October 21, 2015

PHOENIX, Ariz. –

After an extensive nationwide search, the Heard Museum in Phoenix announced that its Board of Trustees appointed David M. Roche as director and chief executive officer, effective January 1, 2016. Roche has served as the director of Sotheby’s American Indian Art Department for the past 18 years. During his tenure at Sotheby’s, the most important collections of American Indian art were entrusted to his care and resulted in landmark sales.

Roche has consulted and lectured on American Indian art at museums and universities around the world including the British Museum, the Denver Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Andy Warhol Museum. He has published on the subjects of antique and contemporary American Indian art, most recently in exhibition catalogues for the Museum of Art and Design’s Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation.

“David’s passion for and expertise in American Indian art combined with his experience and leadership skills are a perfect match for the Heard Museum. The Board was unanimous in its view that David is the ideal director and CEO,” said Sue Navran, Chair of the Board of the Heard Museum.

Prior to joining Sotheby’s, Roche served as the director of Gallery 10 in Scottsdale and Santa Fe and as vice president of Kaiser-Engler Group in New York, a firm specializing in financial and strategic planning for non-profit arts organizations.
Roche has a B.A. in history from the University of Illinois and a Master in Arts Administration from New York University.

When asked why he was interested in the Heard CEO position, Roche said: “The Heard Museum has long been a source of inspiration for me. Building on its many strengths and ensuring that we reach the broadest possible audience both in Phoenix and beyond strikes me as important and very exciting work.”

He joins a dedicated and talented staff of the museum with a full year of programming underway, beginning with an exhibition of photographs from the Frida Kahlo Museum opening Oct. 31 and continuing until Feb. 8, 2016.