Executive vice president and treasurer will step down in June after 27 years at the university.
After nearly three decades as GW’s chief financial officer, Lou Katz announced Wednesday he will step down as executive vice president and treasurer at the end of June. At that time, he will become a full-time advisor to President Thomas LeBlanc, working on key real estate and business matters, until the end of the year when he plans to retire.
Mr. Katz joined GW in 1990. As the university’s executive vice president and treasurer, he is responsible for GW’s financial, physical and information systems resources and oversees the capital and operating budgets.
“Without the leadership of Lou, GW would not be the institution it is today,” said Dr. LeBlanc. “It is the end of an era for the university, but not the end of Lou’s legacy, which will live on in the many projects he has led. His strategic abilities have helped this institution grow and thrive through some turbulent economic times. I am grateful to Lou for his decades of service to GW.”
During Mr. Katz’s tenure, the university has expanded and improved its spaces for learning, research, studying and living while investing in academic programming, research and the student experience.
University facilities opened during Mr. Katz’s time at GW include Science and Engineering Hall, District House, Elliott School of International Affairs, Milken Institute School of Public Health, GW Hospital and Duques Hall.
In the 1990s, Mr. Katz was instrumental in two transformational projects. GW added two campuses: the former Mount Vernon College, which has become a hub of student and academic life, and the Virginia Science and Technology Campus, which houses academic and research programs in Ashburn, Va.
“I have worked with Lou for 15 years,” said Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell Jr., B.S. '85. “Lou’s dedication to the university is unmatched. His strategic vision has helped GW grow our programs and facilities and enhanced our reputation as a global research institution.”
Under his leadership, the university adopted the 2007 Foggy Bottom Campus Plan, which provides a 20-year framework to guide development that ensures preservation of historic sites and reflects neighborhood and community priorities.
His creative thinking can also be seen in The Avenue. The site was developed in partnership with Boston Properties. The mixed-use project, which opened in 2011 and houses Whole Foods, Sweetgreen and other popular retail outlets, has generated revenue to support academic programming.
Mr. Katz was a key player in negotiating the partnership with the Corcoran Museum and the National Gallery of Art, creating the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. In addition, he shepherded the merger with The Textile Museum, leading to the creation of The George Washington Museum and The Textile Museum. These activities have helped make GW a hub for the arts in the nation’s capital.
Mr. Katz’s contributions are not limited to the university’s physical infrastructure. He also created the award-winning business intelligence initiative, which enables GW to use data to better understand and improve its performance, and a business management and analysis group that functions as an internal management consulting group.
“The opportunity to serve GW as the institution evolved into a world-class university has been a tremendous honor,” said Mr. Katz. “The greatest privilege has been meeting, working and mentoring our incredible students. I am extremely grateful to have spent almost 30 years at GW with a talented group of people. I want to thank my EVP and T colleagues for all their hard work and dedication to the university.”