Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The California Historical Society Welcomes Anthea M. Hartig as New Executive Director

The California Historical Society’s Board of Trustees has selected Anthea M. Hartig, Ph.D., to serve as the society’s new executive director. Dr. Hartig was hired following a nationwide search, to lead the state’s official historical society and to support its mission to inspire and empower Californians to make the past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives.

“We have truly found the right chief executive for the 21st Century," CHS Board President Thomas R. Owens offered, "Anthea's deep and varied experience as an historian and non-profit leader is the perfect fit for making this venerable organization relevant and successful."

“As a third-generation Californian, I am honored to lead the 140-year old California Historical Society and to steward one of the richest and deepest collections on California’s diverse heritage,” said Dr. Hartig. Noting the challenges all cultural and heritage organization face today, Hartig adds, "I understand and embrace these difficult times as engaging opportunities to honor all of the Golden State's heritage, whether it is 10 or 10,000 years old."

Dr. Anthea M. Hartig comes to CHS after six years with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where she directed the Trust’s Western Office and served the six continental far western states along with Hawai’i, Alaska and the Pacific Island Territories of Guam and Micronesia. Previously Dr. Hartig taught history and cultural studies at La Sierra University in Riverside and graduate courses in historic preservation at the University of California, Riverside from where she holds a Ph.D. and Master’s Degree.

Dr. Hartig’s interest in the relevance of California’s stories and places has come to define her professional and advocational life. She served as a municipal preservation planner for over a decade, and owned a cultural resources consulting firm. She has served on many local, statewide and national history-related non-profit foundations’ boards of directors, including the California Preservation Foundation and the California Council for the Promotion of History, and has published in both academic and professional journals. Under Governor Gray Davis, she served as Chairperson of the State Historical Resources Commission.

Earlier this year Dr. Hartig was honored with the 2011 California Preservationist of the Year award at the 36th annual California Preservation Conference. This prestigious award was presented in recognition of Hartig’s outstanding contributions, exceptional achievements, and more than 25 years of service in the field of historic preservation in California.

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