Smithsonian Names New Under Secretary for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer

July 19, 2011
News Release
Al Horvath

Albert G. Horvath, senior vice president of finance and business and treasurer at Pennsylvania State University, has been named Under Secretary for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer of the Smithsonian, effective Sept. 26.

Horvath succeeds Alison McNally who will advise the Smithsonian Secretary on Institution-wide financial projects. The CFO position at the Smithsonian had been a separate position, but, under the new organizational structure, the Under Secretary also will be serving as the CFO.

As Under Secretary/CFO, Horvath will oversee many Smithsonian offices with more than 2,200 employees, including facilities and maintenance, human resources, security and financial operations. He will report directly to the Secretary, Wayne Clough.

“We are pleased to welcome Al Horvath to the Smithsonian’s management team,” said Clough. “He is a skilled administrator, with a tremendous breadth of experience over many years in leading complex administrative and financial operations, and his talents will greatly benefit the Smithsonian and support our mission.”

Horvath, 50, has more than 22 years of experience working in administration for some of the leading research universities in the country. He has been at Penn State, his alma mater, since 2007, serving as vice president for finance and business for two years until he was named to his current position of senior vice president/treasurer. He has been responsible for financial, endowment, business and administrative activities at all Penn State campus locations with a $3.7 billion operating budget.

Before joining Penn State, Horvath was executive vice president of finance and CFO at Columbia University (2004–2007), where he had oversight for all financial activities of the university, including the medical center, and developed a five-year capital plan and debt strategy.

Horvath joined the California Institute of Technology in 2000 as their associate vice president for finance and controller, and he became Caltech’s CFO in 2001, a position he held until joining Columbia University. 

From 1994 until 2000, he was controller at New York University and, before that, served in senior roles at Carnegie Mellon University (1988–1994). He began his career at Mellon Bank in his home town of Pittsburgh before moving into higher education.

“I am excited and humbled at the prospect of becoming a part of the Smithsonian’s leadership team,” said Horvath. “The decision to leave Penn State was a difficult one, but I look forward to contributing to an institution that has a broad national and international reach.”

A native of Pennsylvania, he earned his master’s degree in business administration at Dusquesne University (1985) and his bachelor’s degree in accounting at Penn State (1981).

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Linda St.Thomas

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