Mary Navarro Consulting

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Mary Navarro has more than 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector as a grantmaker, executive manager and college professor, with particular expertise in the arts and culture, public art, design, community development and environment sectors.  In 2009 she founded her consulting practice and provides strategic planning, meeting facilitation, research,   project management and training for a range of local and national clients. Navarro was until recently an adjunct faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College Arts Management Program and previously at the University of Bologna, Italy teaching in the Graduate Degree in Innovation and Organization of Culture and the Arts (GIOCA) program.

During the early stages of the Covid pandemic, Mary was one of two project managers to design, launch and manage Arts|Equity|Reimagined, a project of the Covid-19 Arts Working Group, 17 Western Pennsylvania funders who pooled over $3 million of resources to address the needs of small to mid-sized organizations, specifically diverse and underserved organizations and artist collectives,  on capacity building and collective action to help weather the storm of the pandemic. 

Navarro’s recent  projects include strategic planning for a variety of small and mid-sized arts groups including Touchstone Center for Craft, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Office for Public Art, and Hope Academy of Music and the Arts. She has also been temporary Grant Coordinator for Arts & Culture at The Pittsburgh Foundation, provided design and public art assistance for the Allegheny County Parks Foundation and planning for several local organizations  including Pittsburgh Youth Chorus, Chamber Music Pittsburgh and MCN (Museum Computer Network), a national organization. 

In the past several years Navarro has been an interim executive director or part of a leadership transition team for several organizations. This includes Special Advisor to the Mattress Factory during 2018-2020,  a twelve month assignments as interim manager for Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, and  from June 2013 through June 2015 completed two other interim executive director assignments, Interim Director for Gateway to the Arts and immediately prior  Interim Executive Director of Silver Eye Center for Photography. For Gateway to the Arts she helped guide the organization to a successful merger with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. For Silver Eye she prepared the organization to hire a new executive director.  Chief duties include strategic planning, fundraising, staff management, financial planning and management, board development, and program planning.

Other recent  projects include: relocation planning for Silver Eye Center for Photography including assisting in the sale of the building, and assisting with campaign planning; conducting a survey and facilitating retreats to kick off a new strategic planning process for the Pittsburgh Glass Center; preparing a strategic plan for Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures; developing a new business model for the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh; developing an updated strategic direction for the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative; and project management for public art restoration within a public park.

Mary is able to draw on her 20 years of experience as a senior program officer at The Heinz Endowments to provide expertise and assistance to her clients.  Mary’s work covered a broad range of activities including visual and performing arts, public art, architecture, and design. She developed and managed the Small Arts Initiative, and was a partner with the statewide team that expanded the Endowments’ touring program for performing arts organizations to cover the entire Mid-Atlantic region. She worked with many mid-sized organizations, helping them to develop their artistic potential, leadership capacity and facility options. Mary led the Endowments’ Downtown Now Strategic Alliance to support development, housing, amenities and cultural facilities in downtown Pittsburgh as well as heading the foundation’s Civic Design Initiative. She oversaw the Endowments’ involvement in architectural competitions for the new David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh, and the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Somerset County, Pennsylvania commemorating 9/11.  Mary has been a leader in public art initiatives, including the $2 million program for the convention center, development of Pittsburgh’s Office of Public Art and instituting a public art manager position in the City of Pittsburgh Planning Department.  Mary managed The Heinz Endowments’ art collection of about 100 items and recently completed the development of The Endowments’ Downtown Now Photography Project.

Mary received a master’s in public management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, and a bachelor’s in urban studies from Bradford College. She has been a co-chair of the Urban Design Committee of the Riverlife Task Force in Pittsburgh and a council member for the Public Art Network, a national organization. She chaired the design sub-committee of the Mayor’s Gaming Task Force, a group appointed by Mayor Tom Murphy in 2007 to make recommendations on the planned casino design. She has served on the boards of Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development,  Winchester-Thurston School, the City Of Pittsburgh’s PGHArts committee, and the Sports and Exhibition Authority’s Art Committee.  She currently serves on the board of Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF). Mary is a licensed real estate agent in the State of Pennsylvania.

