James Gara has been with The Museum of Modern Art since 1982, and was named Chief Operating Officer in 2000. He oversees the departments of Finance and Investments, with responsibility for the Museum’s budget and the growth of a top-performing endowment; the Department of Operations, with oversight of over one million square feet of Museum facilities; MoMA’s retail operations, comprising store locations in New York City, Japan, and Korea, as well as store.moma.org; and the departments of Security, Human Resources, and Information Systems. In his role as Chief Operating Officer, Gara plays a key role in major Museum initiatives, including the merger of The Museum of Modern Art and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1; formalized in 2010), and MoMA’s 2019 building project, which he guided in close collaboration with a multi-departmental team.

Gara serves on the Board of Trustees of the Ethical Culture Fieldston Schools (class of 1972), where he served as chairman and co-chairman from 1999 to 2004. He is also a co-trustee for the trust under the will of Robert B. Hirsch for the benefit of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. He has a BA in history from the City University of New York, an MA in Middle Eastern languages from Columbia University, and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.