Kathy Southern

Kathy Southern
Adjunct Professorial Lecturer of Museum Fundraising,
Museum Studies Program
[email protected]


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 at Briggs Museum of American Art, she served as President and CEO of the National Children’s Museum, where she led the effort to plan, fund and develop a new congressionally designated museum in National Harbor, Maryland. 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.


Current Outside Position

Interim Executive Director at 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

  • Partners for Livable Communities
  • The University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Business
  • The American Association of Museums
  • The Association of Children’s Museums
  • The Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington