Mary Filardo
Founder and Executive Director


  • Community involvement
  • Facilities
  • School funding
  • State policy

Mary Filardo is a leading national authority and advocate for improving the equity, efficiency and quality of public school facilities.  She founded the 21st Century School Fund in 1994 to improve the policies and practice for planning, design, construction, management and financing for the District of Columbia Public Schools and then in 2001 started Building Educational Success Together (BEST) to work nationally on these issues. She has written extensively on public school facility issues and developed software to support long-range facilities master planning. She worked in the private sector in residential construction management and was an active parent advocate during the 19 years her children were in the D.C. public schools. She received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and mathematics from St. John’s College, is a 1979 Truman Scholar from the District of Columbia, and was awarded a Master of Public Policy from the University of Maryland in 1993.