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Mary Estelle Kennelly

Director, Grants Administration

As the agency’s Director for Grants Administration, Mary Estelle Kennelly holds responsibility for ensuring uniform grant administration throughout the agency; developing, recommending, and implementing pre- and post-award grant administration policy; and managing all fiscal grant requirements for the Agency. In addition, she acts as the agency liaison to the government-wide Financial Assistance Committee for E-Government (FACE) taskforce as well as the initiative.

Mary Estelle has been with IMLS since February 1993. From 1993-2009, she served as the Associate Deputy Director for the Office of Museum Services, overseeing the agency’s museum grant programs and supervising the museum program staff.

Her background includes work in both museums and grant administration. Prior to her arrival at IMLS, she developed the Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) at Heritage Preservation, Inc. and then served as Director for Collections Care Programs. Before joining Heritage Preservation, Mary Estelle was the director/curator of the 18th century Stanley-Whitman House in Farmington, CT. In that position, she oversaw the restoration of the historic house, raising funds, working with architectural historians, overseeing construction crews, and maintaining museum programs and activities while the work was underway.

Mary Estelle graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. double major in history and art history. She received her M.A. from the George Washington University in museum studies while working full-time as a program specialist in the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Grants.