Cheryl Finley is director of the Atlanta University Center Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Art History at Spelman College. A visionary leader committed to engaging strategic partners to transform the art and culture industry, she leads an innovative undergraduate program at the world’s largest historically Black college and university (HBCU) consortium in preparing the next generation of African American museum and visual arts professionals. She is a curator, contemporary art critic, and award-winning author noted for Committed to Memory: The Art of the Slave Ship Icon (2018), the first in-depth study of the most famous image associated with the memory of slavery—a schematic engraving of a packed slave ship hold—and the art, architecture, poetry, and film it has inspired since its creation in Britain in 1788. Dr. Finley’s current research includes Black Market; Inside the Art World, a book on the history of Black artists, gallerists and collectors in the art market, and Pictures in My Mother’s House, a memoir. She is on leave from Cornell University, where she is an associate professor in the History of Art Department.
Amanda Gallagher is the Head of Technology Strategy at New York Life Investments. In this role, Amanda is responsible for translating global business goals into technology solutions, leading large data and technology initiatives, and driving process improvements across sales, marketing, and operations. Amanda has over 10 years of experience in technology and financial services, starting her career as a Software Engineer and moving into roles in product management, venture capital, change management, and innovation. Amanda received an MBA from Columbia Business School, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, German, and French from NYU.
Thomas Kline is a partner at the law firm Cultural Heritage Partners in Washington, D.C. He is responsible for a number of groundbreaking cases, including setting precedent in the law governing recovery of antiquities and Nazi-looted art. Tom advises clients on a wide variety of art and cultural property matters, including ownership, theft, authenticity, breach of contract, and insurance. Since 1989 he has specialized in cultural heritage-related litigation, arbitration, alternative dispute resolution, and advice and counseling, representing governments, museums, churches, foundations, and families. Tom is an Adjunct Professorial Lecturer at The George Washington University, Museum Studies Program.
Bénédicte de Montlaur
Bénédicte de Montlaur is President and Chief Executive Officer of World Monuments Fund (WMF), the world’s foremost private organization dedicated to saving extraordinary places while empowering the communities around them. She is responsible for defining and implementing WMF’s strategic vision, and leading a team in more than 30 countries around the world.
Her background mixes culture and the arts, politics, international diplomacy and human rights. Prior to joining WMF, Montlaur spent two decades working across three continents as a senior diplomat at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Most recently, she served as Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the United States, leading France’s largest international cultural advocacy network and its two partner foundations—Albertine and FACE—and directing a team of 90 people in ten US offices. In this role, Montlaur created and expanded numerous programs, including the French-American Dual Language Fund, the annual Festival Albertine featuring curators including Ta-Nehisi Coates and Gloria Steinem, and the podcast The Thing About France, which presented conversations with prominent Americans about their country’s relationship with France. Previously, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in charge of North Africa, United Nations Security Council Negotiator on Africa and the Middle East and French Embassy First Secretary in Damascus, Syria.