Principal, Ittelson Consulting
Chicago, IL


Mary Ittelson is a writer, professor and arts advocate.  She founded Ittelson Consulting in1996 to provide strategy, governance and leadership counsel to arts and cultural organizations. Her clients include museums, theaters, media corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Ms. Ittelson’s previous consulting experience was at McKinsey and Company Inc. where she served Fortune 100 companies.

Ms Ittelson is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Strategy at the University of Chicago, Booth where she teaches “Arts Leadership: Exemplary is Not Enough”. At the Stanford Graduate School of Business Ms Ittelson developed and co-taught “Leadership in the Arts and Creative Industries”. She was Board Chair of the Museum of Contemporary Art from 2008-2012 and inaugurated the Access, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. She was the MCA Associate Director for eight years and oversaw the new museum expansion project.

Prior to launching her management career, Ms. Ittelson was a professional dancer and choreographer. She was Assistant Professor of Theatre at Northwestern University from 1979–1983, and was elected to the Faculty Honor Roll for teaching excellence. She was Executive Director of Crossroads, Inc., a New York-based company of dancers and musicians. Her choreography garnered a Music and Dance Fellowship at the American Dance Festival and was performed at The Juilliard School, New York University, Northwestern University and Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors.

Ms. Ittelson earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1985, a BA in Choreography from New York University in 1979, and studied dance at The Juilliard School. She serves on the Stanford Arts Advisory Council, the Board of Advisors of Ingenuity, Inc. and served three terms on the Chicago Cultural Advisory Council.

As a Stanford DCI Fellow Ms. Ittelson studied literature and creative writing. She is writing a novel, swims like a fish, and can still touch her toes.