February 18, 2016 – Spencer Stuart has placed Lisa Lucas as the new executive director of the National Book Foundation (NBF). She becomes the third executive director in the Foundation’s history. Harold Augenbraum, the current executive director, will step down from his post next month.
Ms. Lucas comes to the NBF after serving as publisher of Guernica, a non-profit digital magazine focused on art and politics. Prior to Guernica, Ms. Lucas served as director of education at the Tribeca Film Institute.
A search committee of the National Book Foundation Board oversaw the process along with Spencer Stuart. The search team included NBF chairman and Perseus Books Group CEO David Steinberger; vice chair Morgan Entrekin, CEO and publisher of Grove Atlantic; Reynold Levy, president of The Robin Hood Foundation; Carolyn Reidy, president and CEO of Simon and Schuster; Calvin Sims, president and CEO of International House; and Strauss Zelnick, founder of Zelnick Media Capital.
“We went through an exhaustive search process,” said Mr. David Steinberger. “And we could not be more pleased with the outcome. Lisa Lucas is a dynamic leader who has served as a passionate advocate for literature and has built an impressive track record of accomplishment in the not-for-profit world across theater, film and literature.”
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.
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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, among others.
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), Tony Mestres as president and CEO of The Seattle Foundation, and Deborah Flint as executive director for Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media