Vilcek Foundation Announces New President
New York, NY, October 11, 2016 — The Vilcek Foundation is pleased to announce Rick Kinsel as its new president. Mr. Kinsel, who has been with the Vilcek Foundation since its inception in 2000, is being promoted from executive director; the change reflects his ongoing commitment to the organization and its expansion in scope.
“Rick has been with us since the Vilcek Foundation was just an idea,” says co-founder Jan Vilcek. “And it was his exceptional vision, continual hard work, and demonstrated leadership that turned that idea into a reality.”
“It has been a pleasure working closely with our founders, Jan and Marica Vilcek, to shape the foundation’s mission and goals,” says Rick Kinsel. “I have always been guided by Jan and Marica’s extraordinary kindness and humanity, and I look forward to continuing our partnership in their new roles as, respectively, CEO and chairman, and vice chairman.
Mr. Kinsel has overseen the Vilcek Foundation through several expansions of its staff, programs, and mission. He helped establish the Vilcek Prizes, the organization’s flagship program, in 2006, which are awarded annually to distinguished immigrants who work in the arts and sciences; in 2009, he oversaw the implementation of the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise, created to support emerging foreign-born artists and scientists. Under Mr. Kinsel’s leadership, the Vilcek Foundation further expanded its activities to include the management of significant art collections that are among the best in private hands; they are a promised gift from founders Jan and Marica Vilcek. Currently, the foundation is renovating new headquarters to permanently house the collections, which include pre-Colombian objects, Native American pottery, and an unparalleled assemblage of American modernist works. Each year, the foundation awards over $500,000 in prizes and grants.
As a curator and an executive, Mr. Kinsel has experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Prior to the Vilcek Foundation, he served as the director of cultural affairs for COTY, Inc., where he built art collections for offices in New York, Paris, Moscow, and London; managed the company’s charitable initiatives; and helped broker a deal with NASA to create exclusive personal care products for use in the International Space Station. Before that, he started his career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a cataloguer-in-charge of acquisitions.
Mr. Kinsel completed a Master of Arts at the Bard Graduate Center, with a focus in the decorative arts, design and culture, and he has a Bachelor of Arts from The Ohio State University, where he studied art history. He has received the MAD Visionaries Award from the Museum of Arts and Design and the Excellence in Design Award from the American Institute for Graphic Arts, and he and volunteers as a visual arts curator for Pen + Brush. Later this fall, he will be honored by the Theatre Communications Group for his efforts supporting diversity, inclusivity, and equity in American theatre, alongside Walking Dead actress and Tony Award-winning playwright Danai Gurira, and Front Row Productions co-founders Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey.
A Message from Jan and Marica Vilcek
Our founders arrived as penniless refugees over fifty years ago, but with the kindness and opportunity they received in the United States, they went on to accomplish great things in biomedical science and art history. Read their statement on the recent executive order imposing a travel ban.