John D. Goldman

John D. Goldman


John D. Goldman was elected President of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) in December 2001 and has been a member of the SFS’s Board of Governors since 1996. He completes his eleven-year tenure as President in December 2012, after which he will continue to serve on the board. Goldman’s many accomplishments include the launch and completion of the Symphony’s Second Century campaign to support the Orchestra’s artistic, education, and community programs. The funds raised ensure the organization’s continued commitment to artistic and musical excellence, develop new audiences, fund artist and composer residencies and commissioned works, and support the organization’s financial stability. Goldman was at the helm during the planning and celebration of the Orchestra’s Centennial season in 2011-12, highlighted by the return of the groundbreaking American Mavericks Festival, the visits of six leading American orchestras for two-concert residencies, and the expansion of education and community programs.

Also during his tenure, the Orchestra launched and successfully completed the globally-acclaimed, decade-long Gustav Mahler recording project on SFS Media, which encompassed the recordings of all of the composer’s symphonies and works for voice, chorus, and orchestra, a cycle that won seven Grammy Awards. With Goldman as President, the SFS conceived and created the $25 million Keeping Score project, producing a national television and radio series, and websites designed to make classical music more widely accessible for all. The Symphony’s media and technology endeavors significantly expanded during Goldman’s leadership as President, further establishing the SFS as an innovator in reaching audiences far beyond the concert experience at Davies Symphony Hall.

Goldman was formerly the Chairman of Willis Bay Area, Inc., and the Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Insurance Services.  Prior to joining Goldman Insurance in 1986, he served in the Office of the Legislative Analyst for the State of California from 1975 to 1978, and as Assistant Secretary of Transportation for the State of California from 1978 to 1981. He is the son of the late Richard N. Goldman and the late Rhoda Haas Goldman, influential leaders in the community and international affairs. 

Active in the community and philanthropic activities, Goldman was named by President Obama to the Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2011. He is involved with Stanford University in several areas, including serving on the board of Stanford Hospital and Clinics, the Stanford Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS), and the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council. He also serves on the America’s Cup Organizing Committee and is a trustee of several family foundations. He formerly was the President of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma Counties, and the Peninsula, and served both as the Chair of the Stanford University Athletic Board and as a member of the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College. He was a member of the Steering Committee and Major Gifts Committee of the Stanford Challenge; a Member of the President’s Council of the Coyote Point Center for Environmental Education; an Honorary Board Member of Project Open Hand; and an Advisory Board Member of the Trust for Public Land.  He is a past President of the Board of Jewish Family and Children’s Services, having served as a Board Member of the agency from 1984 to 1996, and is a former Board Member of the Institute on Aging.

A native San Franciscan, Goldman graduated in 1967 from Lick-Wilmerding High School.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Swarthmore College in 1971 and a Masters in Business Administration from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1975.  Goldman lives on the Peninsula with his wife Marcia and has two children, Aaron and Jessica, as well as two dogs and a cat.

(September 2012)