Robert Doty, CFO Science Museum of Minnesota

Robert Doty, CFO Science Museum of Minnesota

The impact of Robert Doty’s career is impressive and broad: SVP & CFO of Dunwoody College, CFO & COO of Minneapolis Public Schools, Executive Director of the MN State Lottery, Commissioner of the MN Department of Revenue and now, his current role as the CFO & VP of Infrastructure of the Science Museum of Minnesota. More important is the impact he has had on the teams and individuals he has led and mentored along the way. Robert is known as a strong leader, problem solver, and change agent with an eye on process improvement. He incorporates elements of diversity and inclusion into his work and teams and always walks his talk. His passion for the environment and social responsibility while being fiscally prudent made Scouts Talent curious to learn more….

If you could try a different job for a day, what would you choose?

I would choose to be a pop music performer. I think I would enjoy the admiration of the fans and expressing myself through song, even though I am not a singer outside of the shower.

What advice would you give someone starting out in your industry?

The advice I would give is to learn as much about our business sector as possible. The arts & culture sector comprises diverse organizations with diverse missions and visions. Though these organizations are very different, they are dealing with collective challenges related to the pandemic and its effects on admissions and visitors, value pricing, the visitor experience, federal and state grant funding, and community relations. A newcomer to this sector should become familiar with what’s happening in the sector. Additionally, it is important to build relationships across the sector to share information and exchange best practices. Understanding your organization is important, and addressing challenges based on the collective wisdom of your peer group is equally important.

What is your mantra?

Don’t let your enemy get the best of you. I adhere to the mock-Latin phrase “Illegitimi non carborundum” which translates to “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”

What companies or leaders do you admire?

I admire Motown and Barry Gordy. I like the road map he set for his organization and how he set out to make his dream a reality.

What has been the biggest shift you’ve noticed in your industry in the last decade?

I believe there is a renewed emphasis on the customer and a need for thorough evaluation of their wants and needs. We often think we know, and research often tells us otherwise.

How do you get yourself out of a slump?

I get out of a slump through meditation and prayer. I spend time self-reflecting and examining my current situation.

Who has been most instrumental in your career?

There have been many who have been instrumental in my career, but most instrumental would be my parents. They taught me the value of hard work and provided an example of a drive to succeed. They also instilled a belief in my own abilities and a desire to never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.

What is your go-to celebration meal, drink or tradition?

In my family, when we celebrate it always includes a nice dinner at a comfortable restaurant. We generally like to include the entire family.


Be a Finance & Accounting Insider.

Stay current on trends, get tips for success, and hear from industry influencers with Scouts Talent insights, delivered right to your inbox.