HSP Appoints Kim Sajet as New President and Chief Executive Officer

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP), one of the nation’s oldest historical societies, announced today the appointment of Kim Sajet to the position of President and CEO. Sajet comes to HSP from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and assumes her new role on April 2, 2007.

Says HSP board chairman Collin McNeil, “We are all very pleased and excited that Kim is coming over to HSP.  After conducting a national search and considering a number of highly qualified candidates, we found Kim was far and away the best person to lead HSP to the greater heights that the collection so deserves.”

Currently the senior vice president of the museum and public programs at the Academy, which she joined as Deputy Director in 2001, Sajet brings to HSP a wealth of experience on the leadership teams of not-for-profit institutions as well as an international perspective that is increasingly important to any organization of national stature. Before the Academy, she was the director of corporate relations at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Previously, she held the directorships of two Australian public museums: the Waverly City Gallery and the Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre.

“I am deeply honored to join HSP, home to many of the manuscripts that form the foundation of this nation,” says Sajet. “It fills me with great awe to know this institution is second only to the Library of Congress in its collection of such documents.  People are astonished to learn that we have the only known proof copy of the first edition of the United States Declaration of Independence, the first photograph ever taken in the United States, and one-of-a-kind documents relating to early immigration and settlement.  I look forward to sharing its treasures more widely with everyone interested in American history.”

Sajet has worked with major corporations, foundations, and individuals to gain their support for exhibitions and programs that bring visitors to Philadelphia’s historic arts and culture institutions. While at the Pennsylvania Academy, she has supervised the renovations, re-installations and expansions of the Academy’s gallery space, as well as numerous collaborations and partnerships with Philadelphia arts and culture institutions. Kim serves on a number of boards including the Avenue for the Arts, The Parkway Foundation, and the Abraham Lincoln Foundation.

Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest, who serve on the boards and councils of many non-profit organizations and have known Sajet for many years, say, “Kim has a great deal of energy, knows how to build a team, and works effectively with trustees. We have no doubt that her leadership of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania will positively impact the organization and contribute a great many new initiatives to Pennsylvania’s greater cultural and historical community.”

Sajet, who grew up in Australia, received her B.A. and M.B.A. from Melbourne University and a graduate diploma in museum studies from Deakin University, Australia. She completed her M.A. in art history at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania. In 2005, Sajet was invited to attend the Museum Leadership Institute (MLI) at The Getty Center in Los Angeles.

She has also curated numerous exhibitions and written seminal works about the arts in Philadelphia, including a publication about African-American artists in Philadelphia and the history of The Dream Garden mosaic as part of an anniversary publication on the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, which was distributed internationally by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Says Wayne Spilove, chairman of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission,  “Kim has become known for her willingness to collaborate across the board with a large range of organizations and to support art and culture initiatives that enrich the lives of Pennsylvanians.”

Sajet succeeds David Moltke Hansen, who last spring had announced his decision to retire. President since 1999, he will serve HSP until September 2007, working on special projects.

“I look forward to welcoming Kim to the historical community,” says V. Chapman Smith, National Archives Regional Administrator, “she has a track-record for building strong teams and reaching across communities to reach a consensus.”