Michael McCarthy, Executive Director
Michael (Mike) McCarthy serves as the Executive Director for the Pentagon Memorial Foundation (PMF). He works closely with the PMF Board to advance the realization of the new Visitor Education Center and support the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial.
Prior to PMF, McCarthy served the Smithsonian Institution for thirteen years, most recently as the Under Secretary for Administration where he supported the Secretary and Board of Regents. Prior to becoming the Under Secretary, McCarthy was the Deputy Undersecretary for Finance and Administration, overseeing construction and facility maintenance, administration and security. Earlier in his career at the Smithsonian, McCarthy was the Associate Director of Operations at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., which included the research center and the museum’s free admission museum complex.
McCarthy also had a fifteen-year career with General Electric in several operational and financial leadership roles domestically and internationally. He led deals for GE Mergers and Acquisition that led to his role as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Advisory Board Member at GE Bayer Silicones, a European venture based in Germany and the Netherlands. He was also the operating leader for GE’s international locomotive operations and later the CFO for GE’s Chief Information Officer. His early GE career began in the financial management program and their internal audit staff with global assignments in multiple industries.
McCarthy earned his bachelor’s degree in finance at the University of Notre Dame and resides in Great Falls, Virginia with his wife and daughter.
Jim Laychak, Senior Advisor
James J. Laychak became the full time Executive Director of the Pentagon Memorial Fund (PMF) in January of 2020. Working with the new board, his focus is to raise the funds to design and build the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center.
After losing his younger brother in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon, Mr. Laychak became involved in the process of creating a memorial on the grounds of the Pentagon to honor the 184 men, women and children killed there on September 11, 2001. Mr. Laychak worked to establish the PMF, the non-profit tax-exempt organization responsible for raising the funds to design, build and maintain the Pentagon Memorial. From the earliest stages, Mr. Laychak served as member of the Steering Committee that helped guide the project’s site selection and design competition, including the juried process to pick the final concept design for the memorial.
Mr. Laychak has led the PMF since its inception and has served as primary public spokesperson for the PMF with the press and television news organizations. Mr. Laychak developed and executed the strategic plan that enabled the PMF to raise the money needed to design and build the Pentagon Memorial which was dedicated on 9/11/2008. Mr. Laychak led the execution of the fundraising plan that raised $25M over a four-and-a-half-year period. He also acted as the primary liaison between family members, senior leadership within the Pentagon, and the design-build firm throughout the construction phase of the Pentagon Memorial.
After the Pentagon Memorial was dedicated in 2008, Mr. Laychak guided the transition of the PMF to an organization focused on designing and building a visitor education and conference center near the Pentagon Memorial. Working closely with the Pentagon’s Washington Headquarters Service and Arlington National Cemetery, the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center (VEC) will be a short walking distance from the Pentagon Memorial. When completed, the VEC will complement the Pentagon Memorial and will complete the 9/11 story. The VEC will provide a place to educate future generations about the acts of heroism and bravery that took place at the Pentagon on 9/11 and how our government responded to the 9/11 attack.