SF Ballet appoints new executive director. And she’s a familiar face

Danielle St. Germain-Gordon has been named permanent executive director of San Francisco Ballet. Photo: Athena Pelton

Danielle St. Germain-Gordon, who has served as interim executive director of San Francisco Ballet since June, has been named to the position permanently. The unanimous decision of the board’s executive committee was announced on Thursday, March 17, after a regular board meeting.

“Danielle has been doing the job for nine months, and it’s become clear that she’s doing it very well,” said board co-chair Sunnie Evers. “It’s been a time of a lot of change, but it seems like it’s all been really positive.”

St. Germain-Gordon joined the company in 2018 as director of development, coming from the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis after a career spent largely in theater in Washington, D.C. In an interview with The Chronicle, she said the development and fundraising had always been the breadth of his professional ambitions.

“I was steeped in this world,” she said. “I love relationships and talking to people, so it was basically built for me.”

But when Kelly Tweeddale abruptly left the top spot last June less than two years on the job, St. Germain-Gordon – who, in addition to her development role, was also filling a vacancy in the marketing department – ​​was asked to step in. .

The new appointment means St. Germain-Gordon will be in place to act as a full partner with Tamara Rojo when the Spanish dancer arrives as artistic director later this year, taking over from Helgi Tomasson. Together, they will form the first all-female management team in the company’s 90-year history.

Tamara Rojo has been named Artistic Director of San Francisco Ballet. Photo: Karolina Kuras

During her tenure as interim general manager, St. Germain-Gordon oversaw the company’s return to live shows and classes after the COVID pandemic shutdown. Under his leadership, the Ballet also created the position of Diversity Officer, partnered with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to launch the Denis de Coteau Fellowship for Black Musicians, and entered into new labor agreements with the union. representing the dancers of the company.

She also designed and taught a 10-week course during the shutdown on development and financial basics to the company’s dancers, which she said “really cemented my membership in the organization.”

Evers said approval for the decision was widespread across the company.

“Our intention was to do a search,” she said. “But we got the message from the whole organization – the board, the dancers, the staff, the orchestra – which basically expressed two things: they loved Danielle and they didn’t want any more change. “

For nine months, St-Germain-Gordon has been juggling three management positions. But with development and marketing positions expected to be filled soon, she said, it’s time to focus on the bigger picture.

“Now that it’s official, I think I can get out of the grind and have a little more time for the dreamy part of the job, which is the most exciting part,” St. Germain-Gordon said. “I like risk and change a lot, but I also want to be sure of achieving something. So thankful I had the chance to take this for a test drive.


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