In her present role, her responsibilities include executive oversight of the community commitment division, as well as the summer camps program and staff, hosting more than 10,000 guests annually. In addition, she spearheads a number of strategic signature initiatives for the athletics department. Partnering with the College Football Playoff Foundation on its Extra Yard for Teachers Initiative, Notre Dame led the country in the inaugural year of the program in dollars raised, with the proceeds directed to the University’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program.
Prior to 2014, she served in a leadership position within the athletics external affairs division. In August 2009, she was promoted to assistant athletics director after serving as a director and then executive director in that division. As liaison to the University's central development office, McNamara helped raise funding for expendable and endowed scholarships as well as capital projects. In May 2010, her role expanded to include additional management oversight responsibilities in all aspects of athletics external affairs including the Rockne Heritage Fund, Director's Circle Recognition Society, and the Joyce Grants-in-Aid program.
McNamara collaborated with the University's central development office in an $84 million athletics fundraising initiative for the Spirit of Notre Dame campaign (2004-11). The athletics department was included in the campaign for the first time in the history of the University. An increase in expendable and endowed scholarships led to a great transformation of Notre Dame's athletics physical plant with the addition of four new facilities: Alumni Stadium for soccer; Arlotta Stadium for lacrosse; Melissa Cook Stadium for softball and the Compton Family Ice Arena for hockey.
McNamara was responsible for the planning and dedication of the Castellan Family Fencing Center in the fall of 2012, a state-of-the-art collegiate facility. She serves as the sport administrator for the eight-time NCAA national champion men's and women's varsity fencing team, working with head coach Gia Kvaratskhelia and his staff in that capacity.
Throughout her career, McNamara has represented the athletics department on several University Relations committees, and served on the 2011 bowl committee. She now serves on numerous University committees including the Community Engagement Coordinating Council, ND/Community Perception Committee, and the United Way Steering Committee. McNamara is the chair of the NCAA National Fencing Committee, chair of the NCAA Midwest Fencing Committee, and vice chair of the Atlantic Coast Conference Fencing Committee.
Prior to assuming her duties in the external affairs division, McNamara served six years as manager, and then director, of corporate relations and the University's summer sports camp program. In September, 2000 she organized, coordinated and hosted 55 corporate parties and more than 10,000 guests, prior to the Notre Dame-Nebraska football game at Notre Dame Stadium. During that same time period, McNamara served as the athletics department's liaison to NBC Sports.
McNamara first joined the University as assistant women's tennis coach in January 1990 under head coach Jay Louderback and served on his staff until the fall of 1997. During her coaching tenure, Notre Dame captured five Midwestern Collegiate Conference titles and two BIG EAST crowns. The Irish earned four NCAA Championship berths, including a regional final appearance in 1996. That squad finished sixth in the country, the program's first top-10 final ranking after its elevation to NCAA Division I status.
McNamara spent two of those coaching years earning her master's degree from Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, graduating magna cum laude in 1996.
A native of Peoria, Illinois, she held positions with the Xerox Corporation and Abbott Laboratories in Chicago, prior to arriving at Notre Dame. A graduate of the University of Illinois with a bachelor's degree in business administration, McNamara earned four varsity letters as a member of the Illini women's tennis program and twice earned selection as the team's most valuable player. In 1992, former and current Illini athletes in all sports voted her to the University of Illinois Women's Tennis Team of the Decade.