Smithsonian’s Sheryl Kolasinski to be New Menil CEO and Deputy Director

by Bill Davenport March 9, 2012

Photo: Marty Katz/

After  a national search, Josef Helfenstein, director of the Menil Collection, has named Sheryl Kolasinski to fill the institution’s newly minted position of Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer. Kolasinski will strategize with Helfenstein on long range plans, while overseeing the museum’s finances, real estate, bookstore, security, information technology, legal matters, and facilities operation and maintenance. She starts in May.

Kolasinski arrives from sixteen+ years at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, where she was Deputy Director and Chief of Staff in the office in charge of capital design and construction, operations, and maintenance, security and safety for all of the institution’s 19 facilities.

Kolasinski began her career as an architect, working on academic buildings for Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania, then joined the City of New York’s design and construction program for cultural institutions, eventually becoming its director. In 1995, she joined the Smithsonian, where she led the capital program, including the design and construction of the National Air and Space Museum’s new exhibition and restoration center and the revitalization of the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian’s American Art Museum.

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