Walters Board Elects New President

BALTIMORE, MD—In recent elections held by the Walters Art Museum Board of Trustees, James H. DeGraffenreidt, Jr., was named president of the board of the Walters. DeGraffenreidt succeeds Ellen N. Bernard, who was elected new chair of the board. They will both serve a three-year term.

DeGraffenreidt, a veteran energy industry executive, has been a member of the Walters’ board for 11 years, holding numerous leadership positions including vice president and chair of the Board Governance and Development Committee.

DeGraffenreidt was chairman of the board and CEO of WGL Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Washington Gas. In addition to serving on the boards of the Walters and the Maryland Science Center, DeGraffenreidt served from 2008 to 2016 on the Maryland State Board of Education, acting as president from 2008 to 2011. He received his J.D. and MBA from Columbia University in 1978 and his bachelor’s degree from Yale College in 1974. He and his wife, Dr. Mychelle Farmer, live in Baltimore, where they raised their four children.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have James as the next president of the board,” said Julia Marciari-Alexander, Andrea B. and John H. Laporte Director of the Walters Art Museum. “He is committed to ensuring that the museum remains free and accessible to all, and he continues to be a stalwart advocate for the museum with many entities, including government officials, schools, and individuals nationwide. I am eager to begin to realize our shared vision for using the collections, the buildings, and the people of the Walters to make a better Baltimore.”

“I am honored to take on this position at an important moment in the Walters history,” said DeGraffenreidt. “With our new strategic plan, we envision the museum as a transformative force in the region and a cornerstone in our city. Julia has an ambitious agenda, one in which we are committed to building a greater sense of ownership and engagement by the communities we serve. I look forward to supporting her drive to make the Walters more inclusive and to build on the past to make a better future.”

The slate of officers elected for 2017–2018 are: Ellen N. Bernard, chair; James H. DeGraffenreidt, Jr., president; Christine M. Espenshade, vice president; Guy E. Flynn, vice president; Michael Glick, vice president; Charles Nabit, vice president; Lynn Homeier Rauch, vice president; Michael J. Young, Treasurer; Julia Marciari-Alexander, executive director and secretary.

The newly elected trustees beginning three-year terms are: Peter L. Bain, executive in the financial services industry for more than three decades, most recently as the president, CEO, and director of OM Asset Management; Calvin Baker, managing director of Brown Capital Management; Elizabeth W. P. Bonner, owner of publishing group Agora Companies with husband William Bonner; José Antonio Bowen, president of Goucher College; Deanna R. Fidler, chief human resources officer, T. Rowe Price; Alexander Núñez, senior vice president of regulatory and external affairs, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), an Exelon Company; and Matthew Polk, co-founder, Polk Audio (now retired) and MSI-DFAT Services, a Baltimore-based spacecraft testing company, and an avid textiles collector. Anthony McCarthy (Mayor Catherine E. Pugh’s representative to the board) and Yvonne Lenz (chair of the Walters Women’s Committee) were named Ex-Officio Trustees.

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