Chief Operating Officer
Mara Walker is the chief operating officer for Americans for the Arts and as such is responsible for the overall performance of the organization, working with all staff to ensure inter-departmental coordination as is directed in the organization’s strategic plan. She works to implement the most innovative programming, planning, and operational tools and policies to advance the organization’s mission and goals. As the former vice president of field services and planning, Mara developed programs that met the needs of a growing constituency of organizations and individuals that are committed to using the arts to impact communities. To that end, she established programs that served emerging, mid-level, and advanced leaders to help them in their professional growth and designed initiatives for targeted sectors such as united arts funds and private sector leaders, public art administrators and artists, arts board members, urban and rural arts representatives, grantmakers, arts education decision-makers, and many more. In this effort she led partnerships and strategic alliances and managed a variety of service opportunities including the annual convention, professional membership, and publications. Prior to this work she oversaw programs and operations for the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies and was instrumental in the merger when it joined with American Council for the Arts in 1997 to form Americans for the Arts. Mara has played an instrumental role in other mergers as well, including those with the Arts & Business Council, Inc and the Business Committee for the Arts to ensure Americans for the Arts delivers the strongest private sector advocacy possible.
Mara, a native New Yorker, has worked in arts administration for more than 25 years serving in multiple capacities in theater companies across the country and a variety of arts organizations nationwide. Mara currently serves on the theatreWashington Board of Directors, is the treasurer of the Bradmoor Neighborhood Association and is the former Treasurer of the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County. She received an M.F.A. in theater management from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a B.A. in theater from the George Washington University.