Bruce Craig to Leave NCH Early Next Year
AHA Staff, September 2006
R. Bruce Craig, who, as executive director of the National Coalition for History (NCH), has kept an extraordinarily sensitive finger on the political pulse of Capitol Hill, and informed and instructed (and occasionally inspired to action) countless readers of Perspectives through his regular reports about political developments that affect the history and archives communities, has decided to relinquish the position he has held for the past seven years.
With effect from January 1, 2007, Craig will exchange the frenetic pace of the capital for a quieter life of teaching, reflection, and writing in the bracing climate of Prince Edward Island, Canada, where he and his wife, Patricia, own a summer home near Northlake Harbor ("the tuna capital of the world"). He will teach American history at the University of Prince Edward Island (where, in fact, he has been teaching in the summer for a couple of years), and will assist the university's department of history to establish a unique public history program targeted to undergraduates. Spurred on by the good reviews he received for his book, Treasonable Doubt: The Harry Dexter White Spy Case, Craig will also devote a great deal of attention to completing another major writing project—a biography of Alger Hiss—that he has been working on for some time. He and his wife will also continue to operate their summer home as a seasonal bed and breakfast and a retreat for artists and writers.
Referring to Craig's decision, Arnita Jones, executive director of the American Historical Association and president of the NCH, stated, "I know you will join me in thanking Bruce for his extraordinary contributions to the NCH over these last years, and in wishing him and Pat the very best in all their future activities in the Far North. He has been an extraordinarily effective advocate for history and archival issues in an increasingly difficult legislative and regulatory environment, able to keep up with—and inform his constituency—on a sometimes bewildering variety of issues. Not least, he has also been a treasured colleague to the AHA staff at 400 A Street in Washington. Bruce will be difficult to replace, but the National Coalition for History Policy Board is committed to finding a suitable successor in a timely manner."
Bruce Craig, who holds a PhD in history from American University, came to the National Coalition for History from the National Park Service, where he was a senior historian. During his tenure as director of the NCH, he not only oversaw the nomenclatural transformation of what had been the National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History into the National Coalition for History, and its registration as a 501 (c) 3 organization, but also ensured through strategic negotiations and energetic activity to effectively promote the interests of the more than 75 members of the coalition. Whether it was closely monitoring legislative decisions, testifying to congressional committees, or ensuring that archival materials remained accessible, the many tasks that Bruce Craig successfully undertook helped in many ways the members of the coalition (and through them the larger universe of historians, archivists, and others connected to studying the past). Too numerous to list, the accomplishments of the Coalition (and thus, of Bruce Craig) can be seen in the reports that Craig regularly sent out as the NCH Washington Update, and which are archived at http://www.h-net.org/~nch/.
The process of finding a new executive director for the National Coalition for History has begun; view the announcement.