Rona Sebastian, President of the Herb Alpert Foundation, has played a significant role in the world of the arts and education. As President of the Herb Alpert Foundation, Sebastian defines, plans and administers the Foundation’s areas of funding and program development. In addition, she collaborates with partners, institutions and other foundations to strengthen and enhance current and future programs, and develop consortiums to address areas of shared interest.
Sebastian is a senior executive with national and international experience in non-profit arts and cultural organizations, philanthropy, higher education, and consulting.
Sebastian, a trained classical pianist, ran two Yamaha music schools for preschoolers while pursuing her degree in Social Psychology at Cal State Northridge (Class of 1972; summa cum laude).
Sebastian holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, and attended the Institute of Educational Management at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
1985 – 2000 Sebastian established a diverse set of skills in a succession of senior leadership positions for the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles. Throughout her 15 years at The Getty, she pioneered several institutional initiatives and developed the Office of Strategic Partnerships. As Deputy Director, she also led the Getty Conservation Institute through a period of rapid growth and expansion, developing the GCI’s first strategic plan.
In 2000 Sebastian was named the Vice President of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. During her four years in the role she was responsible for strategic planning, public affairs and publications, development, alumni relations and community outreach.
As President of the Herb Alpert Foundation since 2004, Rona sees her role as the conduit through which to actualize the Alperts’ desire to give back and help make the world a more vital and compassionate place to live.