Joseph H. Kluger


Joseph H. Kluger, a Principal of WolfBrown, has over 30 years of experience as an arts and culture executive and consultant in strategic planning, organizational collaboration, facilities development, governance, executive coaching, executive compensation and succession planning projects for nonprofit museums, theaters, opera companies, symphony orchestras, performing arts centers, and arts education institutions.

His consulting approach is to facilitate dynamic planning processes that help the board and staff leaders of these organizations address current challenges and future opportunities by reaching alignment on the answers to such fundamental questions as:

  • Does our core purpose and mission still serve the public interest?

  • Are we aligned on a future vision that will galvanize support from our community and donors?

  • Do our core values define the behaviors to which everyone is held accountable?

  • Which of our current programs are so valuable that, if we were not doing them now, we would add them? (Will we eliminate those we would not add?)

  • Which new programs are so compelling that we will add them, whether or not we have incremental funding? (Will we reallocate resources to invest in them?)

  • How can we ensure that we are always being responsive to our audiences, without compromising artistic integrity or the fulfillment of our mission?

  • Are we committed to DEI in all aspects of our organization and its operations?

  • What role should digital distribution play as an ongoing institutional strategy?

  • Should we explore organizational collaboration with other nonprofits?

  • Can we reduce fixed costs, or turn them into variable costs, without compromising the mission?

  • Do we have facilities that are optimally suited and resourced for our needs?

  • Can we increase working capital, to build a contingency into our budget, in anticipation of inevitable variances, and have funds to innovate and take risk?

  • Do we have “best practice” nominating and governance systems, policies and procedures that enable us to achieve our artistic and financial goals?

  • Do we have sufficient human capital within the professional staff, along with adequate leadership development systems in place to support them, to insure we have the organizational capacity to fulfill our mission?

  • Do we have formal succession plans for key professional and volunteer leaders, to guide us through these inevitable planned or unplanned leadership transitions?

Prior to his consulting career, Joe held leadership positions in the symphony field, including President of The Philadelphia Orchestra Association (1989-2005), where he helped develop the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and raised over $130 million for the endowment. He joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1985 as General Manager, after seven years with the New York Philharmonic, where he had been on staff in a variety of positions, culminating in the position of Orchestra Manager.

Joe is also an internationally recognized expert in the use of technology to accomplish strategic objectives in the arts and provides advice in this area to organizations such as the League of American Orchestras and OPERA America and their members.

Joe has held voluntary leadership positions as Chair of Philadelphia Mayor Nutter’s Cultural Advisory Council and President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Joe has also served as a Theatre Ambassador of the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, on the Board of Overseers of the Curtis Institute of Music, and on the Boards of National Philanthropic Trust, the Marian Anderson Award, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Arts and Business Council of Philadelphia, Sunderman Conservatory at Gettysburg College, and Pennsylvania Governor Rendell’s Arts and Culture Transition Team.

Joe holds an M.A. in Arts Administration from N.Y.U. and a B.A. in Music from Trinity College in Hartford. He has also participated in the Senior Executive Leadership Program of NTL Institute, the Wharton Fellows Master Class on Merger, Acquisition & Renewal, and the Executive Coaching Workshop at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. As an executive coach in the arts, he is qualified to administer Level B psychological assessment instruments.

Joe has served as a guest lecturer on leadership and arts administration at the graduate and undergraduate level at Curtis, Wharton, Penn, NYU and Drexel. He has also studied piano and voice, the latter including a summer at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and been both a director and performer in numerous amateur musical theater productions.