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AGO Leadership Team

Stephan Jost – Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO

Stephan Jost is the Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Following his appointment in 2016, Stephan demonstrated immediate leadership by thoughtfully exploring the AGO’s visitorship, collection and key strengths in order to strategically focus on three mission-aligned areas: art, access and learning. He has overseen the revitalization of several key areas in the Gallery, helped clarify new audience target segments; and launched Look:Forward, a major reinstallation of the AGO’s remarkable Collection.

Before joining the AGO, Stephan was Director of the Honolulu Museum of Art (HoMA) for five years, where he worked to make the Museum a welcoming and accessible place for a more diverse audience. Under his leadership, HoMA’s finances were dramatically improved; the education program expanded in reach and capacity; its membership increased by 64 per cent; and the visitor experience significantly energized.

Prior to that, he was the Director of the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, the Director of the Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, California, and held several curatorial positions at the Allen Memorial Art Museum of Oberlin College in Ohio.

Born in Michigan, Stephan holds a BA in art history from Hampshire College in Massachusetts and an MA in art history, specializing in the history of photography, from the University of Texas at Austin.

Lisa Clements – Chief, Communications & Brand

Lisa Clements

Lisa Clements was appointed Chief, Communications & Brand (Interim) in 2017 and is responsible for marketing & design, communications, government relations, visitor experience, membership & data base marketing, and digital services at the AGO. Prior to this role, Lisa held the positions of Chief, Public Affairs & Communications, Director, Corporate and Public Affairs, and Associate Director, Office of the Director & CEO and Corporate Secretary.

Before joining the AGO, Lisa worked for the Ontario government for more than 11 years in various roles, including Chief of Staff to the Minister of Culture, Chief of Staff for the Government House Leader and as Senior Advisor, Issues Management, to the Minister for Children and Youth Services.

Lisa is a graduate of McMaster University where she received her BA in Canadian politics and her MA in public policy and administration.

Judy Koke – Richard and Elizabeth Currie Chief, Public Programming and Learning

Judy Koke

Judy Koke was appointed the Richard and Elizabeth Currie Chief, Public Programming and Learning in 2014. Her responsibilities include public programs for adults, children and youth, school and teacher programs, visitor research and in-gallery interpretation and engagement.

Judy joined the AGO from The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where she served as Director, Education and Interpretive Programs. Prior to 2011, she worked at the AGO as the Gallery's Deputy Director, Education & Public Programming.

A recognized expert in visitor research and the role of museums in a changing world, Judy is an author of several publications for museum professionals and educators. Her most recent work explores integrating the visitor's perspective into interpretive planning processes and serving diverse audiences.

Mike Mahoney – Executive Director, Corporate Special Projects and Director of Operations

Mike Mahoney

Mike Mahoney currently serves as Executive Director, Corporate Special Projects and Director of Operations. He is responsible for strategic projects on behalf of the Gallery and oversees building and facilities services. 

Mike successfully led the $276 million construction project, Transformation AGO from 2005 to 2008.

Prior to joining the AGO, he was Assistant Director of Engineering and Technical Services for the Stadium Corporation of Ontario (Skydome), and Assistant Director of Engineering and Physical Plant at the University of St. Michael's College.

Deborah O’Leary – Director, Staff & Volunteer Resources

Deborah O’Leary – Director, Staff & Volunteer Resources

Deborah O’Leary is the Art Gallery of Ontario's Director of Staff & Volunteer Resources. She joined the AGO in 1995, bringing at the time over 17 years of front-line retail and progressive human resource management experience from the for-profit, Ontario Government, and not-for-profit sectors. In her current role, Deborah is responsible for managing the team that oversees the AGO’s human resource management, health and safety, and talent management programs for over 600 full-time and part-time staff, and over 400 frontline volunteers.

Erin Prendergast – Chief of Staff & Corporate Secretary

Erin Prendergast

Erin Prendergast joined the AGO as Chief of Staff & Corporate Secretary in 2015. Erin is responsible for advising and assisting Leadership Team colleagues in the achievement of strategic initiatives, priority setting, corporate governance, and also manages the operation of the Directors' Office.

Erin was previously Director of Development at the Walrus Foundation, best known for publishing The Walrus magazine, from 2013 to 2015. Before joining the Walrus, she worked at the AGO for thirteen years, managing fundraising projects with goals of $1 million and above. She was the manager of the Transformation AGO fundraising campaign, which raised more than $300 million in funds. At the 2008 completion of Transformation AGO, Erin established a donor relations portfolio and helped launch the “Art Opens Minds” campaign in support of art education in 2011. Previous to these roles, Erin worked at Key Porter Books, a Canadian book publisher, and Sotheby's (Canada) Inc., an international fine art auction house.

Erin is a certified fundraising executive and holds a master's degree in publishing.

Rocco Saverino – Chief Financial Officer, Finance and Information Technology

Rocco Saverino

Rocco Saverino was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2000, leading the AGO's financial oversight as well as holding responsibility for the Information Technology portfolio. Prior to this role, he held the position of Controller.

Before joining the AGO, Rocco was the Director of Finance at Humber Memorial Hospital from 1989 to 1997, and subsequently the Director of Decision Support at Humber River Regional Hospital until 1998.

He is a graduate of Ryerson Polytechnical Institute and received a diploma from the Business Administration program with a specialization in Accounting and Finance. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and obtained his Certified General Accountant (CGA) designation in 1993.

Christy Thompson – Chief, Exhibitions & Collections

Christy Thompson

Christy Thompson was appointed Chief Exhibitions and Collections in 2015 with a responsibility to lead and direct the activities of exhibition and collection installation, collection care, registration and the scheduling and logistical management of gallery installations. Prior to this role, she held the position of Associate Director, Administration and Corporate Secretary in the Director's Office.

Before joining the AGO, Christy worked at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, for ten years, holding the positions of Assistant Director, Acting Director and Head of Exhibitions.

Christy holds a BA, BFA and MFA, and is a visual artist

Alicia Vandermeer – Deputy Director & Chief Advancement Officer

Alicia Vandermeer

Alicia Vandermeer was appointed Deputy Director and Chief Advancement Officer in 2016 and is responsible for the AGO’s advancement division, which includes Marketing, Design and Digital Services; Visitor Experience; Development; Public Affairs & Communications; and Staff & Volunteer Resources. Prior to this role she was the Chief Organization Officer & Corporate Secretary. Alicia joined the AGO in 2000 in the position of Annual Support Director. Over her 15 year career at the AGO, she has held the positions of Chief, Visitor Experience and Exhibitions; Director, Visitor Experience; Director, Development; and Director, Annual Support.

Before joining the AGO, Alicia was a Senior Consultant with fundraising consultancy DVA Navion, where she worked on feasibility studies and was campaign director for a Toronto hospital capital campaign.  Prior to that, she was Executive Director of the Canadian Hearing Society Foundation.

Alicia holds a BA from the University of Toronto where she majored in Urban Studies. She received her MBA from Schulich School of Business at York University.

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