Trust for the National Mall Announces New President Catherine Townsend

Press Contact:
Farrah Kim, Rational 360


WASHINGTON (April 14, 2016) – John E. “Chip” Akridge III, Chairman of the Trust for the National Mall, announced today that Catherine Townsend has been named as the organization’s new President. In this capacity, Townsend will lead the Trust in its work to fund restorations and improvements to the National Mall. Her first day at the Trust will be April 18, 2016. 

Founded in 2007, the Trust for the National Mall is the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service dedicated to improving, preserving, and restoring the National Mall. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and the Trust’s 9th Annual Benefit Luncheon will honor this historic Centennial in America’s most visited national park – the National Mall.

“Catherine brings dynamic leadership and an experienced hand to the Trust for the National Mall, where she will help chart the future of one of the most iconic landscapes in the world,” said Chip Akridge. “Her track record of turning ideas into reality and with nonprofit organizational development will bring great value to our team and its public-private partnership work.”

“It is an exciting time to join the team at the Trust for the National Mall,” Townsend said. “Having lived on Capitol Hill for over 28 years, the National Mall is my family’s go-to park for exploration, various activities and events, including the past six inaugurations. I am honored to lead the next chapter of the Trust and ensure that the National Mall continues as a thriving national park that all Americans and visitors from around the world appreciate and want to protect.”

For more information, members of the media should contact Farrah Kim at or (202) 568-8986.

Townsend brings three decades of experience and leadership in nonprofit partnerships and innovative resource development to her role at the Trust for the National Mall. Townsend has been recognized at the national and local level for leading creative corporate partnerships, high-level donor stewardship, and for mobilizing a wide array of supporters not just to donate funds but to deepen their commitment to causes ranging from hunger relief and prevention to public education, women’s empowerment and civic development. Townsend has managed teams large and small and is known for helping nonprofits stay mission-driven while expanding their circles of support.

Prior to her time as a consultant, Townsend was President and Executive Director of the DC Public Education Fund, where she worked in partnership with the Chancellor to raise private funding for progressive initiatives to improve student performance at DC Public Schools. She also served as a Senior Advisor at Townsend Public Affairs, opening and managing their Federal office on Capitol Hill, and as the fundraising chair for the School Libraries Project, a public-private partnership to renew public school libraries. She began her career as Associate Director at Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry, where she developed events, cause-marketing partnerships and a national network of volunteer leaders, helping to grow the organization from its inception into the global leader it has become for ending childhood hunger. 

Townsend earned her B.A. from Scripps College in Claremont, California. She is a member of the 2014 Class of Leadership Greater Washington.  She serves on the boards of Playworks DC and Capitol Water Polo Club and is the commissioner of Sports on the Hill’s HoopGirls DC.



About the Trust for the National Mall

The Trust for the National Mall is an official partner of the National Park Service dedicated to sustainably restoring and improving the National Mall.  The National Mall – the iconic grounds stretching from the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial that hosts 33 million visits a year – is facing a backlog of more than $400 million in deferred repairs and $350 million in needed upgrades. This public-private partnership model for high-impact projects is designed to preserve and improve the grounds and structures that honor America’s history, heroes and hope.