National Underground Railroad Freedom Center launches search for new president

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center launches search for new president

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center announced in December that Dr. Clarence G. Newsome would step down as president effective March 31, 2017. He has served as president of the institution since 2013.

Under Newsome's leadership the institution's endowment has grown from $4 million to $10 million, and ended the 2016 fiscal year with an operational surplus. His administration has forged many new partnerships, local and national, including WGN's UNDERGROUND, Major League Baseball, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. More recent partnerships include Doc's on the Banks, Smith & Hannon Bookstore, AT&T, and David Rubenstein.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will work with a talent firm beginning in April to conduct a national search to identify the next president.

"I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve this great institution and become a part of the Cincinnati community," says Newsome. "As my family prepares to move back to North Carolina, I want to thank the staff , board, and volunteers for their friendship and support. I want to thank the city and its residents for welcoming us, embracing us, and inspiring us. I am truly blessed to have been a part of a community that embraces the mission of an institution that calls upon each of us to lift one another up to make inclusive freedom a reality for all."

As the search for a new president begins this spring, the institution has appointed public historian and educator Dan Hurley as interim president. Hurley is best known for his work on commercial television and director of Leadership Cincinnati. For the last 36 years he has worked with Local 12 News as an historian, and for the last 21 year as the producer and host for Local 12 Newsmakers.

Dan founded Applied History Associates (AHA), a public history consulting firm in 1986, and produced video, curated exhibits, written books and articles and provided cultural planning services for organizations in the eastern United States. Through AHA, Dan was hired in 1994 as the original project manager for what became the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

Dan retired at the end of June last year as the director of Leadership Cincinnati and Leadership Action, but continues with Local 12 News and as a columnist for Cincy Magazine.  

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Board of Directors will identify a successor in the coming months.