David Gest

Chief Operating Officer

David Gest is Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). An attorney and former Partner in the Real Estate Department at the AmLaw 100 law firm Ballard Spahr LLP, which has provided pro bono legal counsel to Mural Arts for decades, Gest worked on notable Mural Arts projects Open Source, Monument Lab, and Site/Sound: Revealing the Rail Park, as well as contracts for mural installations throughout Philadelphia.

Before becoming an attorney, the Washington, D.C. native worked as a consultant for a leading historic preservation consulting firm in California. In addition to a J.D. from Columbia University, Gest holds a Master of City Planning degree, focusing on community and economic development, from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design and a B.A. in architecture and urban studies from Yale University. He has also served on the board of the Philadelphia-based Community Design Collaborative, which coordinates pro bono design services for local community groups and nonprofit organizations.

As the second-highest ranking executive at Mural Arts under Jane Golden, Gest oversees the organization’s day-to-day operations, specifically the financial and administrative components such as budgets, systems, protocols, contracts, and compliance, as well as human resource management, program and project divisions, and field operations. He will also provide strategic oversight for the execution of Mural Arts’ overarching mission to use the transformative power of participatory public art as a vehicle for social change that results in a more just and equitable Philadelphia.

Last updated: Dec 1, 2022