About the University Secretary

The secretary of the university serves the president and the chair of the board on the board of directors and works on special projects for the president.

Marie Mattson, Secretary of the University

In December, 2017, Marie Mattson began her tenure as the Secretary of the University for Georgetown University.  In this role, her primary responsibility is supporting the governance of the University and facilitating the work of the University’s Board of Directors.  Working with the Board Chair and University President, her duties include serving as liaison between the Board and University administration; developing and advancing Board member engagement; recruiting new members; managing Board records; and planning and executing all Board and Board committee meetings, retreats and orientation sessions.

In 1997, Ms. Mattson joined the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where she served as Senior Vice President for Development for the Center, the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), and the Washington National Opera (WNO).  Her responsibilities included the management of all fundraising, special events and volunteer activities.  In addition to managing an increase in annual contributions from $22 million to $85 million, Ms. Mattson launched the Kennedy Center’s first nationwide endowment campaign in the late 90s, securing commitments of more than $80 million.  She also designed and executed a $175 million capital campaign to fund the Center’s expansion.

Her additional Kennedy Center responsibilities included the oversight of hundreds of events each year, including the Spring Gala, WNO opening nights, the NSO Ball, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the WNO Ball, Fourth of July on the Roof and the Kennedy Center Honors.  These events alone brought in more than $14 million each year for the Center’s arts and arts education programs.

Prior to her term at the Kennedy Center, she was selected in 1985 to serve as Project Manager for the Smithsonian Institution’s “Information Age” exhibition at the National Museum of American History.  After two-years as Special Assistant to the Smithsonian’s Secretary, Ms. Mattson then went on to become Director of Membership and Development for the entire Institution from 1991 to 1997. During her tenure, annual contributions rose from $25 million to $54 million. She and her office also secured an additional $55 million in sponsorships for the Smithsonian’s 150th Anniversary Celebration in 1996.  Ms. Mattson worked in development for thirty years, during which time she managed the raising of more than $1.4 billion. 

From 1972-1985, Ms. Mattson worked respectively as a computer programmer, data analyst, systems analyst, systems manager and director of computing services for a department of the U.S. Navy in suburban Philadelphia, the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Wayne State University in Detroit, and the Center for Naval Analyses followed by the Institute for Defense Analysis, in Alexandria, VA.

Ms. Mattson was born in Philadelphia and raised in its suburbs. She attended Drexel and Wayne State Universities and is married, with two adult children, and a grandson.                          

Contact Information

Office of the Secretary
37th and O Streets
205 Healy Hall
Washington, DC 20057
Phone: (202) 687-4134
Fax: (202) 687-6660