The Walters Art Museum

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Kathleen Basham

Kathleen Basham

Chief Operating Officer, the Walters Art Museum

Basham was named Chief Operating Officer of the Walters Art Museum in 2012, and has overall responsibility for the effective financial and operations management of the Museum. As COO, she is a member of the museum’s executive management team that engages in strategic planning and will have direct responsibility in the areas of finance and accounting, human resources, information technology, security, capital projects, retail and café operations, and facilities management.

Basham began her arts administration career in 1995 at The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), serving first as Deputy Director for Finance and Administration and then as Associate Director, where she developed and had oversight of the museum's annual operating budget of $12 million and a staff of 175. She also served as acting co-director during a leadership transition, adding supervision of 6 departments including public relations & marketing, development operations, design & installation, and exhibitions.

Most recently, Basham served as the chief operating officer of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA), the city's arts council and producer of major civic events, from 2007 to 2012. Basham had direct oversight of financial management, human resources, information technology and capital projects for sites operated by BOPA, including Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, School 33 Art Center, The Cloisters, and Top of the World Observation Level.

Her professional experience also includes executive level roles in the retail industry, including I. Magnin & Company in San Francisco, where, as Vice President, Merchandise Support Services, she developed and implemented company policy, directed audit and inventory control, and oversaw merchandise information systems and travel operations for the 13-store national retail chain.

She has held leadership positions in various community boards, including the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, and has taught an undergraduate arts administration course at Goucher College in fiscal responsibility in the arts.