Mary Pat Higgins, the longtime Chief Financial Officer at The Hockaday School in Dallas and a passionate advocate for children and educational initiatives, is the new President and CEO of the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance (DHM/CET), the Museum announced today.
Higgins, who has been at Hockaday since 1990 and now serves as Associate Head and CFO at the school, is currently a board member and treasurer of the DHM/CET. She will assume her new leadership role at the Museum on January 1, 2013. She replaces Alice Murray, who has decided to pursue new career opportunities upon the conclusion of her employment agreement.
“We are delighted to have as our new President and CEO such a highly-talented executive and highly-regarded financial professional as Mary Pat Higgins,” said Hylton Jonas, Chairman of the DHM/CET Board of Directors. “Her proven track record of capital campaign fundraising, financial and construction management and team-oriented leadership is a perfect fit for the Museum as we prepare to embark on the long-awaited campaign to build a best-in-class, nationally recognized Museum/Center for the North Texas community.”
Founded 25 years ago in the lower level of the Dallas Jewish Community Center, the Museum moved to its interim location at 211 N. Record Street in Dallas’ West End Historic District in 2005. More than 35,000 students and teachers and another 20,000 visitors tour the Museum annually. The Museum has purchased land along the DART rail line, across from The Sixth Floor Museum, at the corner of Houston and Pacific Streets for a new state-of-the-art museum. The Museum anticipates the launch of a capital campaign for the new Museum in mid-2013.
“I am honored, excited and inspired by the opportunity to join the Dallas Holocaust Museum at such a vital time of growth and expansion,” said Higgins. “The Museum’s mission—to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and to teach the moral and ethical response to prejudice, hatred and indifference—fits perfectly with my personal passion for education, children and service to the community. I look forward to working with the Museum board, staff and community residents to take the Museum to a new level, especially the construction of a new Museum.”
In her role as Chief Financial Officer at The Hockaday School, Higgins oversaw an annual operating budget of $32 million, numerous school departments involving more than 100 employees, investment management responsibilities for a $125 million endowment and the management of construction and renovation activities.
Most recently, she has managed the architectural planning and assisted with fundraising efforts for the proposed Centennial Center at Hockaday, which will house the School’s Fine Arts and Science Programs in new and renovated space.
A CPA who is highly regarded by Dallas’ non-profit community, Higgins serves as a board member and treasurer of KERA, public radio and television for North Texas; board member of Oak Hill Academy; board member and Chair of Gender Lens Investing Committee of the Dallas Women’s Foundation; and the board of the National Coalition of Girls Schools; she is a past board member, treasurer and board Chair of Planned Parenthood of North Texas.
She has received many awards and recognition, including being named a Hockaday Honorary Alumnae in 2007 and the Richardson, Texas YWCA “Woman of the Year” for exemplary service in the not-for-profit sector in 2002.
A 1986 graduate of the University of Texas, Higgins received an Executive MBA degree from SMU in 2008. Married, she is the mother of two sons.