Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Announces New Board President, Secretary and Appointment of New Trustee

Release Date: 
Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Announces New Board President, Secretary and Appointment of New Trustee

Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of Beth Comstock as president and Judy Francis Zankel as secretary of its board of trustees. The Smithsonian’s board of regents voted Jan. 23 to appoint Dr. Alberto Eiber to the board of Cooper-Hewitt.

“We are excited that Beth and Judy have assumed these leadership roles during this important time in the museum’s history,” said Bill Moggridge, director.

Cooper-Hewitt’s main facility, housed in the Carnegie Mansion, is undergoing renovation as part of a $64 million capital campaign that includes enlarged and enhanced facilities for exhibitions, collections display, education programming and the National Design Library, and an increased endowment. During the renovation, Cooper-Hewitt’s usual schedule of exhibitions, education programs and events will be staged at various off-site locations, including Bill’s Design Talks at the Greene Space, the Enid and Lester Morse Historic Design Lecture Series at the University Club and the “Graphic Design: Now in Production” exhibition at Governors Island next summer.

“Beth and Judy have been trustees for a number of years and we are grateful to them for their commitment to Cooper-Hewitt,” said Caroline Baumann, associate director. “We are also delighted to welcome Al Eiber to our distinguished roster of 31 trustees who are working diligently to promote the museum’s mission.”

Cooper-Hewitt’s board of trustees, chaired by Paul Herzan, includes distinguished civic and business leaders dedicated to the continued growth of the museum.

“Cooper-Hewitt’s mission, its vision, is to explain how design, historic or contemporary, impacts our lives,” said Comstock. “That’s why I’m so excited and supportive of what Cooper-Hewitt does because they’re trying to find a way that everyone understands why design matters and how design fits into your life.”

Comstock, a trustee since 2006, is senior vice president and chief marketing officer for General Electric. Prior to her current post, Comstock served as president of digital media and market development at NBC Universal. Before that, she held the position of corporate vice president and chief marketing officer of General Electric, and a succession of communications and publicity positions at NBC, Turner Broadcasting and CBS Entertainment. A native of Virginia, Comstock is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. She is chair of the museum’s executive committee and co-chair of the marketing and media task force.

Zankel, a trustee since 2008, is a freelance illustrator, who works as a fashion, beauty, food and instructional “how to” illustrator for manufacturers, advertising agencies, magazines and book publishers. A graduate of Hunter College, City University of New York, Zankel also attended the School of Visual Arts where she studied fashion illustration. She is a former President of the Society of Illustrators in New York, a member of the Graphic Artists Guild and the Fashion Art Source and serves as a trustee on the board of Carnegie Hall. She is chair of the museum’s committee on trustees and a member of Cooper-Hewitt’s executive and collections committees.

Eiber is founder and president of Eiber Radiology. He is a graduate of Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara and Ohio State University. Eiber has been collecting 20th-century design and decorative arts for more than two decades, specifically pottery, glass and modern Italian furniture. He is a former trustee of Wolfsonian-Florida International University.