Meet New NYFA Board Member: Don Duet

Meet New NYFA Board Member: Don Duet

“As an early member and sponsor of the Open Source technology movement, I witnessed first-hand how a creative community when organized and focused, can truly change the world for the better.” 

We are proud to introduce new NYFA board member Don Duet, technologist and former partner, Goldman Sachs. In continuing with our ongoing series of blog posts dedicated to the exceptional arts advocates who operate behind-the-scenes here at NYFA, we sat down with Duet to get his insights into the intersection of art and technology, his interest in NYFA, and his advice for emerging artists.

Duet is a recognized global leader in financial services technology and a thought leader in open source, automation, and cloud computing. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1988 as an associate in the Technology Department within Fixed Income, Currency, and Commodities in New York. He transitioned to a number of roles within Technology, relocating to London in 1991, Frankfurt in 1993, and Tokyo in 1996. He was named managing director in 2000 and partner in 2006, and served as chief information officer for Goldman Sachs in Asia from 2001 to 2006. Duet was global chief operating officer of the technology division before assuming his most recent role as division head. Duet earned a BS degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Marist College in 1988.

NYFA: What made you decide to join the NYFA board?

Don Duet: I’ve always been inspired by individual creativity and the spirit of the entrepreneur/artist. My father was a carpenter by trade but an artist at heart; teaching himself to play guitar, learning to become an accomplished wood carver, and over the years, a master toy maker for his many grandchildren. When I think of artists, I think of my father and his amazing curiosity and continuous desire to create through his own hands and imagination. Today, I see that same passion in my daughter, Mary, a vocals major at LaGuardia High School here in New York City; and my son, Louis, who studies film making in college.

As a technologist and a software engineer for most of my adult life, I have always found inspiring the creative design and architectural aspects of engineering. Whether it be rethinking existing business process or re-envisioning the intersection of how the world uses technology; the ability to express my own imagination, personality and viewpoints through software and design has always been fundamental to my self-satisfaction and happiness. As an early member and sponsor of the Open Source technology movement, I witnessed first-hand how a creative community when organized and focused, can truly change the world for the better.

NYFA: What do you hope to bring to NYFA as a board member?

DD: The more I learned about NYFA, the more I knew I wanted to be involved. Being at the center of the creative community and providing essential, critical services, the foundation makes a profound impact on artists on both an individual and community scale. As a thought-leading institution, its strategy and direction-setting impacts a broad range of other foundations and non profit institutions.  

I believe the most important role I can play at NYFA will be to help advise the institution as it increasingly looks to technology as a key component in its mission to serve the needs of the artistic community. As technology increasingly plays a deeper and more embedded role in our lives, so does the need for a continuous dialog on how to best leverage technology and better enable the incredible platform and services NYFA brings to the artist community.

NYFA: What advice do you have for emerging artists?

DD: The opportunity for innovation, communication, and distribution of your talent and creativity has never been greater. Perhaps the greatest value to society in this unprecedented period of rapid technological change we are living through will be the amplification and accessibility it enables for individual expression. As entrepreneur, founder, and creative director of your work, I encourage you to leverage, learn, and engage within this new digital ecosystem to help maximize your own personal impact on the world.

See NYFA’s full Board of Directors and Leadership Council here

– Interview conducted by Lauren Hilger, Executive Assistant

Image: Courtesy of Don Duet 

Amy Aronoff
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