June 30, 2015 – The National Book Foundation (NBF) has retained Spencer Stuart to lead its search for a new executive director. Harold Augenbraum, the current executive director, will step down from his post in March 2016. His decision was announced by the non-profit foundation’s board of directors, which has formed a committee to choose his successor. He has headed the foundation since 2004, and according to the NBF, is credited with revitalizing the National Book Awards, its most prominent program. The mission of the National Book Foundation and the National Book Awards is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America. More than 60 years since its creation, the National Book Awards continue to advance the careers of established and emerging writers.
Over the last five years, Spencer Stuart has conducted more than 800 searches — most of them for chief executive officers, chairmen and presidents — in its education, non-profit and government sectors practice group. Michele Haertel leads the group. Her search work includes recruiting college presidents, university deans, foundation presidents, and senior executives in humanitarian aid organizations. Her clients include the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), the New York Public Library, and Columbia University. Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, Ms. Haertel was a senior executive with Christie’s auction house, where she served as a senior member of the firm’s business development team.
Recently completed assignments by Spencer Stuart in the non-profit space include placing Suzanne Lavin as executive director of the Institute for the Study of Business Markets (ISBM), James Cudahy as president and chief executive officer of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), and Tony Mestres as president and CEO of The Seattle Foundation. Spencer Stuart is currently leading the search for a new executive director for Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media