Join the Pacific Council for a conversation with Michael Govan, the CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and Ambassador Colleen Bell, Executive Director of the California Film Commission and Former United States Ambassador to Hungary (2015-2017), as they delve into the critical importance of the arts to Los Angeles. This engaging discussion will explore the intersection of museums, subnational diplomacy, and global affairs highlighting how art serves as a powerful catalyst for cultural diplomacy and international engagement. Furthermore, it will shed light on the profound impact that art and its appreciation have on fostering cross-cultural understanding, promoting dialogue, and shaping the global perception of Los Angeles.
Located on the Pacific Rim, LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection of nearly 149,000 objects that illuminate 6,000 years of artistic expression across the globe. Committed to showcasing a multitude of art histories, LACMA exhibits and interprets works of art from new and unexpected points of view that are informed by the region’s rich cultural heritage and diverse population. LACMA’s spirit of experimentation is reflected in its work with artists, technologists, and thought leaders as well as in its regional, national, and global partnerships to share collections and programs, create pioneering initiatives, and engage new audiences.
LACMA’s mission is to serve the public through the collection, conservation, exhibition, and interpretation of significant works of art from a broad range of cultures and historical periods, and through the translation of these collections into meaningful educational, aesthetic, intellectual, and cultural experiences for the widest array of audiences.
, CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director Michael Govan
Michael Govan is the CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Since coming to LACMA in 2006 he has overseen the transformation of the 20–acre campus with buildings by Renzo Piano and monumental artworks by Chris Burden, Michael Heizer, Robert Irwin, Barbara Kruger, and others. At LACMA, Govan has pursued his vision of contemporary artists and architects interacting with the museum’s historic collections, as evidenced by exhibition and gallery designs in collaboration with artists John Baldessari, Jorge Pardo, and Franz West, and architects Frank O. Gehry, Fred Fisher, Michael Maltzan, and others. Under his leadership, LACMA has acquired nearly 35,000 works, building and expanding its collection of works from Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Pacific. In 2015, Govan undertook the museum’s most successful art gift campaign in honor of LACMA’s 50th anniversary, as well as the most significant bequest in the museum’s history, the Perenchio collection of Impressionist and early 20th-century art. READ MORE.
, Executive Director, California Film Commission, Former United States Ambassador to Hungary (2015-2017) Colleen Bell
Colleen Bell works for the State of California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) as the Executive Director of the California Film Commission. Bell oversees the Film & TV Tax Credit Program, permitting for all State properties, facilitation of production activity, and all avenues necessary to maintain California’s competitiveness in film and television production.
Prior to her State service, Bell served as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary from 2014 to 2017. During her tenure, Bell led engagement on military cooperation, law enforcement, and economic development between the U.S. and Hungary.
Prior to her diplomatic service, she was a Producer at an award-winning production company responsible for some of the most watched television programming in the world.
She currently serves on the boards of LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Atlantic Council, Pacific Council on International Policy. She also serves on the International Board of Advisors for CEPA, the Mayor’s International Advisory Council, and USC’s Center for Public Diplomacy and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.