Michael McCarthy

Acting Chief Operating Officer and Under Secretary for Finance and Administration | Smithsonian Institution

Mike McCarthy serves as the Acting Chief Operating Officer and Under Secretary for Finance and Administration of the Smithsonian. He manages several Smithsonian offices with more than 2,200 employees, including facilities and maintenance, capital program, human resources, information technology, security and financial/business operations. This office directly manages an annual Federal and Trust budget of almost $800 million. He had been serving as the Deputy Under Secretary for Finance and Administration since 2018. Mike joined the Smithsonian’s business activities arm, Smithsonian Enterprises, as Financial Planning and Analysis Director in 2008. He led the improvement of metrics and budgeting of over $150 million in museum retail, media and licensing revenues. In 2013, he became the Associate Director of Operations for Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. He was responsible for financial, human resource, information technology, safety and business and administrative activities for $120 million in federal and trust funding. He also acted for a year as the Museum’s Chief Development Officer. Before joining Smithsonian, Mike had a 15 year career at General Electric. He led deals for GE Mergers and Acquisition which led to his role as CFO and Advisory Board Member at GE Bayer Silicones, a $400 million European silicone venture. He was also a Service Leader for GE’s locomotive operations and later the CFO for GE’s Chief Information Officer. A native of Brooklyn, Mike earned his bachelor’s degree in finance at the University of Notre Dame (1985).


In this session, attendees will hear the engaging story of how the Smithsonian’s leadership has embarked on this strategic approach, the success and a few lessons learned from a bold capital More