Preservation Magazine, Winter 2024

President's Note: Welcome Carol Quillen

Jay Clemens, Interim President and CEO

When I assumed the role of interim president and CEO of the National Trust, our organizational goals were to focus on leadership in the areas of advocacy, grant-making, and preservation as climate action while maintaining the momentum of storytelling at our historic sites, balancing the budget, refining internal operations, launching new initiatives such as America’s Chinatowns, and preparing the organization for a successful president and CEO transition.

I am happy to say that we’ve accomplished those goals, and it is with great pleasure that I extend a warm welcome to Carol Quillen, the 10th president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. On behalf of the National Trust’s Board of Trustees, I express gratitude to everyone who contributed to this process, especially the dedicated Trustees on the search committee—Bill Bates, Christy Brown, Betsy Cahill, Shelley Hoon Keith, and Martha Nelson—for their countless hours and invaluable insights.

Carol’s track record of transformative leadership in higher education, coupled with her ability to manage change with both courage and sensitivity, garnered her unanimous endorsement from the Board of Trustees.

Her deep understanding of historic preservation’s significance in telling the full story of the United States, and the movement’s role in our democracy, positions her as the ideal leader for the National Trust at this moment.

Having served as the president of Davidson College from 2011 to 2022, Carol indelibly shaped the institution. She envisioned and led a $555 million campaign and realigned campus planning to better facilitate the college’s educational aspirations. Demonstrating a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, she initiated bold actions at Davidson, establishing a Commission on Race and Slavery to explore the college’s past and implementing significant measures toward fostering a more just and equitable present and future. Carol also championed diversity in leadership, both in management and on Davidson’s Board of Trustees.

As we turn our focus toward celebrating the National Trust’s 75th anniversary later this year, it is an exciting time to welcome a new president and CEO. The preservation movement has undergone substantial evolution over the decades, and we are eager to work with Carol to advance the Trust’s mission and impact throughout the nation. Welcome, Carol.

Jay Clemens served as the chair of the board of trustees from November 2020–March 2023, and interim president & CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation from March 2023–January 2024.

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