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NRF Mourns the Loss of Former Board Chair, Roger Mandle

With profound sadness, Newport Restoration Foundation shares the news of the passing on November 28, 2020 of our former Board Chair, Roger Mandle. Roger joined the NRF Board in 2002 while serving as the President of Rhode Island School of Design. He left the Board in 2008 to become Executive Director and Chief Officer of Museums at Qatar Museums Authority in Doha, Qatar, but rejoined after returning to New England four years later. In December 2013, he was elected Board Chair of NRF and served in that role for five years.

Roger’s passion for life and the depth and breadth of his experience inspired all of us who had the pleasure to work with him. As a leader, his enthusiasm was infectious. He understood the role that an organization like NRF could play in the life of the community, and he recognized that the word “community” encompasses everybody who lives and works here.

Although he is perhaps best known in Rhode Island for his role in academia, his knowledge of museums, and especially art museums, was unsurpassed. Prior to his arrival at RISD, he served as Associate Director of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Director of the Toledo Museum of Art, and Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Roger retired as NRF Board Chair to devote more time to the Massachusetts Design Art & Technology Institute (DATMA), a New Bedford organization he co-founded with his wife, Gayle Wells Mandle, in 2016. Contributions in his memory may be made to DATMA or RISD.


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