Major changes are coming to Library of America as it marks its thirty-fifth anniversary in 2017. The organization is announcing this week that its publisher Max Rudin will succeed Cheryl Hurley as president when she retires at the end of the calendar year and that it will be commencing a search for a new editorial director to replace retiring editor-in-chief Geoffrey O’Brien.
Hurley was one of the nonprofit organization’s founders in 1979 and also its first employee. Rudin joined the staff in 1980. Together, they have overseen the organization’s remarkable rise from its founding (against considerable odds) to its present position as a highly regarded cultural institution. Library of America’s more than 300 published editions are recognized today as the “indispensable pantheon of our national literature” (Fortune). More recently, the pair has overseen Library of America’s adoption of innovative Web-only features, digital resources, and outreach programs intended to deepen readers’ engagement with American writing.
In announcing the transition, Elizabeth W. Smith, chair of Library of America’s board of trustees, said, “Cheryl Hurley has established an extraordinary legacy of leadership and passionate commitment. Her imagination and style have been instrumental in making Library of America one of the nation’s most vital and well-respected cultural institutions. There is no one better positioned to build on this legacy than Max Rudin, whose creative vision and long record of accomplishment have been at the heart of Library of America’s reputation for quality and innovation.”
Hurley will continue to serve as an advisor to LOA after her retirement.
In related staff news, Daniel Baker, currently vice president and CFO, will become chief operating officer. Longtime editor-in-chief Geoffrey O’Brien, who with Rudin and Hurley has guided LOA’s expansive approach to America’s literary heritage, will also retire at the end of 2017 but will continue on as a consulting editor. Library of America is launching a search for a new editorial director.
Library of America has benefited from unusual continuity in its personnel. In addition to Hurley and Rudin’s long tenures noted above, Baker joined the organization in 1990, followed by O’Brien in 1992.
Other key LOA staff taking on expanded responsibilities as part of the transition include Brian McCarthy, associate publisher; Caroline Horn, director of institutional advancement; and contributing editor James Gibbons.
Watch this space for further LOA leadership updates in the months ahead.