Originally from Honolulu, O’Harrow has been the director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art since 2010 and a board director of the Iowa Arts Council since 2011. Prior to that, he headed the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, for three and a half years. He also teaches art history at the University of Iowa and taught in museum management at Western Illinois University. Along with his many curatorial accomplishments he was instrumental in the Pollock Mural conservation project with the Getty Museum and Getty Conservation Institute. O’Harrow received his undergraduate degree from Harvard and his doctorate from Cambridge, both in history of art.