New Executive Director of the National Coalition for History Selected
AHA Staff, January 2007
The policy board of the National Coalition for History has reached an "enthusiastic and unanimous agreement" in the selection of Leland J. White, currently director of government relations for the National Society of Professional Engineers as the new executive director of the coalition to replace R. Bruce Craig who is moving to Canada at the end of the year.
White, an attorney with nearly 20 years of experience in government relations with membership associations, as well as several years in government as a legislative specialist, received his BA in political science from Northeastern University, and his JD from the Catholic University of America. He also holds an MA in history from George Mason University.
Starting out in the congressional liaison office of the U.S. government's General Services Administration as a law clerk, White worked also with such varied groups as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the National Association of Realtors as well as with governmental agencies such as the Small Business Administration.
Lee White has always been fascinated by history, and used to read his social studies and history books right through as soon as the school year began, he told Perspectives. Even when he studied political science at college, his passion for the study of the past was further enhanced, he said, particularly by inspiring texts on the evolution of legislative processes. White maintained his interest in history all through his legal studies and governmental work, and even decided to give his enthusiasms a formal shape by earning an MA in history.
As Lee White begins his tenure at the National Coalition for History he will thus be bringing with him a keen interest in history coupled with extensive experience in the intricacies of legislative action on all sides—governmental, legislative, and lobbying.
The search committee for selecting the new executive director was comprised of the NCH executive committee plus several others: Nancy Beaumont of the Society of American Archivists; Charlene Bickford of the Association for Documentary Editors; Lee Formwalt of the Organization of American Historians; James Gardner of the National Council on Public History; Arnita A. Jones (Chair) of the American Historical Association; Martha Kumar of the American Political Science Association; and Brian Martin of History Associates.