Karen Simonian

Co-interim Head of Advancement

Karen Simonian has been with the Wexner Center for the Arts for 25 years, focused variously on advancement, grants, government relations, media relations, and strategic messaging. As co-interim head of advancement, she oversees major philanthropic initiatives and coleads a team focused on fundraising in support of the Wexner Center’s mission. Simonian also serves on the center’s executive management team, closely partnering with the executive director to create and lead the center’s philanthropic strategy and advance the institution.

Over the years, Simonian has secured major funding from such entities as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Teiger Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and she has significantly expanded and diversified the center’s funding sources. She has also directed the center’s media relations efforts, procuring coverage in such publications as the New York Times, New Yorker, Vogue, and Artforum, as well as on CBS News Sunday Morning, PBS NewsHour, and NPR.

Prior to joining the Wexner Center, Simonian was an award-winning writer and arts editor for Columbus news weekly the Other Paper, and she also contributed to Columbus Monthly magazine and other regional outlets. Simonian has served on grants, public relations, and marketing panels and committees over the years, and she currently serves on the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s program committee. She has been a board member of Dine Originals Columbus, cochair of the Columbus Arts Marketing Association, and a fellow of the Next Generation of Leaders program at the Jefferson Center’s Academy for Leadership and Governance. She graduated from Miami University and attended the university’s campus in Luxembourg.