Sandra Hoffen and John Wilkerson

Nov. 28, 2017

Hirshhorn Elects Two New Trustees to Continue Fastest Board Growth in Museum History
Record 33 Members Include 24 New Additions in Past Three Years

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden announced the election of two new Trustees, Sandra H. Hoffen and John Wilkerson, both based in New York. Comprising 33 active members, the current board is the largest in the museum’s history, with a record 24 new Trustees in the past three years under Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu, nine of whom joined just in the last twelve months alone. Their appointment comes on the heels of record attendance, with the museum breaking a million visitors in 2017, as well as the success of the Hirshhorn’s annual New York Gala, which, earlier this month, hosted 400 guests at Lincoln Center.

“These newly-elected Trustees bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the Hirshhorn, including a longstanding dedication to cultural programming and community engagement,” said Board Chair Daniel H. Sallick. “Their perspectives will help shape the future of the museum as we continue to build upon the role of a national institution in the 21st century.

“We are delighted to welcome Sandra and John to the Hirshhorn,” said Chiu. “Our board plays an integral role in realizing the museum’s mission of bringing the most exciting and influential contemporary artists to our DC community and beyond, and I look forward to working with them for years to come.”

Sandra H. Hoffen earned a B.A. in English from Columbia College in 1987, and an MBA from Harvard, in 1992. She is the President of the Hoffen Family Foundation, and serves on the Board of Visitors at Columbia College, as a Trustee at the Riverdale Country School, and formerly on the board at the George Jackson Academy–a private, single-sex school for academically talented, economically disadvantaged boys from grades 4-8. Sandra was a partner at First New York, managing director at Deltec Asset Management and a principal at American Industrial Partners. Sandra and her husband Howard collect modern and contemporary art, and are members of the Chairman’s Council at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

John Wilkerson began his career at Johnson & Johnson and then moved to a global medical industry consulting firm which he purchased and was later acquired by IBM. John then cofounded a private equity firm making investments in 85 private companies focused on improving human health. Most recently, he is building a technology company to reduce pain in dogs, cats and horses. He has served as Chairman of Atlantic Health Systems (New Jersey’s leading hospital system), President of the American Folk Art Museum, chaired the Board of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, co-founded and chaired the Board of the E.L. Rose Land Conservancy, and was the founding Chairman of the Global Poverty Project (Global Citizen) in the U.S. John is currently an executive committee member of the Smithsonian’s National Board. He is also leading the development of the first ever bioethics educational program for industry executives at Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.

About the Hirshhorn

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is the national museum of modern and contemporary art and a leading voice for 21st-century art and culture. Part of the Smithsonian, the Hirshhorn is located prominently on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. With nearly 12,000 paintings, sculptures, photographs, mixed-media installations, works on paper and new media works, its holdings encompass one of the most important collections of postwar American and European art in the world. The Hirshhorn presents diverse exhibitions and offers an array of public programs on the art of our time—free to all, 364 days a year. For more information, visit

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