At the time of his death in November 2000, Michael Mortara was president and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Ventures. Prior to this position, he was co-head of Goldman Sachs’ fixed income currency and commodity division and a member of the firm’s management, finance, and risk committees.
A 1971 graduate of the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Mortara was a dedicated volunteer leader, as evidenced by his many commitments to the School’s Board of Visitors, the Third Century Campaign Steering Committee, and the board of the Wall Street Alliance, of which he was a founding member. Just months before his tragic death, Mortara began his service on the University’s Board of Directors, proving a judicious member of the Committee on Finance and the Committee on Main Campus Affairs. He actively recruited Georgetown students to Goldman Sachs and encouraged the firm to support a variety of projects on campus. His elder son, Michael Jr., is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service class of 2004, and his younger son, Matthew, is a graduate of the class of 2009.
Mortara envisioned a center of scholarly inquiry at the School of Foreign Service that would embody the mission of the School and its focus on the intersection of theory and practice in international affairs. With the help of his wife, Virginia, the Walsh School of Foreign Service is continuing his noble vision by developing the center he imagined.
The Mortara Building
The Mortara Center, officially opened in September 2005, is located in a historic town house at 3600 N Street NW, Washington, DC. The building features a large conference room with advanced audio-visual technology (including VTC) utilized for classes and internationally focused events on a daily basis; a small conference room used daily for a faculty research scriptorium and small seminars; and beautiful office facilities for School of Foreign Service faculty. The Mortara Building also houses the Center for Security Studies, which is located in the building’s lower level. With this beautiful new home, the Mortara Center has expanded its activities each year and will continue to grow in the years ahead.