The National Academy of Design (NAD) announced today that Gregory Wessner will become the New York–based organization’s new executive director. Wessner, who received AIA New York’s Award of Merit earlier this summer, spent over two decades with the Architectural League of New York before becoming executive director of Open House New York in 2013. He also served as chief administrator of the National Academy School of Fine Arts and worked at the Parrish Art Museum. In this new role, Wessner will help shape and implement new forms of service to artists and architects and reimagine cultural advocacy for the 21st century.

Gregory Wessner, photo courtesy Ted Alcorn

Founded nearly 200 years ago, the National Academy of Design is America’s first institution dedicated to advancing the work and ideas of U.S.-based artists and architects. The organization recently sold several of its buildings in New York City, in order to create a major endowment to support current and new initiatives.

“I am incredibly honored to have been selected to lead the National Academy of Design as it begins an exciting new chapter,” said Wessner in a statement. “I look forward to working with the Board of Governors, National Academicians and larger NAD community to preserve and amplify the Academy’s extraordinary legacy, while also deepening its engagement with the work and ideas of contemporary art and architecture.”

 Succeeding Mary Fisher, Wessner will step into the role on September 8, 2020.