LACMA Elects Trio to Board of Trustees

ELAINE LEE PHOTOGRAPHY; David Livingston/Getty Image; Jovanka Novakovic
Colleen Bell, Mellody Hobson and Robbie Robinson

Colleen Bell, Mellody Hobson and Robbie Robinson have joined the board at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

LACMA has drafted a trio of heavy hitters to join the ranks on its board of trustees. 

The museum has announced the elections of Colleen Bell, Mellody Hobson and Robbie Robinson to serve the institution, bringing the total number of voting trustees to 51, in addition to 13 individuals honored as life trustees.

“The arrival of our new trustees comes at a pivotal time for the museum, as our building campaign and our community outreach gains momentum,” said LACMA CEO Michael Govan. “LACMA's board members are deeply invested in developing artistic and cultural resources for L.A. County and beyond.”

Govan is speaking about the new Peter Zumthor-designed building which is part of LACMA's expansion plan. The plan recently received a boost from the likes of Brad Pitt and Diane Keaton, both of whom showed up at a recent Board of Supervisors meeting where a bond was passed to help move the project toward completion. 

Bell, who previously served on LACMA's board from 2011-2014, has seen her name in the news recently. Last month, California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Bell, an Emmy nominated Bold and the Beautiful producer (Bell-Phillip Television Prods.), to serve as the director of the California Film Commission. Her resume also includes a tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary during the Obama administration (2014–17). She's served or is currently serving with such organizations as the Council of American Ambassadors, the Pacific Council, the Atlantic Council and Georgetown University's Edmund A.Walsh School of Foreign Service on International Policy.

Bell said she's excited to make a return to the board. "Under Michael Govan's leadership, LACMA has established itself as a forward-thinking institution that brings new and challenging ideas to the forefront," she said. "This spirit of experimentation makes LACMA a place of creativity and dialogue, melding art, technology, film, fashion, and more." 

Hobson is president of Chicago-based Ariel Investments, overseeing business operations, development and strategic initiatives as well as serving as chair of the board of trustees of Ariel Investment Trust. In 2015, Time put her name on its 100 Most Influential People in the World list, and even the quickest glance at her resume shows why. For example, Hobson is a regular contributor on CBS News; writes a column for Black Enterprise Magazine; serves as vice chair of the board of Starbucks Corp.; holds the title of director of JPMorgan Chase; former board chair of DreamWorks Animation; serves orgs including After School Matters, Chicago Public Education Fund, Economic Club of Chicago, Rockefeller Foundation, George Lucas Education Foundation and Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

It's the last one mentioned, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, that likely provided the biggest crash course on museum collections and operations in the city of Los Angeles. Hobson's husband, George Lucas, is currently in construction on the May Yansong and MAD Architects-designed property which will house works the couple has collected as well as comic books, costumes, storyboards, sets and other archival material from Lucas' movies.

Added Hobson: "LACMA is deeply dedicated to scholarship, engagement, and education. The museum's ambitious building project encapsulates its thoughtful, democratic approach in bringing art to every person in the region, and I look forward to being a part of the museum's transformation as it continues to anchor L.A.'s vibrant cultural landscape."

Meanwhile, Robinson serves as partner of BDT & Company, a merchant bank that provides advice and long-term capital to family- and founder-led businesses. He is responsible for both investing in and advising these businesses and managing several of the firm’s priority client and limited partner relationships. Robinson has been at BDT since its inception in 2009, and recently established the firm’s presence on the West Coast in Los Angeles. Prior to BDT, Robinson spent close to a decade at Goldman Sachs in New York and Chicago working in investment, advisory and financing capacities.

Like Bell, Robinson also has ties to Obama. Since 2017, Robinson has worked with former President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, counseling them on their personal endeavors. His resume also includes work with After School Matters, the George Lucas Family Foundation and the creation of the Robbie Robinson Finish Line Scholarship was created at Morehouse College.

"I am pleased to join this group of civic leaders who are committed to supporting LACMA and Michael Govan’s broad vision of bringing a modern arts center to life through impactful investment and a deep connection with the communities it serves.”