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Horvath named chief financial officer at Smithsonian

Albert G. Horvath, senior vice president for Finance and Business and treasurer at Penn State, has been named under secretary for finance and administration and chief financial officer of the Smithsonian, effective Sept. 26.

Horvath replaces Alison McNally, who will be advising the secretary on institution-wide financial projects. The chief financial officer 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.

"This is a prestigious, important and exciting opportunity for Al, yet all of us at Penn State will deeply miss his contributions, expertise, collegiality and devotion to the University," said Penn State President Graham Spanier. "Al has been a critical member of our leadership team for several years, and we will always be grateful for the part of his career that he committed to Penn State."

Spanier said the University will soon launch a national search for Horvath's successor.

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

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

Horvath has more than 22 years of experience working in administration for some of the top research universities in the country. He has been at Penn State, his alma mater, since 2007, where has been responsible for financial, endowment, business and administrative activities at all Penn State campuses, with a $3.7 billion operating budget.

Before joining Penn State, Horvath was executive vice president of finance and CFO at Columbia University, 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 its associate vice president for finance and controller, and he became Caltech’s CFP in 2001, a position he held until joining Columbia University.

Horvath also has served as controller at New York University and in senior roles at Carnegie Mellon University. He began his career at Mellon Bank in 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, Horvath earned his master’s degree in business administration at Dusquesne University and his bachelor’s in accounting at Penn State.

Albert G. Horvath, former vice president for finance and business / treasurer at Penn State. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated January 10, 2015