American Chemical Society announces new CEO: Albert G. Horvath

The American Chemical Society (ACS) Board of Directors has selected Albert G. Horvath, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at ACS, as the Society’s next CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2023. He succeeds Thomas Connelly Jr., who is retiring after nearly eight years with ACS.

“I am pleased that a person with Al Horvath’s skill will be the next CEO of ACS,” says Paul W. Jagodzinski, chair of the ACS Board of Directors. “His dedication to the mission and core values of ACS, coupled with his experience in member and public-serving organizations, position him well to lead the Society as we move forward.” 

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected for this role and greatly appreciative to the Board for its confidence in me,” says Horvath. “I have developed a deep commitment to ACS, and I look forward to working with our talented team in serving our members, customers and the entire chemistry enterprise. Together with our volunteers, I am confident that we will achieve the Society’s bold vision.”

Prior to joining ACS in 2019, Horvath served as Chief Operating Officer and Under Secretary for Finance and Administration at the Smithsonian Institution. There, he oversaw more than 2,200 employees in various Smithsonian offices, including facilities and maintenance, human resources, security, commercial enterprises and financial operations. He joined the Smithsonian in 2011 and served as its Acting Secretary for six months in 2015. In this role, he worked closely with museum and research center directors to bring the Smithsonian’s vast resources — spanning history, art, culture and science — to the citizens of the U.S. and visitors from around the world.

Horvath’s tenure at the Smithsonian was preceded by more than two decades working in senior leadership roles for some of the leading research universities in the country. He was the Vice President for Finance and Business at the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), his alma mater, for two years before being named Senior Vice President for Finance and Business/Treasurer. He was responsible for financial, endowment, business and administrative activities at all Penn State campuses, with a $4.2 billion operating budget.

Before joining Penn State, Horvath was Executive Vice President of Finance and CFO at Columbia University (2004–07), where he had oversight for all financial activities of the university, including the medical center, and developed a five-year capital plan and debt strategy. And prior to that, he worked at the California Institute of Technology, where he served as the Associate Vice President for Finance and Controller in 2000, before becoming the Vice President for Business and Finance/CFO in 2001, a position he held until joining Columbia University.

From 1994 until 2000, he was Controller at New York University, having previously served in senior roles at Carnegie Mellon University (1988–94). He began his career at Mellon Bank (1981–88) in his hometown of Pittsburgh before moving into higher education.

“Throughout his career, Al has held leadership roles in distinguished organizations committed to scientific advancement,” says Connelly. “His broad experience and personal qualities make him the ideal leader of ACS.”

A native of Pennsylvania, Horvath earned his master’s degree in business administration at Duquesne University in 1985 and his bachelor’s degree in accounting at Penn State in 1981. He has served on numerous boards of directors, including the Smithsonian Channel, Green Door, Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Council on Governmental Relations, among others.