Group Director, Administration

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Born in Los Angeles, Kathleen Gaines was raised in the suburb of Torrance. Her parents encouraged an interest in the arts by taking her to theater and dance performances. She was drawn to ballet, and from the ages of 8 to 16, she took ballet instruction six days a week.

After a first undergraduate year at California Lutheran College, she transferred to the University of San Diego, majoring in business administration. At the urging of her father—a management consultant for manufacturers—she concentrated on accounting. Following graduation, she returned to Torrance, taking a job as a staff auditor with the consulting and accounting firm of Arthur Anderson & Company. Kathleen began work in the small business division, where her first client was the then-modest Chiat-Day advertising agency, whose own clients included Apple Computer and Nike. After rising to a senior auditor, she was promoted in 1985 to assistant director of administration in the audit department, a position that appealed to her interest in work focused on people. There she concentrated on human resources and staffing issues, including development of an effective approach for allocating staff to company clients in Southern California, Nevada, and Hawaii.

In 1993, with a one-year-old child at home and her immediate boss retiring, Kathleen decided she wanted a career change. Working with an executive search firm, she interviewed with two organizations. The first was a company that managed the business affairs of celebrity singers. The other turned out to be her preference—the GCI. In January 1994, she began work as the GCI's manager of administration. Her first on-the-job test was the Northridge earthquake, which occurred two weeks after she started; fortunately, the Institute's facility was spared serious damage.

Kathleen's first years at the Institute were devoted extensively to the GCI's move to the Getty Center, and she enjoyed the challenge of facilitating the transition and further integrating the GCI's operations with those of the Getty Trust as a whole. In 1998 she was promoted to the Institute's director of administration. As she had at Arthur Anderson, she continues to enjoy working with bright, intellectually stimulating colleagues. Her current responsibilities include assisting the GCI's leadership to manage organizational change—a concept with which she is quite familiar, as she and her husband raise their now-seven-year-old daughter.