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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

NHA Announces Leadership Changes

For immediate release:
February 2, 2012

For more information, contact:
Erin Smith Mosley
Assistant Director for Communications & Membership
National Humanities Alliance
(202) 296-4994 x 150

NHA Announces Leadership Changes

Washington, DC - In a memo issued last week, NHA President Michael Brintnall informed Alliance members that Jessica Jones Irons would be stepping down as Executive Director of the National Humanities Alliance (NHA).  Explaining that Irons and her family will be relocating to the NYC area later this spring, Brintnall stated, “Jessica will be greatly missed, but we share in her excitement at the new opportunities in New York.”  Brintnall added that Irons had agreed to provide consulting support through the end of March in order to help see the Alliance through its upcoming Annual Meeting and Humanities Advocacy Day.  “The officers and directors of the Board deeply appreciate Jessica’s service to the Alliance,” he said.

At the same time, Brintnall announced that the NHA Board had appointed Duane Webster, Executive Director Emeritus of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Interim Director of the National Humanities Alliance effective February 1, 2012.  A former NHA Board member, and long-time ARL member representative to the Alliance, Mr. Webster has served NHA in a number of capacities over the years, most recently as chair of the organization’s Committee on Libraries and Intellectual Property.

Irons was appointed NHA Executive Director in 2005, and has served in a number of roles since first joining the Alliance staff in 1999.  During her tenure, Irons has helped lead NHA through a significant expansion in the Alliance’s activities.  “I am particularly proud to have contributed to the growth of NHA's membership base, and its grassroots advocacy capacity over the years. It has been an honor to serve this community, and to work with the members and staff of the Alliance,” said Irons.  

Led by Irons, the Alliance has worked to foster a unified voice in support of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and other critical federal programs, coordinating closely with a broad range of Alliance members and stakeholders with diverse interests in the humanities.  The Alliance plays a lead role in advocating for NEH funding, and its efforts in this area have been especially critical during the recent period of extreme pressures on the federal budget.   Working together over the last year, Alliance members and other NEH supporters have been successful in helping to minimize cuts to NEH funding, fighting proposals in Congress to dramatically cut or eliminate funding for the agency, and enabling NEH to maintain its range of grant competitions for the 2011-2012 fiscal years.  

The National Humanities Alliance (NHA) is a non-profit coalition of 104 organizations and institutions around the country actively committed to advocacy for the humanities. Founded in 1981, the Alliance works to advance public support for the humanities, and represents the interests of its members to Congress and federal agencies on matters relating to humanities research, education, preservation, and public programs.  Its membership includes: scholarly societies; higher education associations; organizations of libraries, museums, and historical societies; state humanities councils; humanities research centers; and individual colleges and universities.  NHA is online at: www.nhalliance.org.

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