Mary Ellen Pelzer


Mary Ellen Pelzer is an attorney and consultant specializing in non-profit governance and change management. She is currently a Director of the New York Society of Association Executives where she serves as the Chair of the Foundation Committee. Her work has been published in diverse media outlets.  

An expert in non-profit management, she has worked with cultural groups, hospital corporations, membership and industry organizations. Previously, she was the Executive Director of The Fragrance Foundation, a trade organization representing the fine fragrance industry. She also held the position of President and CEO of the South Street Seaport Museum and was a reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services: Museums for America Grant Program. She was a featured speaker for Museums Advocacy Day for the American Alliance of Museums. She concurrently served on the New York Downtown Hospital’s Institutional Review Board, the Naval History and Heritage Command, and as President of the Tri-State Chapter of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association.  

Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from New York University and a Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law where she was a member of the New York International Law Review. 

She currently lives in New York City with her husband, Marcelo Cabrera and her rescue dog Bella. 


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