Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater announced today Catherine Guttman-McCabe was unanimously approved by the company’s Board of Trustees to lead the organization as its newly appointed Board Chair, beginning May 1, 2023. Serving on Arena Stage’s Board of Trustees since 2018, Guttman-McCabe replaces predecessor Decker Anstrom, who led the company since 2019, and who will continue to serve as Immediate Past Chair. In addition to being in her fifth year of service to Arena Stage, Guttman-McCabe also chaired Arena Stage’s Artistic Director Search Committee, which skillfully guided the company’s search for its new artistic director following Molly Smith’s June 2023 retirement, leading to the late April announcement of Hana Sharif, Augustin Family Artistic Director of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, stepping into the role.

“As Chair of our Artistic Director Search Committee, Catherine did spectacular service to Arena Stage,” said Edgar Dobie, Arena Stage Executive Producer. “She stepped up and brought her A game to the most important task Trustees hold as their responsibility to their community. How terrific that her leadership now extends across our entire enterprise.”

A partner at Potomac Law Group (PLG), Guttman-McCabe co-leads the firm’s education and employment practice groups.  Her unique practice focuses on educational institutions, including colleges and universities, public and independent schools, associations, courseware developers, and education technology innovators. She provides advice and counsel on federal and state employment and education laws. She also chairs PLG’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. Guttman-McCabe has been recognized in The Best Lawyers® in America 2023 for her work in civil rights law.

“I am honored to serve as Chair of Arena Stage, following Decker Anstrom’s tremendous leadership, which deftly brought us through the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Guttman-McCabe. “As Molly passes her baton to Hana, so too do I take it from Decker, mindful of the work we still have ahead of us as we fully emerge from the pandemic. I have no doubt in my mind that the partnership between Hana and Edgar will be strong and vibrant, and I am committed to supporting them and the entire company as we grow our audiences, expand Arena’s connections to the community, and start planning to celebrate our 75th anniversary season, which begins July 2024.”

With more than 20 years’ experience in the field, Catherine Guttman-McCabe has spent her career advising educational institutions on a better tomorrow, with a particular focus on higher education and employment matters. As a Partner at Potomac Law Group (PLG), which she joined in 2014, she serves a variety of clients in the education sector, including colleges and universities, associations, and service providers, offering advice and counsel related to federal and state education regulations, accreditation, distance education, governance, faculty tenure, employment, student matters, Title IX, campus security, disabilities, privacy, and consumer protection. In addition to providing advice and counseling, Guttman-McCabe conducts internal investigations, compliance reviews, and training. Prior to PLG, Guttman-McCabe was with Clearspire Law Co., which she joined in 2011 and where she founded the Education practice group. Guttman-McCabe previously served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of Strayer University; Associate University Counsel for Georgetown University; Counsel for Cortiva Institute; and Associate at Hogan & Hartson, LLP (now Hogan Lovells). Originally from New York, Guttman-McCabe has been a life-long supporter of the arts. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Swarthmore College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.