Emily Kernan Rafferty, President Emerita of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, served for 40 years in a progression of leadership roles at the nation’s largest art Museum: as Chief of Institutional Advancement, Senior Vice President of External Affairs, and as President of the Met from 2005 to 2015. As President, she was the Museum’s chief administrative officer, supervising a staff of 2,000 full- and part-time employees and volunteers, and founding the Met’s first multi-cultural outreach, diversity, and inclusion program. In addition to serving as a cultural leader in New York City, Ms. Rafferty’s global responsibilities took her to more than 50 countries, where she worked with government and private sector officials on initiatives involving funding, marketing, international art loans, legislative affairs, patrimony, and cultural exchange.
Currently, Ms. Rafferty is Vice Chairman of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum (board member 2005-present); a Board member of Carnegie Hall (October 2018- ), the Asia Society, (2021-); Civitella Ranieri, an Artist Residency Program in Italy (2018- ); the Hispanic Society Museum and Library (2019- ); and the Association of Art Museum Curators (2019- ). She also serves on the corporate boards of PJT Partners (2015- ) and Koç Holdings, Istanbul (2018- ). A member of the eight Women, bipartisan Congressional Commission to study the feasibility of an American Museum of Women’s History in Washington, D.C. (2015-2016), she continues to serve as an advisor to the project, which has received Congressional approval to proceed as part of the Smithsonian Institution. She is also a member of the Advisory Council of the American University of Beirut.
Ms. Rafferty formerly served as UNESCO’s Senior Adviser for Heritage Protection and Conservation (2015-2017), and from 2012 to 2016 as Chair of the New York Federal Reserve Bank (board member 2011-2017), From 2008 to 2020, she was Chair of NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism and marketing organization, where she continues to serve as an ex officio board and executive committee member, active on coalitions for Covid recovery for NYC.
She is principal of Emily K. Rafferty & Associates, a consulting resource for non-profit institutions. She served at Russell Reynolds Associates as Senior Advisor in the non-profit sector (2015 – 2021), The Shed (2015-2019) and continues with multiple independent clients She has also been a Hauser Leader at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership (Fall 2019). A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, she lectures widely on topics relating to non-profit and board governance issues, fundraising, and cultural heritage.
The recipient of many awards and honors, Ms. Rafferty was named by Crain’s New York Business one of the city’s 100 most influential women over a five-year period, and in fall 2015 was elected to its Hall of Fame. She received New York University’s 2012 Lewis Rudin Award for Exemplary Service to New York City, a 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and was recognized in 2019 as a “Living Landmark” by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
John P. Rafferty has served VNSNY as a director since 2006 and as the Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee from January 2014 to July 2019. Previously, Mr. Rafferty served as an audit partner at Ernst & Young, LLP from 1974 to 2006, working primarily with U.S. and international financial institutions, both public and private.
Mr. Rafferty also has held leadership positions with several philanthropic organizations including president and board member of the Blue Hill Troupe, Ltd., member of the audit committees of New York Public Radio and The Altman Foundation, trustee of the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum, as well as treasurer and Board member of several organizations in the Beaverkill Valley. Mr. Rafferty graduated with a BA in economics from Princeton University and an MS in accounting from New York University’s Stern School of Business.