Leadership, Administration, Ex Officio
Michael L. Mael was appointed Executive Director of the Washington Ballet in November 2017 following nearly ten years with the Washington National Opera (WNO). He became Executive Director of WNO in July 2011 upon its affiliation with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. As Executive Director, he was responsible for all operations of WNO, working closely with Artistic Director Francesca Zambello. Highlights of his tenure included: production of WNO’s first Ring Cycle, five consecutive years of meeting or exceeding financial targets, development of innovative marketing and community engagement programs including Opera in the Outfield, creation of a new commissioning program, and develop-ment of a new strategic plan. He joined the WNO in April 2008 as Chief Financial and Operating Officer with responsibility for all financial and day to day operations of the company. Under his leadership, the organization returned to financial stability with four consecutive balanced budgets following more than a decade of losses. He also led the effort to affiliate with the Kennedy Center, ensuring the long-term stability of the Opera. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Mael worked for nearly five years for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) as Vice President of the BSO at Strathmore where he was responsible for launching and managing all activities re-lated to the BSO’s second home at the new Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD. In addition to overseeing the BSO at Strathmore’s Development, Marketing, Public Relations, and Community Outreach, Mr. Mael was the orchestra’s main liaison to Montgomery County and key to introducing the BSO at Strathmore’s new brand to the Greater Washington, DC area. Mr. Mael worked for several technology companies, including Focal Communications, a nationwide telecommuni-cations carrier, where he was President of the company’s data communications subsidiary and later became Senior Vice President, responsible for all product, channel and field marketing activities. Mr. Mael served as Vice President of Applications and Web Services for PSINet, a leading global Internet Service Provider, and managed the company’s global web hosting business, turning it into an industry-leading service. Mr. Mael came to PSINet, having worked 5 ½ years at MCI Communications as one of the team leaders that created and launched MCI’s commercial Internet products. He also held positions in MCI’s finance, and marketing organizations. Besides his extensive experience in the technology industry, Mr. Mael has also consulted for symphony orches-tras and was involved in assessment and planning projects for the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic. Additionally, he worked for 3 ½ years as Director of Government Affairs for the American Symphony Orchestra League. Mr. Mael is a 2005 graduate of Leadership Montgomery, and served as President of the Board of Directors, having also been on the Executive and Programs Committees for a number of years. He currently serves as Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee of the Jewish So-cial Services Agency. He is also a member of the Finance Committee of the Washington Chorus and served on the board of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington. Mr. Mael received his AB from Brown University and his MBA from Stanford University.