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Pentagon Memorial Fund, Inc. Names Michael J. McCarthy as New Executive Director

New Executive Director Brings Decades of Leadership Experience to the Non-Profit Organization Seeking to Build a Visitor Education Center at the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Site

ARLINGTON, VA – The non-profit Pentagon Memorial Fund, Inc. is pleased to announce Michael J. “Mike” McCarthy as its new Executive Director to lead the organization as it goes to the next phase of its initiative to build a visitor education center at the site of the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial.

McCarthy brings more than 30 years of experience leading complex projects to success to this new role. He previously served as Under Secretary for Administration, as well as Acting COO, at the Smithsonian Institution. Prior to that, he spent 15 years with General Electric as a global operational leader. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, McCarthy succeeds Jim Laychak as Executive Director.

Laychak founded the Pentagon Memorial Fund in 2003, was Chair of the Board of Directors and President of the organization for 17 years prior to becoming its first Executive Director, led the fundraising for and oversaw the construction, dedication, and opening of the Pentagon Memorial on September 11, 2008. He has led the group through the first several years of its efforts to design and build a visitor education center. Laychak, whose brother Dave, a civilian Army budget analyst, was killed in the Pentagon on September 11th , will remain with the Pentagon Memorial Fund and focus on fundraising efforts at this critical juncture.

The Pentagon Memorial Fund, Inc. is currently raising funds to establish a visitor education center at the Pentagon Memorial site honoring the 184 lives lost on September 11, 2001, when terrorists hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 and crashed it into the Pentagon. Unlike the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania and the 9/11 Memorial in NYC, the Pentagon Memorial does not yet have a visitor center to educate and inform the more than 1 million annual visitors to the hallowed site. The Pentagon Memorial Fund team is working to secure private and public sector funds to realize the visitor education center by 2026, the 25th observance of the 9/11 attacks. The current memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2008.

Generous donors to this important effort have contributed over $14 million. The largest single donor, the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, has been joined by Amazon Web Services, Accenture, Transurban and Morgan Lewis. These significant gifts are in addition to the broad generosity of the American people. Donations to the visitor education center project can be made through this link.

“We are thrilled to have Mike McCarthy join our team as we pursue the important mission to build a visitor education center as part of the memorial complex to respectfully and faithfully tell the full story of 9/11 to honor the men, women, and children whose lives were needlessly and tragically cut short,” said Pentagon Memorial Fund, Inc. Board Chairman and President Sean T. Connaughton. “It is imperative that we complete this important project to help educate future generations about 9/11 and its subsequent impact on American history going forward. I am confident Mike will continue to build on the great work already done by Jim Laychak and our team.”

Added McCarthy: “It is an honor to be named Executive Director of the Pentagon Memorial Fund, Inc. and, in that role, take on the responsibility of helping complete work on building the visitor education center at the site of the Pentagon 9/11 memorial site.” Jim Laychak said “I look forward to continuing the work with Mike to make the visitor education center a reality. We must honor all the people and families impacted by 9/11. We must always remember.”

When completed, the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center will be located within walking distance from the Pentagon Memorial and in proximity to Arlington National Cemetery. The design of the visitor education center is currently under review by the Council on Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission. Site development work is already underway as part of the Southern Expansion Project at Arlington National Cemetery.

Pentagon Memorial Fund Contact:
Mike McCarthy
(202) 725 9617