Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art Announces Its Next Chief Advancement Officer Bob Halbruner

April 10, 2023

The National Museum of Asian Art announces Bob Halbruner as its next chief advancement officer. Formerly the director of individual advancement at the Smithsonian Institution, he brings two decades of advancement leadership to the role along with a lifelong passion for arts and education. He will assume his new role on April 11. As chief advancement officer, Halbruner will lead the museum’s advancement team and guide the museum’s philanthropic strategy, overseeing all fundraising and donor cultivation efforts as the museum enters its second century. Reporting to the museum’s director, Halbruner will serve on the museum’s senior leadership team and play an essential role in both the museum’s and the Smithsonian’s next campaign.

“I am delighted that Bob will be joining the museum and I look forward to working with him to accelerate the museum’s fundraising,” said Chase F. Robinson, the Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art, the National Museum of Asian Art. “As we celebrate our second century this year, Bob’s passion for our mission and years of expertise in museum fundraising will strengthen our advancement team at a time of great opportunity. Colleagues and I look forward to welcoming Bob.”

As the director of individual advancement at the Smithsonian Institution, Halbruner led its membership, major gifts and gift planning programs that generate $50 million in new commitments annually. Previously, he served as assistant vice president for development at the University of Virginia where he was responsible for strategy and management of nine fundraising teams that had a university-wide impact of more than $170 million annually, including those for the university’s museums and arts programs. Halbruner has also led fundraising efforts for the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and the Virginia Historical Society.

“I am incredibly honored to join the team at the National Museum of Asian Art as it launches into its second century,” said Halburner. “This is a special moment in time when the museum’s bold vision and fundraising campaign intersect and I am eager to begin working with and on behalf of its staff, leadership and family of support to help secure its future aspirations.”

“On behalf of the entire board of trustees, I’m pleased to welcome Bob to our museum,” said Antoine van Agtmael, the museum’s board chair. “I look forward to collaborating with Bob in my role as board chair as we work to provide the support needed to advance the museum’s bold vision and ambitions.”

Halbruner has been a participant in local and national leadership initiatives including the League of American Orchestras Executive Leadership Program, Leadership Charlotte, Foundation For The Carolinas Leadership Development Initiative and the Knight Foundation’s Magic of Music Initiative that studied the health of American orchestras. He has presented on a variety of arts and cultural participation topics at national conventions including the National Music Teachers Association, the League of American Orchestras and the American Association of State and Local History.

A graduate of the University of the Arts and the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance.

Halbruner succeeds Patty Winterton who departed the museum in December 2022. Suzanne Brown has served as acting chief advancement officer since Winterton’s departure.

About the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art is committed to preserving, exhibiting, researching and interpreting art in ways that deepen our collective understanding of Asia and the world. Home to more than 45,000 objects, the museum stewards one of North America’s largest and most comprehensive collections of Asian art, with works dating from antiquity to the present from China, Japan, Korea, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Islamic world. Its rich holdings bring the arts of Asia into direct dialogue with an important collection of 19th- and early 20th-century American works, providing an essential platform for creative collaboration and cultural exchange between the United States, Asia and the Middle East.

Beginning with a 1906 gift that paved the way for the museum’s opening in 1923, the National Museum of Asian Art is a leading resource for visitors, students and scholars in the United States and internationally. Its galleries, laboratories, archives and library are located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and are part of the world’s largest museum complex, which typically reports more than 27 million visits each year. The museum is free and open to the public 364 days a year (closed Dec. 25), making its exhibitions, programs, learning opportunities and digital initiatives accessible to global audiences.

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