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Stanford University


Susan Dackerman

John & Jill Freidenrich Director of the Cantor Arts Center

Susan DackermanScholar, curator, and professor Susan Dackerman became director of the Cantor beginning in September 2017. Bringing deep knowledge and experience from her role as the Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator at the Harvard Art Museums, where she served from 2005 to 2015, she is committed to refining the role of the university museum.

"The Cantor is one of the most important university art museums in the country, and with Stanford's commitment to the arts and humanities, it has the potential to produce exhibitions and programs that are models for other museums," Dackerman said.

During her time at Harvard, she was particularly active in creating innovative collaborations with faculty and making great advances in the exhibition program through powerful academic connections. She also worked closely with alumni and donors to add significantly to the museum's collection, and she was instrumental in developing plans for the renovation of the building and galleries of the Harvard Art Museums.

In addition to organizing exhibitions and writing about art and its histories from the Renaissance to the present, Dackerman's contributions to art scholarship and museology are numerous. In her various museum positions, she has worked closely with those in academia, and she has developed programs for integrating academic work into galleries, museum publications, and public events. Another accomplishment is a program she devised for training graduate students in the production of museum-based scholarship.

Most recently, 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 the German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer's prints. While at the Getty she also completed Jasper Johns: Catalogue Raisonné of Monotypes, with Jennifer Roberts (Matthew Marks Gallery and Yale University Press, 2017). During her time at Harvard, she organized two major exhibitions Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe (2011) and Corita Kent and the Language of Pop (2015). Both were projects that deployed collections and resources from across Harvard's campus. In addition to her time at Harvard, she was curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Dackerman attended graduate school at Bryn Mawr College, earning a PhD in the history of art in 1995. She studied art history at Vassar College, where she earned an AB in 1986.

James Gaddy

Deputy Director and Chief of Staff

James GaddyGaddy is responsible for day-to-day management of the museum, along with serving as chief of staff to Susan Dackerman, the Cantor’s John and Jill Freidenrich Director. Gaddy oversees many departments including collections and exhibitions, marketing, security, facilities, and visitor services. He also works closely with Stanford’s Office of the Vice President for the Arts on finances and human resources.
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 with the Vanguard Group.
Gaddy holds a bachelor’s degree in human performance development and a master’s degree in organizational development and leadership.

Jonna Hunter

Director of Development

Jonna Hunter

Hunter is a member of the senior leadership team and leads the museums efforts to connect and engage with current and prospective donors.  She oversees individual, corporate, and foundation giving.

Before coming to the Cantor, Hunter was a development officer at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford. There she focused on annual giving and major gifts, and implemented an integrated stewardship strategy for top donors and volunteers. 

Hunter began her museum career at the American Museum of Natural History. She has also worked for the Museum of the City of New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she launched the national giving program.
Hunter holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in art history from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in historic preservation from Columbia University.

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.

Peter Tokofsky

Director of Academic and Public Programs

Peter TokofskyPeter Tokofsky is the director of academic and public programs at the Cantor, where he is responsible for creating innovative educational opportunities for community and university audiences, including students. 

Most recently, he served as the senior public programs specialist at the J. Paul Getty Museum in
Los Angeles. Tokofsky brings a wealth of experience planning and executing programs in both museum and university settings.

He has served as adjunct professor of World Arts and Cultures and in the Department of Germanic Languages at UCLA, the director of the UCLA German Department’s Travel Study Program to Austria and Germany, the executive director of the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, a lecturer at the Otis College of Art and Design, and a visiting professor in the Department of Anthropology at UC Berkeley. 

After earning his bachelor of arts degree at the University of California, Berkeley, Tokofsky went on to earn both MA and PhD degrees at the University of Pennsylvania.

Director's Advisory Board

Susan Diekman

Sara Abbasi
C. Diane Christensen
Doris F. Fisher
Andrea Hennessy
Pamela Hornik
Elizabeth Swindells Hulsey
George H. Hume
Liong Seen Kwee
Daryl Lillie
Deedee McMurtry
J. Sanford Miller
Barbara Oshman
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 2018-2019

Debbie Shepherd, Chair
Sara Abbasi
Kathy Adams
Nazila Alasti
Nikki Andrews
Sarah Blaustein
Martha Chamberlain
Loren Gordon
Amy Kacher
Ann Kalar
Shana Middler
Nicole Rubin

Barbara Bogomilsky