The Whitney, M.I.T., the Museum of Natural History, Sloan Kettering, the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Shed at Hudson Yards—these are just a few of the places under fire for their financial ties to individuals now deemed problematic.

Yet, having spent the better part of two decades managing a series of public-spirited institutions—including the 92nd Street Y, the International Rescue Committee, the Robin Hood Foundation, and Lincoln Center—I can’t help but feel that many of these protests are misdirected.