Maria Blair

Maria Blair

Maria Blair is a Principal at ghSMART. She serves leaders of high performing organizations across all sectors in the areas of management assessment, leadership coaching and organizational change initiatives and advises their boards, executives, and investors on their most important leadership challenges.

Maria leads major organizational development and transformation projects globally. She led a major strategic transformation initiative at the American Cancer Society, impacting its 6,000 employees and 3 million volunteers and resulting in the largest nonprofit merger in history. She also led performance improvement at several Fortune 50 financial institutions and helped to transform the Rockefeller Foundation’s global organization structure and key processes.

Prior to joining ghSMART, Maria was national vice president of the American Cancer Society, leading strategy and global operations. Previously, Maria was Deputy Associate Director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She led an interagency effort to develop Federal recommendations for reducing and mitigating climate risks both domestically and internationally. Prior to the White House, Maria was Associate Vice President and Managing Director at The Rockefeller Foundation, providing leadership and strategic direction for all Foundation initiatives.

Maria began her career as an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company, where she provided leadership, problem solving expertise and counseling to senior managers in financial institutions, nonprofit and multilateral organizations. Maria was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University’s Balliol College, where she earned a master’s degree in politics, economics and philosophy, and has her BA degree from Harvard University.

Maria leads executive leadership seminars for the Aspen Institute, is the past chair of the board of directors for the Nonprofit Finance Fund, and an Aspen Institute Catto Fellow. She has worked in 15 different countries, and traveled in an additional 45 countries. She lives in Bangkok, Thailand with her husband and two daughters.

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