First Indian-American appointed Board President of Dallas Museum of Art

Gowri Natarajan Sharma. Photo: courtesy Dallas Museum of Art

In a recent election held by the Dallas Museum of Art Board of Trustees, Gowri Natarajan Sharma was appointed Chair, the first person of color accorded that status in the institution’s 119-year history. She was elected unanimously and succeeds outgoing President Catherine Marcus Rose.

A June 26, 2022 press release shows the 2022–2023 Board of Trustees that was approved, includes another Indian-American, Venugopal Menon, as Secretary of the Board.

A total of four new Officers and 12 elected Trustees representing diverse backgrounds, international leadership expertise and distinction in business, technology, building design and creative industries, constitute the new appointees.

“Sharma is the first person of color to be elected President of the DMA’s Board of Trustees, and the 2022–2023 elected officers are the most diverse in the Museum’s history,” the press release said.

A member of the DMA Board of Trustees since 2017 and previously served on the Executive Committee as Vice President, Sharma was co-chair of the Strategic Planning Committee with Tom Lentz and chaired the Learning & Engagement Committee.

She currently serves on the Building & Grounds Committee and is a member of the DMA Acquisition Fund created by the Dallas Art Fair.

A founding board member of UNICEF North Texas and Central Plains Region, Sharma has been an Executive Member of the Orchid Giving Circle at Texas Women’s Foundation (TXWF) and will be on the Executive Board and Programs Committee Chair at TXWF in the coming year.

She is Chair of the Construction Committee and an Executive Committee Member at The Lamplighter School. She currently sits on the Advisory Board of talkStem.

Sharma has a Master’s in Architecture and serves as an architectural advisor for her family’s business interests.

Venugopal Menon, PhD. Photo: courtesy Dallas Museum of Art

Venugopal Menon, PhD, retired from Texas Instruments in 2019 after a 24-year career as Vice President of Technology. Menon has served in a wide variety of roles on the Board of Trustees since 2009, including as a member of the Budget & Finance Committee and as Treasurer from 2014 to 2015. He currently serves on the Executive and Investment Committees and is Chair of the Marketing Committee. Menon is a member of the Executive Board of the Lyle School of Engineering at SMU. Menon succeeds Peggy Sewell in the role of Secretary.

“At its heart, the DMA is a collage of different cultures, ideas and perspectives,” Sharma is quoted saying in the press release. “The Board of Trustees recognizes their critical role in the stewardship and leadership of the Museum and is committed to working with and amplifying community voices to connect with the diverse area the Museum serves,” Sharma said, adding, “We are proud to have a Board that reflects the values of our region and look forward to welcoming visitors to discover their own inspiration within the walls of the DMA.”




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