A view of Boston's historic Pilot House from the harbor

Matt Conti

Barbara W. Hostetter

Co-founder and Chair

Barbara Hostetter is co-founder and chair of the Board of Trustees of the Barr Foundation. She served as the Foundation’s president from its inception through 2014, managing its early grantmaking, overseeing organizational development, and shaping grantmaking strategies. She worked closely with the Foundation’s first two executive directors and became board chair with the arrival of Barr’s current president, Jim Canales, who was appointed in 2014.

Barbara is also a life trustee of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where she served as president of the board for 10 years. During that time, she co-chaired a major capital campaign that grew the Museum’s endowment and financed its preservation and expansion project. Barbara was actively involved in the creation of the new wing that opened in 2012, which was designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano. She also chaired the Museum’s search committee for its fifth director in 2015.

Barbara serves on the boards of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and as a member of the Arts Advisory Council for the Boston Public Schools and the Council of Advisors for Historic Boston, Inc. Her past service includes the boards of the New England Aquarium, Friends of the Public Garden, Milton Academy, and the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children. She was also appointed by Governor Romney as a founding member of the Stewardship Council for the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

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