Gowri Natarajan Sharma Becomes the First Indian-American Appointed Chair of DMA
The Dallas Museum of Art's Board of Trustees appointed Gowri Natarajan Sharma as its first person of colour and an Indian-American as the Board President of DMA
In a recent election, Gowri Natarajan Sharma was elected as the Chair of the Dallas Museum of Art Board of Trustees, making history as the first person of colour to hold that position in the 119-year history of the organisation. She was elected unanimously and will succeed outgoing President Catherine Marcus Rose. According to a news release from June 26, the 2022–2023 Board of Trustees was approved with another Indian-American, Venugopal Menon, to serve as Secretary of the Board.
The new appointees include four new officers and 12 elected trustees representing diverse backgrounds, international leadership expertise, and distinction in business, technology, building design, and creative industries. Four new officials and 12 newly elected Trustees from diverse backgrounds, with international leadership expertise and distinction in business, technology, building design, and creative industries, constitute the new appointees.
The press release stated that Sharma is the first person of colour elected as the President of DMA’s Board of Trustees. Moreover, the 2022-2023 newly elected officers are the most diverse in the history of the DMA. Sharma has been a member of the DMA Board of Trustees since 2017 and formerly held the position of vice president of the Executive Committee. She was also co-chair of the Strategic Planning Committee with Tom Lentz and chaired the learning and engagement committee. Currently, Sharma is a member of the DMA acquisition fund created by the Dallas Art Fair and serves on the building and grounds committee.
A founding member of the Central Plains region and UNICEF North Texas, Sharma has served as an executive member of the Orchid Giving Circle at Texas Women’s Foundation (TXWF) and will be positioned as the chair of the Executive Boards and Programs Committee Chair at TXWF in the coming year. She is also the chair of the construction committee and an executive committee member at the Lamplighter School and is a member of the Advisory Board of talkSTEM.
Sharma has pursued a Master’s in Architecture and serves as an architectural advisor for her family’s business interests. In a press release, she mentioned that DMA is a collage of diverse cultures, ideas, and perspectives. She also highlighted the work of the board that reflects the values of their region and was pleased to welcome visitors to identify their inspiration within the walls of the DMA. She also stated that the Board of Trustees recognises their critical role in the museum's leadership and stewardship and is committed to working with and amplifying community voices in the diverse fields that the museum provides.