New AHA Executive Director: Jim Grossman to Succeed Arnita Jones





The American Historical Association is pleased to announce that Dr. James Grossman, currently Vice President for Research and Education at Chicago’s Newberry Library, will succeed Dr. Arnita Jones as the Association’s Executive Director. Dr. Jones will retire at the end of August.

AHA President Barbara Metcalf expressed the enthusiasm of the AHA Council over Dr. Grossman’s appointment: “He is an accomplished scholar, a passionate advocate for history, and a leader in both public humanities and history.” At the Newberry Library he has overseen programs for the general public as well as for scholars and teachers, and has built a strong reputation for bridge-building across fields and disciplines.

Grossman is the author of Land of Hope: Chicago, Black Southerners, and the Great Migration (1989) and A Chance to Make Good: African Americans, 1900-1929 (1997). He was also project director and coeditor of The Encyclopedia of Chicago (2004), labeled by one prominent urban historian “one of the very finest and likely one of the most durable works of North American historical scholarship in our era.” A collaborative project of the Newberry Library, the Chicago History Museum, and Northwestern University, it involved over 700 contributors, and is now available in both print and digital formats.

Current Executive Director Arnita Jones considers Grossman “an ideal person to lead the Association at a time when scholarly societies, higher education and research institutions are confronting many new challenges, including the digital revolution.” Dr. Grossman has been an active member of the AHA for many years and a leader of its National History Center, a new initiative which helps historians reach out to broader audiences. His goals for the AHA include enhancing the role of historians in public culture, collaborating with counterparts in other scholarly associations to explore new opportunities opened by innovations in digital communication, and maintaining the AHA’s strong advocacy voice on open access and other issues of importance to historians....

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