Cathy L. Gallagher

  • Executive Director
  • Phone: (619) 849-2564


  • B.A. Business Administration, PLNU


Ms. Gallagher brings over thirty years in business to her role in leading the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute (Institute) at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) as Executive Director. She has extensive experience in leadership, management, business development, professional training, marketing, sales, and event planning. Prior to assuming leadership of the Institute as Executive Director in January 2014, Gallagher held the role of Director since 2010 following the restructure of the Fermanian Business Center (FBC), of which she was Manager since August of 2005. She also worked in development and human resources since starting at PLNU in May of 2003. Prior to joining PLNU, she served as owner, operator, and manager for several small businesses on the east coast. 

As Executive Director, Gallagher is responsible for overall leadership of the Institute, planning and implementation of strategic initiatives, and building awareness of the many programs, services, and resources that further its mission and goals. She leads client and business relation and development efforts for the Institute and is executive editor of all publications and studies. She has significant contacts with for-profit and non-profit businesses, organizations. and individuals in the San Diego region, as well as nationally and internationally, and works with them to develop collaborative, strategic, and mutually beneficial partnerships that enhance the objectives of the firm, bringing added value and actionable results. In addition to the Institute serving as the economic forecasting unit for California State Treasurer John Chiang, other clients include San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC), Building Industry Association San Diego, St. Vincent de Paul Villages, The Corky McMillin Companies, Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank, Sempra Generation, San Diego Zoo Global, Equinox Center, as well as other trade associations and professional organizations.

Gallagher's background and relationship with industry leaders has allowed her to provide creative solutions to businesses in a dynamic business and economic environment. These valuable connections lead to consulting opportunities, business plan development, mentoring, job placement, speaking engagements, and business to business connections with related professionals in the community. Additionally, Gallagher works closely with the FSB Dean and Associate Dean for Graduate Business Education to establish new programs, resources, and experiential opportunities for MBA students to enhance their professional development and complement their academic experience. 

She is an active member of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) and other business organizations, and serves on the board for Cura Coffee, GK Materials, and Junior Achievement. 

Gallagher holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Point Loma Nazarene University. She currently resides in Point Loma with her husband of 31 years and has 2 grown children, and 3 grandchildren.