Graduate School of Banking Welcomes New Leadership

Paul Katz

MADISON, Wis. — The Board of Trustees of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (GSB) has named Paul C. Katz the next GSB/Prochnow Educational Foundation (PEF) president and CEO. Katz succeeds Kirby Davidson, who announced his retirement in October of 2023. Katz will begin as president on June 1, 2024, and assume the role of CEO upon Davidson’s retirement on December 31, 2024.

Katz comes to GSB following 25 years in banking industry leadership roles. He most recently served as managing director & head of bank relations at Promontory MortgagePath in Danbury, Conn. Prior to that, he was EVP of the State Association Alliance with the American Bankers Association in Washington, D.C. where he collaborated with 51 state  bankers associations to improve the competitive position of the nation’s banks.  In both roles, he established himself as a strategic thinker with a proven track record for growing existing business. He earned his bachelor’s degree with honors in political science from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. and is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program — Leadership for Extraordinary Performance — at the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business. 

“I have the highest respect for GSB and its students, alumni, faculty, and staff,” said Katz. “I am honored to be entrusted to lead the organization and look forward to building on its longstanding tradition of educating professionals and creating leaders.”

A national search, managed by The QTI Group of Madison, yielded applications from more than 300 candidates for the position. It was important to the Board of Trustees that the search committee include various perspectives and backgrounds. For this reason, the eight-member committee consisted of state association executives, banker alumni, and faculty. The seven-month process included surveys and input from key constituent groups including Trustees, bankers, faculty, and staff.

“The Board of Trustees is very thankful for the thorough effort the search committee put into this important leadership position,” said Randy Hultgren, president and CEO of the Illinois Bankers Association and chair of the GSB Board of Trustees. “Paul will be an outstanding leader and intuitive thinker, who will help shape the School and its various in-person and online educational programs for years to come.”

Current GSB/PEF President and CEO Davidson said, “GSB has always been recognized as the best and most progressive graduate banking school in the country. I am confident that under Paul’s leadership this tradition will continue. We are on the cusp of some major enhancements and additional offerings that, with Paul’s background, will serve the School well in the years to come.”