Canon Margot Semler was appointed interim director of development
in the early fall of 2001. She is responsible for the management and
coordination of the Cathedrals fundraising program, including planned and
individual gifts and contributions from corporations and foundations, for
the maintenance of the Cathedral and support of its programs.
Canon Semler has been involved in the life of the Cathedral since she was a
young child. She attended Beauvoir and National Cathedral School for Girls,
from which she graduated. After college, Canon Semler came to the Cathedral
as a volunteer, serving first with the Washington Committee and then as vice
president of the National Cathedral Association. At Dean Francis Sayre’s
invitation she became the director (later executive director) of the NCA
in 1974. She served in this position for twenty years until 1994, when she
was named executive director for national outreach, a position that oversaw
the work of the National Cathedral Association, Visitor Program and Volunteer
Services, the Development Office, and the Office of Public Affairs. She retired
in July 1999.
On May 1, 1994, she became the first woman lay canon in the Cathedral’s
history. Prior to her appointment as canon, only the female headmistresses
at the two Cathedral schools were given the title of canon. In retirement
she has been elected canon emerita.
Before her association with the Cathedral, Canon Semler had held positions
as residential chairman of the National Symphony Orchestra Drive and as
chairman of the Washington Committee of the American Field Service.