Kathy Southern

Kathy Southern

Kathy Southern

Adjunct Professorial Lecturer of Museum Fundraising, Museum Studies Program


For more than 35 years, Kathy Dwyer Southern has provided leadership in major museums, cultural and philanthropic organizations, associations and government in the Washington, Virginia and Maryland region. Prior to her current appointment as Board President at Briggs Museum of American Art, she served as President and CEO of the National Children’s Museum, where she led the initial effort to plan and fund a new congressionally designated museum now in Washington D.C. Additionally, Ms. Southern was the President & CEO of Port Discovery in Maryland, she led a successful capital campaign effort to create this new economic anchor for Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Ms. Southern was formerly the Executive Director of James Madison’s Montpelier, as well as of the National Cultural Alliance. She has worked with the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, Federated Arts Council of Richmond, Virginia the Smithsonian Institution and Arlington County Government. She has taught at the graduate level and has served as a presenter and faculty head for a number of international cultural conferences. Professor Southern teaches Museum Fundraising and Museum Governance.


Current Outside Position

Governor Appointed President of the Board, Biggs Museum of American Art




  • 2000: Distinguished Business Alumni Award from the School of Business, the University of Wisconsin
  • 2008: Annual Bridge Builder Award from Partners for Livable Communities


Professional Organizations

  • Board Member, International Council of Museums - United States
  • Board Member, The University of Wisconsin Union Association
  • The American Alliance of Museums