Mary Ittelson

Principal, Ittelson Consulting
Chicago, IL


Mary Ittelson leads Ittelson Consulting providing strategic planning, governance and leadership counsel to arts, cultural and business organizations. Clients include museums, theaters, foundations, media corporations and government agencies. Previously, she worked at McKinsey & Company consulting to a variety of Fortune 500 companies. Mary is an Adjunct Professor of Strategy at the University of Chicago, Booth where she is developing and teaching an MBA class entitled “Arts Leadership: Exemplary is not Enough.”  Previously she was a Lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where she developed and co-taught the course “Leadership in the Arts and Creative Industries.”

Mary served as Board Chair of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and is a life trustee. She was the MCA Associate Director responsible for all business activities and overseeing the new building project. She serves on the Stanford University Arts Advisory Council, the Board of Advisors of Ingenuity, Inc. and served three terms on the Chicago Cultural Advisory Council.

Prior to launching her management career, Mary was a professional dancer and choreographer. She was Assistant Professor of Theatre at Northwestern University and was elected to the Faculty Honor Roll. 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.

Mary earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a BA in Choreography from New York University, and studied dance at The Juilliard School.