For immediate release | July 24, 2020

Mario M. González, Rhea B. Lawson selected to serve as ALA Endowment Fund Trustees

CHICAGO – Mario M. González, Director of the Passaic (NJ) Public Library and Rhea B. Lawson, Director of the Houston Public Library, have been selected to serve as the American Library Association’s (ALA) newest Endowment Trustees. The ALA Executive Board made these selections during their meeting at the 2020 Virtual Annual Conference at June 30, 2020. The three-year terms of these newly selected trustees will begin immediately.

Mario M. González is a returning member and will be serving his second three-year term with the Trustees. As the Director of the Passaic Public Library, he is responsible for the strategic development of both short- and long-range plans for the library system, budgets, technology, fundraising, facilities, and community relations. He is also the President and Founder of the Passaic Public Library Foundation. He has served two terms on the ALA Executive Board, as ALA Treasurer, as the Chair of BARC and has been a member of Council since 1996. He also has played an active role in the activities of the Public Library Association, the Association of College & Research Libraries, the Reference & Users Services Association, the Ethnic Materials & Information Exchange Round Table, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, the Chinese American Librarians Association and REFORMA. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the City College of New York, a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Pratt Institute and a Certificate of Achievement from the Harvard Business School on Non-Profit Executive Management.

Rhea Lawson is currently the Director of the Houston Public Library reporting to the mayor of Houston. She will be serving as a first-time committee member. Overseeing a budget of $40 million she provides customer services to Houston’s 2.2 million residents of diverse ethnic, racial, and economic backgrounds via a network of 42 locations and a staff of 500. She has a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MLS from the University of Maryland, and a BS from Morgan State University. She has also played an active role in the activities of the Association via the Public Library Association, the Library Leadership and Management Association, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and the chair of BARC.

The Endowment Trustees are charged with the management of the ALA Endowment Fund with the responsibility for acting on behalf of the Executive Board, within the established policies, procedures, and guidelines of the ALA investment policy statement. Additionally, they have the authority to hold, invest, reinvest, and disburse endowment funds and otherwise deal with endowment funds in accordance with such directions as may be given them by the Executive Board of the Association.

The Trustees must also be members of the ALA and have a working knowledge of investment opportunities available to endowment funds and the various benchmarks used to judge fund performance. Trustees must also have experience in the management or oversight of investment funds in a business setting. There are currently seven trustees, which includes the ALA Treasurer.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit


Keith D. Brown

Senior Financial Analyst

Finance Department