Mary Lou Gorno appointed chair of Smart Museum Board

Mary Lou Gorno, a business executive and alumna of Chicago Booth who serves as vice chair of the University of Chicago’s Board of Trustees, has been appointed chair of the Smart Museum of Art’s Board of Governors.

Gorno, managing director of the executive search firm Ingenuity International, serves the University in a variety of capacities, including chair of the University of Chicago Phoenix Society, a trustee of Court Theatre and a director at NORC. She has been a member of UChicago’s Board of Trustees since 2004.

“Mary Lou Gorno brings to the Smart Museum Board of Governors a deep knowledge of the University of Chicago and extensive experience in leading organizations. I look forward to seeing momentum as the Smart Museum continues to grow with her board leadership, supporting the expanding role of the arts at the University,” President Robert J. Zimmer said.

Gorno’s two-year appointment as board chair is effective Sept. 1. The Smart Museum of Art is UChicago’s fine arts museum, home to thought-provoking exhibitions, a wide-ranging collection, and public programs that encourage the examination of complex issues through the lens of art objects and artistic practice, both contemporaneously and across history.

"The arts have an important and growing role at the University of Chicago. I look forward to working with my fellow board members in support of Alison Gass and her dynamic team as the Smart Museum writes the future of university art museums," Gorno said.

Gorno succeeds Pamela Hoehn-Saric, MAT’81, who has served as chair of the Smart Museum Board since 2012. During that period, the Smart Museum celebrated its 40th anniversary, appointed Alison Gass as the Dana Feitler Director and launched the Feitler Center of Academic Inquiry. Hoehn-Saric will continue to serve as a member of the Smart Museum Board.

“I am thrilled to welcome Mary Lou to the board as chair-elect,” said Hoehn-Saric. “The Smart is on an exciting trajectory, and Mary Lou brings extensive experience and talent in board development and strategy, which will help Ali, the board and the staff realize Ali’s exciting vision for the museum.”

Gorno earned a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from Saint Mary’s College, a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and master’s degree in finance and accounting from UChicago’s Booth School of Business.

Gorno’s began her career in advertising, becoming a senior executive at the Leo Burnett Company where she worked with Walt Disney, Reebok and Procter & Gamble. She later moved to the executive search profession and currently leads the CEO and Board practice for Fortune 500, mid-cap and privately owned companies. As a board and CEO adviser, she specializes in organizational governance, succession planning and leadership issues.

In addition to her extensive involvement at the University, Gorno serves as vice chair of the Board of Trustees of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, vice chair of the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic School Board and director of the Chicago Humanities Festival.