Faculty & Research

Mary Ittelson

Mary Ittelson

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Strategy

“Art," Gauguin said, "is either plagiarism or revolution.” Mary Ittelson favors revolution, helping arts organizations adapt to changing tastes and demands. For decades she led a consultancy that provided strategic planning and governance counsel to arts and cultural organizations. Most recently she developed and taught a course at Stanford Business School on leadership in the arts and creative industries. She will be exhorting future leaders to try radical strategies in a new arts leadership class at Booth this fall.

Mary knows a thing or two about art museums having been Chair of the Board and Associate Director at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago where she is a Life Trustee. She has pounded gavels and hammered nails. Mary has also worked at McKinsey, consulting to a variety of Fortune 100 companies. She serves on the Stanford Arts Advisory Council, the Board of Advisors of Ingenuity, Inc., and was formerly a member of the Chicago Cultural Advisory Council. Mary earned an MBA at Stanford, a BA in Choreography from New York University, and studied dance at Juilliard.

Mary began her career as a professional choreographer, ran a modern dance company, and was an Assistant Professor in the Theater Department at Northwestern University where she was elected to the Faculty Honor Roll. She is writing a novel and can still touch her toes.


2020 - 2021 Course Schedule

Number Title Quarter
42126 Arts Leadership: Exemplary is Not Enough 2020  (Autumn)