Services & Clients

Mary Navarro is a creative thinker that will help you to develop strategy, conduct research and evaluation, and manage projects. She also provides training and technical assistance to a range of clients. She has extensive experience in the arts, planning and community development fields.


Strategic Planning

  • AIA San Antonio
  • American Philatelic Society
  • ArtUp
  • Associated Artists of Pittsburgh (AAP)
  • Brew House Associates
  • CCI Center
  • Chamber Music Pittsburgh
  • Japan-American Society of Pennsylvania
  • Hope Academy of Music and the Arts
  • MCN (Museum Computer Network)
  • Mendelsohn Choir of Pittsburgh
  • Mountain Playhouse
  • Neville House Associates
  • Office of Public Art
  • Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures
  • Silver Eye Center for Photography
  • Three Rivers Young People’s Orchestra (TRYPO)
  • Touchstone Center for Crafts

Interim Management

  • Associated Artists of Pittsburgh (AAP)
  • Gateway to the Arts
  • The Mattress Factory
  • Silver Eye Center for Photography

Program Development and Project Management

  • Allegheny County Parks Foundation
  • Arts Equity Reimagined
  • Bloomfield Garfield Corporation
  • The Education Alliance (WV)
  • Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities
  • Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council
  • The Heinz Endowments
  • Judith Kelly + Associates
  • The Penn State Center Pittsburgh
  • The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
  • The Pittsburgh Foundation
  • Pittsburgh Glass Center
  • Point Park University
  • Quantum Theatre
  • ReMake/Almono
  • Richard King Mellon Foundation
  • Riverlife Task Force
  • Silver Eye Center for Photography
  • UniSound
  • Westmoreland Museum of American Art
  • Development
  • Carnegie Museum of Art
  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History
  • CorningWorks
  • Neville House Associates
  • Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures
  • The Andy Warhol Museum


Mary Navarro
Nonprofit Consulting
12 Foster Square
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 412.580.9090


Mary and Pam Golden often work together on strategic planning, board retreats and meeting facilitation. Pam has more than 25 years of professional experience in marketing and communications, strategic planning and project management.  Ms. Golden is currently Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation. There, she is leading the board and the organization through its own strategic decision making process that includes determining where and how resources will be allocated, board development, and infrastructure improvements and managing PCGF’s grants allocations.

Golden holds a Masters’ from Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz School of Public Policy (area of concentration: management of non-profit organizations) and an undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh.




Anne recently retired from AIA Pittsburgh (American Institute of Architects) where she served as the Executive Director for 27 years. During her tenure with the AIA, Anne received many awards. After receiving a National Service Award in 1999, she was made an Honorary Member of the AIA in 2000. Before joining the AIA, she managed Mt. Lebanon’s economic development corporation, Uptown Mt. Lebanon and was the executive Vice President of the South Side Development Corporation. Her strong skill set in business and finance is directly related to her initial tenure in branch management and lending with Mellon Bank.

Anne also, has a long history of civic engagement. Appointed to Riverlife by Mayor Murphy, Anne co-chaired the Urban Design Committee, chaired the Public Art Sub-Committee and sat on the Executive Committee. In April 2005, she was appointed co-chair of the Pittsburgh Gaming Task Force that was formed to help ensure that Pittsburgh’s concerns were represented in the process the State of Pennsylvania undertook to award slots licenses. She is honored to be one of the founding members of the Civic Design Coalition where she collaborated on how to ensure that good design and planning are the cornerstones of economic development in the city. Anne is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh and served on the Planning Board in her community from 1994 to 2002.



Ellen recently retired from her position as Development Officer for YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, where she was responsible for the fund development, communications, and strategic planning efforts of the organization.  Before joining the YW, Ellen served as Pittsburgh Opera’s Director of Development, where she secured and stewarded annual contributions, directed a six-person department, and developed and steered an $8M capital campaign.  Ellen also worked for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as Director of Donor Relations and Director of Foundation & Government Support. She taught graduate level courses in Fundraising as an Adjunct Professor with CMU’s Heinz School of Public Policy and Management for seven years. Ellen has served on evaluation panels for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the National Arts Marketing Project, and Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts.