ALA launches executive director search with new search committee and Isaacson, Miller

For Immediate Release
Wed, 03/13/2019


Dan Hoppe

Associate Executive Director

Human Resources

American Library Association

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) announced today it has opened its search for an executive director, in partnership with corporate executive search firm Isaacson, Miller, to succeed current ALA Executive Director Mary W. Ghikas. The search will be led by a new ALA Executive Director Search Committee comprising various member leaders and senior association staff.

The job description and information for interested parties is now available on the ALA website at .

"This is an exciting time for members, ALA leadership and staff as we work together to transform the association, profession and the diverse communities we serve,” said ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo. “Change is never easy, but the decades of collective professional experience offered by our new ALA Executive Director Search Committee members and Isaacson, Miller brings peace of mind in our search for a dynamic leader.”

ALA Executive Board plans to name a new executive director after its fall board meeting in October 2019. The new executive director will officially assume leadership after the ALA Midwinter Meeting 2020 in Philadelphia. Ghikas will support the orientation and transition process as Deputy Executive Director through the 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago.

“I appreciate the opportunity to work alongside Isaacson, Miller consultants as we search for ALA’s next executive director,” said ALA Executive Director Search Committee Chair Courtney Young. “Our goal is to find and engage with a variety of library and information professionals who are as diverse as the communities we serve. Isaacson, Miller will assist with efforts to find candidates that share our passion to empower library professionals to transform lives through education and lifelong learning.”

Since 1982, Isaacson, Miller has recruited for the leadership of the nation's civic infrastructure. The firm leads nearly 300 searches each year, many for not-for-profit organizations in need of candidates who meet demands of both mission and market. ALA executive director search consultants Pamela Pezzoli and Marc St. Hilaire will be leading the search on behalf of Isaacson, Miller.

“Our firm is dedicated to recruiting exceptional leaders for organizations that advance the public good,” said Isaacson, Miller President Vivian Brocard. “Libraries are a dynamic part of the civic sector and a vital resource that strengthens communities through educational opportunity and equal access to information. We are honored to partner with ALA on this important search.”

Members of the ALA Executive Director Search Committee include Chair Courtney L. Young, university librarian, Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y.; ALA Executive Board Rep., Tamika Barnes, department head, Perimeter Library Services at Georgia State University, Dunwoody, Ga.; ALA Executive Board Rep., Trevor Dawes, vice provost, Libraries and Museums and May Morris University librarian, University of Delaware, Newark, Del.; ALA Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC) Rep., Carl A. Harvey II, assistant professor, School Librarianship, Longwood University, Farmville, Va.; ALA At-Large Councilor Rep., Peter Hepburn, head librarian, College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, Calif.; Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) Rep., Dora Ho, young adult librarian, Los Angeles Public Library; ALA Staff Liaison Rep., Daniel Hoppe, associate executive director, ALA Human Resources, Chicago; ALA Chapter Councilors Rep., Susan Jennings, dean of library services, Chattanooga (Tenn.) State Community College; ALA Round Tables Rep., Charles Kratz, dean of library and information fluency, University of Scranton (Pa.) Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library; ALA Staff Rep., Barb Macikas, executive director, Public Library Association, Chicago; ALA Divisions Rep., James (Jim) Neal, university librarian emeritus, Columbia University, New York; ALA Staff Rep., Sheila O'Donnell, director, ALA Development Office, Chicago; ALA Emerging Leaders Rep., Melissa Stoner, Native American studies librarian, Ethnic Studies Library, University of California, Berkeley, Calif.; and ALA Divisions Rep., Steven Yates, assistant director, University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Science, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Media interested in speaking with the chair of the ALA Executive Director Search Committee, current ALA President or ALA executive director may contact Macey Morales, deputy director, ALA Communications and Marketing Office,; or Steve Zalusky, communications specialist, ALA Communications and Marketing Office, .

About ALA
American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit

About Isaacson, Miller
Isaacson, Miller is an executive search firm specializing in recruiting transformative leadership for mission-driven organizations. An employee-owned firm founded with the fundamental belief that diversity strengthens our society and the organizations that function within it, we have offices in Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. For more information on Isaacson, Miller, visit