NEWARK, NJ — The board of trustees for New Jersey’s largest art institution will now be headed by two new leaders.  

Officials of The Newark Museum of Art announced last week that businessmen, Eric Fitzgerald Reed, vice president of Public Policy & Community Engagement for Verizon Communications and Allen Karp, executive vice president of Healthcare Management and Transformation at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, were appointed to serve as co-chairs for the museum’s board of trustees.

Both Reed and Karp were formally installed as co-chairs at an annual meeting on Feb. 17, museum officials said.

Sign Up for Nutley Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

“We are delighted that Allen and Eric have accepted these roles to lead our board and help us seize the opportunities that present themselves during these challenging times,” said Linda Harrison, director and CEO of The Newark Museum of Art. “These two individuals both bring expertise in innovation, technology and government relations that I know will prove invaluable for the museum. I am looking forward to having their many talents at hand, as we continue our recovery.”

Founded in 1909, The Newark Museum of Art is the state's largest art institution and one of the most influential museums in the United States. Its renowned global art collections, supported by significant holdings of science, technology and natural history, rank 12th among North America’s art museums.

It also encompasses the 1885 Ballantine House mansion, the Victoria Hall of Science, the Alice and Leonard Dreyfuss Planetarium, the MakerSPACE, the Billy Johnson Auditorium, the Alice Ransom Dreyfuss Memorial Garden, an authentic 1784 Schoolhouse, and the Newark Fire Museum. 

As the new board co-chairs, Karp and Reed will take over for Clifford Blanchard and Christine Gilfillan, who previously served in the position since 2017.

In his position at Verizon Communications in Washington, D.C., Reed is responsible for analyzing emerging tech industry trends and managing telecommunications developments as they relate to public policy and community engagement. He also manages relationships with business and tech associations, strategic partners, state and local government agencies, and community organizations important to the policy process.

“I am honored to serve as co-chair of the Board of Trustees for The Newark Museum of Art, and I look forward to working alongside Director Linda Harrison as we reunite to work collaboratively and deliver creative arts experiences to the Newark community,” Reed said. “Alongside my colleague and fellow co-chair Allen Karp, the commitment to implementing innovative digital assets and programming, while providing strategic direction on behalf of this important arts, cultural and community institution, is an exciting opportunity.”

In his role at Newark-based Horizon BCBSNJ, Karp is responsible for the insurer’s health care value strategy and clinical and network operations. He also leads the pharmacy, behavioral health and health care analytics operations. Karp has over 30 years of experience in leading health care delivery and service organizations. 

“As a member of Newark’s corporate community, I am struck by the meaningful role The Newark Museum of Art plays in the cultural fabric of this great city,” Karp said. “As we know, the world will never ever be the same after 2020. I look forward to working with Eric and the rest of the board – as well as museum leadership – to help steer the institution into the future.”