Interdisciplinary Studies

CHSS Distinguished Alumni 

Kathy E. Hollinger

Masters of Interdisciplinary Studies '96

Kathy E. Hollinger is president and CEO of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW). Since 2012 her visionary leadership has led the regional trade organization representing thousands of restaurants and the food service industry in one of the nation’s largest and most visible markets through its most dramatic period of sustained growth and innovation. She has also raised the profile of the association and industry across the region and nationally, resulting in epic years of national accolades making Washington, D.C., a premier global food destination. As the official voice, face, and advocate for foodservice operators in the D.C. metropolitan area, Kathy drove unprecedented growth and development in the industry, while guiding members through years of a continuously evolving and complex legislative and regulatory landscape, to include most recently the ever-changing disruption and navigation of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Kathy began her career with the City Council of the District of Columbia, working as the campaign press director and director of communication for D.C. Councilmember Charlene Drew Jarvis, and as chief of staff for D.C. Councilmember Kevin P. Chavous. Later, in 2008, she was appointed to D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty’s executive cabinet where she served as film commissioner for the District of Columbia Office of Motion Picture and Television Development. With Kathy at the helm, Washington, D.C., experienced a 15% increase in volume of film activity and an increase of more than $38 million in industry direct spending, employment, and revenue generation, putting D.C. back on the map as a film destination nationally. 
Prior to her appointment as film commissioner, Kathy led external and regulatory affairs for Comcast in Washington, D.C., increasing company visibility and presence, brand, and newly launched products and services. She negotiated Comcast’s cable franchise with the District of Columbia and created a public-private partnership focused on lifelong learning. Under her leadership, Comcast received the D.C. Chamber of Commerce’s vaunted Business of the Year award and the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Champions of Excellence Award. 
In December 2020, Kathy was named the “COVID-19 Response Leader of the Year” by the Washington Business Journal for her relentless work with regional lawmakers to press for aid and quick changes to create an operating lifeline for the foodservice industry. She was also recognized by Mayor Muriel Bowser as a “Washington Woman of Excellence” for her leadership in helping guide both her industry and the District’s administration during one of the 
worst times for the economy. 
Kathy has been recognized as one of the Most Influential Minorities in Cable and honored by Washington Business Journal as one of 20 Women Who Mean Business. In 2015 she was named one of the region’s most influential business leaders in Washington Business Journal’s Power 100, and in 2017 Washington City Paper named her one of the People of the Year in their 2017 People Issue. She currently serves on numerous boards, including D.C. Policy Center, Opportunity D.C., Destination D.C., the Council of State Restaurant Associations, District of Columbia Hospital Association, and Leadership Greater Washington. 
She holds a bachelor of arts from American University’s School of Communication and a master of arts in interdisciplinary studies from George Mason University. In 2010 she returned to American University as an adjunct professor in the School of Communication. 
Kathy and her husband, Anthony, live in Washington, D.C., with their teenage son, Bijan Luke.