Staff Profile


Ruth Berson, Deputy Museum Director, Curatorial Affairs

Ruth Berson, deputy museum director, curatorial affairs, has worked at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) since 2000. Berson was promoted from director of exhibitions to deputy director, exhibitions and collections, in 2002, after serving as acting co-director of the museum from 2001 to 2002; she was promoted again to her current position in November 2010, with new responsibility for the four collecting departments' curatorial staff (painting and sculpture, photography, media arts, and architecture and design).

As one of three deputy museum directors and a member of the senior management team, Berson is responsible for four divisions of program staff (curatorial; exhibitions; content strategy and digital engagement; and collections) with a total annual budget of over $14 million and a staff of more than 95. She oversees an annual program of approximately 25 exhibitions presented on site and a touring exhibition program with up to 15 worldwide venues.

With the director and the Board of Trustees, Berson played a key role in developing the 2011-2017 strategic plan and led the chapter and best practices summit on visitor experience. She served as the staff representative on the Architect Selection Committee of the Board for the museum expansion, and was responsible for leading the staff on space planning, design development, and project management.

In 2010, Berson was elected to the United States Board of the International Committee on Museums (ICOM), a nongovernmental organization maintaining formal relations with UNESCO and having a consultative status with the United Nations' Economic and Social Council. She was promoted to Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 2011, after having been knighted by the French Government as a Chevalier in 2000.