Marianna Gatto is the executive director and cofounder of the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles (IAMLA), a historian and author with two decades of experience in public history, non-profit leadership, museums, and education.
Gatto has served as the museum’s director since 2010, and oversees matters ranging from development and exhibitions, to education, programming, and fundraising.
Gatto’s involvement in the museum project began in 2005, and she later spearheaded a campaign that secured public funds to renovate the Italian Hall, the historic building in which the IAMLA is located.
Gatto has also collaborated on initiatives such as the historic designation of Tuna Canyon, a WWII-era detention center for Japanese Americans and Italian Americans.
In 2008, Gatto created the museum’s signature event, Taste of Italy, an upscale food and wine tasting.
Gatto began her career in public education and later became a museum administrator for the City of Los Angeles. A Los Angeles native, Gatto attended the University of California Los Angeles, and California State University Los Angeles, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in social science before beginning her graduate study in history and earning a teaching credential in secondary education. Gatto also has a master’s in education.
Gatto’s work has been recognized by the State of California, and in 2021 the Italian republic awarded her the Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia (Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy). She is a dame in the Constantinian Order and a dual citizen of the United States and Italy. She resides in Los Angeles and has an adult son.