerman holds a Ph.D. in the history of art from Bryn Mawr College and an A.B. in art history from Vassar College. She and her partner are based in Palo Alto and Los Angeles, CA, where they live with their Boston Terrier, Phoebe.

James Gaddy

Deputy Director and Chief of Staff

James GaddyJames Gaddy joined Stanford in 2018 and is responsible for day-to-day management of the museum, including overseeing collections and exhibitions, security, facilities, and visitor services. He also works closely with Stanford’s Office of the Vice President for the Arts on finance and human resource functions and serves as interim director of development and academic and public programs.
Gaddy spent over a decade at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) where he served most recently as executive vice president of human resources and administration. Before joining PAFA, Gaddy held roles with both the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Vanguard Group.

Gaddy holds a bachelor’s degree in human performance development and a master’s degree in organizational development and leadership. He and his partner live in Palo Alto, CA with their sons.

Beth Giudicessi

Director of Marketing and Communications

Beth Giudicessi

Beth Giudicessi joined Stanford’s art museums in 2019 as director of marketing and communications, overseeing storytelling and message development for the Cantor and Anderson Collection. 

Prior to coming to Stanford, she led communications at Pivotal Ventures, the executive office of Melinda Gates. Her experience also includes public relations, editorial, and administrative roles for Harvard University’s libraries, the arts at Arizona State University, the University of Notre Dame,, and the venture capital firm General Catalyst Partners.

She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, the University of Edinburgh, and the Columbia University Journalism School's publishing course.

Director's Advisory Board

Susan Diekman, Chair
Sara Abbasi
Doris F. Fisher
Andrea Hennessy
Pamela Hornik
Elizabeth Swindells Hulsey
George H. Hume
Liong Seen Kwee
Daryl Lillie

Christy MacLear
Deedee McMurtry
J. Sanford Miller
Barbara Oshman

Tina Perry
Frederick P. Rehmus
Marilynn Thoma
Michael W. Wilsey
Debi Wisch
Akiko Yamazaki
Jerry Yang

Harry J. Elam, Jr.
Melissa Fetter
Roberta Katz
Jason Linetzky
Alex Nemerov
Martin Shell
Debbie Shepherd
Marc Tessier-Lavigne

Membership Executive Council 2019-2020

Shana Middler, Chair
Sara Abbasi
Kathy Adams
Nikki Andrews
Sarah Blaustein
Martha Chamberlain
Amy Kacher

Barbara Bogomilsky
Debbie Shepherd
Nicole Rubin