Search Officially Begins for Chautauqua Institution’s New President
A nationwide search has begun to find Chautauqua Institution’s next president. James A. Pardo Jr., Chair of the Institution’s Board of Trustees, today announced the appointment of a six-person committee that will lead the process to identify and select the Institution’s 18th president. The Institution’s goal is to name a successor to retiring President Tom Becker this fall.
“This is an extraordinary time for Chautauqua Institution, and an extraordinary opportunity for a creative, high-energy leader to take the Chautauqua experience to a new level,” Pardo said. “With a new Amphitheater coming on line in 2017, we are truly excited by the new programmatic opportunities before us, and we are eager to see how our new president’s vision for the future advances the Institution.”
Becker recently announced his intention to retire effective December 31, 2016, following 13 years as president and nearly 32 years of service in total to Chautauqua.
“The Board and the search committee recognize the tall order ahead of us in choosing Tom Becker’s successor,” Pardo said. “Because of Tom’s extraordinary efforts and successes over the years, our next president will find the Chautauqua Institution in its best financial and operational position ever.”
Executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates has also been retained to guide the committee and the Board through the search and hiring process.
“We anticipate that the process will be a robust one that will attract a number of highly qualified candidates from many different backgrounds,” said George T. Snyder, chair of the presidential search committee. “Over the next few months, we will screen prospective candidates, develop a shortlist of finalists and bring them to Chautauqua for on-site visits during the summer season. It’s our hope that our new president will start work on the first day of the New Year.”
Today’s announcements follow more than two months of research by Board leadership, in addition to consultation with outside experts, Institution staff, and many members of the Chautauqua community. The Board and Institution staff will provide regular updates to Chautauquans as the search process unfolds.
Chautauqua Institution Presidential Search Fact Sheet
Presidential Search Committee
George T. Snyder, immediate past chair of the Board of Trustees from 2007 to 2013, will chair the presidential search committee. Snyder is a lifelong Chautauquan and property owner. He currently serves as a director of the Chautauqua Foundation, chairing its Personnel Committee, and is co-chair of the Promise Campaign. A native of Pittsburgh, he is a partner with the Stonecipher Law Firm.
The following Chautauquans also have been appointed to serve as members of the search committee:
- Jim Brady, who is the Central Region Managing Partner for Grant Thornton LLP, one of the top six largest professional services firms in the U.S. A member of the Chautauqua community since 2003 and now a property owner, Brady serves on both the Institution’s Board of Trustees and the Chautauqua Foundation’s Board of Directors, chairing the Development Council.
- Laura Currie, who is manager of the clinical trials program in the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. A lifelong Chautauquan and property owner, Currie also serves as an Institution Trustee and a Foundation Director, and she chairs the Planned Giving Committee.
- Bill James, who has worked in the consumer products industry his entire career with assignments in Europe and the U.S. James and his family have come to Chautauqua for 25 years; he is a property owner and joined the Foundation Board as a Director in 2014.
- Candace Littell Maxwell, who is a retired consulting executive and corporate director for the life sciences industry. Maxwell has been coming to Chautauqua for 15 years and is currently in her sixth year of service as a Trustee of the Institution.
- James A. Pardo Jr., who is a retired partner at King & Spalding LLP. At Chautauqua, where he is a property owner and has come with his family since 1991, Pardo serves as Chair of the Institution’s Board of Trustees, ex officio as a Foundation Director, and Vice-Chair of the Chautauqua Hotel Corporation’s board.
Executive Search Firm
Russell Reynolds Associates is a global leader in assessment, recruitment and succession planning for boards of directors and key leadership roles for organizations of all kinds. Its consultants have extensive experience identifying, assessing and recruiting exceptional board members, CEOs and senior leaders for nonprofit organizations around the world. The search will be led by the firm’s Washington and Boston offices.
The goal of the search committee, as noted by George Snyder, “is to work closely with Russell Reynolds to identify and recommend to the Board of Trustees a candidate to succeed Tom Becker as President of Chautauqua Institution, thus enabling the new president to begin his or her work at the beginning of 2017.” An important element of the search process is obtaining timely community input. The search committee is developing a series of mechanisms that will allow it to proactively gather community insight. These will be communicated in the near future.
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