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Mary Lee Kennedy

Executive Director
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As executive director, Mary Lee Kennedy leads the development of and implements ARL’s strategic direction. She builds on ARL’s strengths as a leader and partner in the research and learning ecosystem, as a catalyzer of global opportunity and value through the Association’s suite of programs and initiatives, and as a culture that embraces innovation, diversity, and inclusion.

Prior to coming to ARL, Mary Lee was principal of the Kennedy Group, where she partnered with organizations to empower local and global communities to create and use knowledge that enhances lives. She has a wealth of experience in academic research libraries and knowledge corporations, most recently at New York Public Library (NYPL), where she held the position of chief library officer (2013–2016). Before going to NYPL, she served at Harvard University as senior associate provost for the Harvard Library (2011–2013) and executive director of Knowledge and Library Services, Harvard Business School (2004–2011). Prior to her roles at Harvard, she was director of the Knowledge Network Group at Microsoft (1998–2004).

Mary Lee earned her BA in social psychology and classics at University of Alberta and her master of library science at Louisiana State University. She has lived in Canada, the US, and Mexico; she is bilingual in English and Spanish and has a working knowledge of French.