Stephanie K. Meeks to Step Down as President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation at the End of 2018
Stephanie K. Meeks announced that she will be stepping down as president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation at the end of this year. The announcement of her resignation follows the completion of a successful capital campaign and multi-year strategic plan. The Board of Trustees will begin a national search for her successor immediately.
“With integrity and vision, Stephanie has guided this organization and its essential and important work to higher ground,” said Timothy P. Whalen, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Places that matter to all Americans in this country are more secure as a result of her determined and skillful leadership.”
Ms. Meeks became the eighth president and first woman chief executive officer in the nearly 70-year history of the National Trust, the nation’s leading nonprofit for the preservation of America’s most historic places, when she joined the organization in July 2010. She oversaw the largest fundraising campaign in the organization’s history, surpassing the $200 million goal by more than $105 million.
Meeks led the repositioning of the organization’s portfolio of 27 historic sites to achieve new levels of stewardship, interpretation, and financial sustainability, and added a significant new historic site in Southern California, Thornton Gardens. During her tenure, the National Trust also established the National Treasures program which brings resources and attention to historic places that reflect the wide contours of the American past.
Under Meeks’ leadership, the National Trust launched an effort to highlight the critical connection between older buildings and vibrant cities, working to facilitate the reuse of historic buildings to meet 21st century needs. She co-authored the book The Past and Future City: How Historic Preservation is Reviving America's Communities, published by Island Press in the fall of 2016.
The National Trust intensified its commitment to engaging a new generation of preservationists by launching the HOPE Crew program, and amplified its pledge to tell a fuller accounting of American history with the establishment of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.
“It has been a privilege to lead an incredible organization of talented and committed individuals dedicated to preserving and honoring the places that tell our full American story,” said Stephanie K. Meeks. “As I reflect on the results we have achieved together, I am deeply moved and grateful for the opportunity to contribute to an organization whose important work will continue to shape the cultural landscape of our nation.”
The national search for a successor will be led by Jay Clemens, vice chairman of the Board of Trustees, along with a search committee composed of four board members. The search committee will work in partnership with New York-based executive search firm Howe-Lewis International.
“Each of us on the board are grateful for and admire all that Stephanie has accomplished for preservation in the United States,” continued Whalen.