Russell Reynolds In Hunt for New Leader at Chautauqua Institution

April 1, 2016 – Russell Reynolds Associates has been retained by The Chautauqua Institution to find its next president. Current president Tom Becker has announced he is retiring this fall after nearly 32 years of service. The non-profit adult education center and summer resort hopes to have a successor in place by then.

The search will be led by Russell Reynolds Associates’ Washington, D.C., and Boston offices.

James Pardo Jr., chair of the Institution’s board of trustees, has appointed a six-person committee, along with the search firm, that will lead the process to identify and select the Institution’s 18th president.

“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,” said Mr. Pardo. “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.”


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The Chautauqua Institution was founded in 1874 as a teaching camp for Sunday school teachers. In 1973 the National Park Service added the institution to the National Register of Historic Places. It was subsequently designated as a National Historic Landmark District. Today, it offers educational activities to the public, including entertainment, symphony, ballet, theatre, opera and visual arts exhibitions.

“The board and the search committee recognize the tall order ahead of us in choosing Tom Becker’s successor,” said Mr. Pardo. “Because of his extraordinary efforts and successes over the years, our next president will find the Chautauqua Institution in its best financial and operational position ever.”

George T. Snyder, chair of the presidential search committee, said he expects a robust and thorough search process that will attract a number of highly qualified candidates from many different backgrounds.

“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.”

Russell Reynolds Associates’ public sector, trade and associations practice group serves a wide variety of public sector and not-for-profit organizations, related public bodies, regulators, and government-owned companies. It also fills the executive leadership needs of global charities, healthcare providers, and local government and trade associations.

The firm has a number of non-profit secure searches underway, including the search for a new chief executive officer for Save the Children UK.

The firm recently recruited Rob Fitzpatrick as CEO of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), Australia’s peak non-profit representative body and advocacy group for those in the digital ecosystem.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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