Star Tribune photo by Tom Sweeney

 David M. Galligan, who was treasurer and COO at Walker Art Center for 17 years and then served as president and CEO of the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, effective immediately. 

The L.A. museum faced bankrupcy a few years ago  having burned through most of its endowment during the nine year tenure of then director Jeremy Strick who was forced out in Dec. 2008. Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad came to the rescue with a $30 million package that included $15 million in operating money (spread over 5 years) and a $15 milllion matching grant to jump-start a new $75 million endowment drive. 

Following that turmoil, LA-Moca's board was restructured and expanded. Last year New York art dealer Jeffrey Deitch was hired as the museum's director. Galligan, whose job is a new position, will report to Deitch.

Galligan's long experience at the Walker, where he managed finances from 1985 - 2002, will help back up Deitch who came to LACMA with little non-profit experience.  An avant garde impressario, Deitch is considered  something of a maverick in the museum business where directors more often come from the non-profit sector or academe.

A tough-minded manager, Galligan, 56, drove the Walker's expansion efforts and successfully persuaded the city of Minneapolis to build a $25 million parking ramp as part of a 2005 addition designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. He left the Walker in 2002 for the Ordway post which he held until 2006 when he resigned abruptly, saying that he had accomplished what he set out to do. He balanced operating budgets at both institutions, and at the Ordway oversaw a $4 million endowment expansion and successfully secured $7.5 million in state bonding money.

 Most recently Galligan has been a free-lance management consultant to cultural organizations including the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University, the Guthrie Theater, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and Philagrafika, a graphic arts festival in Philadelphia. He has a B.A. from Stanford University, a law degree from the University of Virginia and a MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.