Jeffrey Herbst, the former president of Colgate University, will steer the Newseum through its financial difficulties as its new president and CEO.
Herbst was chosen from a pool of more than 300 candidates to lead the Washington, D.C.-based museum dedicated to the First Amendment, according to a press release. The museum touted Herbst’s fundraising acumen as among the reasons for his hire, citing his leadership of a $480 million fundraising campaign for Colgate University.
The Newseum, which was founded by USA Today founder Al Neuharth, has been searching for a new CEO since November, when Herbst’s predecessor James Duff left to become chief administrative officer of the U.S. Courts. He was replaced in the interim by former USA Today editor Peter Prichard.
In a statement, Herbst said he would help preserve the Newseum as an institution that will fight to champion the First Amendment.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be joining this world-renowned institution at such an important time in American history,” said Herbst. “The Newseum is doing critical work to champion our core freedoms, and I look forward to helping write its next chapter. At a time when technology is changing the fundamental models of journalism, the nature of religious liberty is contested and countries everywhere are debating the nature of freedom, the Newseum will play an important role as a convener of debates in an increasingly polarized world.”
The news was reported first by The Associated Press.
Herbst takes the helm of the Newseum during a time of financial uncertainty for the nonprofit. When Duff departed last year, the AP reported that the museum had struggled for years to cover its operating expenses. An AP review of the nonprofit’s finances showed that the museum was drawing on its parent organization, the Freedom Forum, to stay above water.
Earlier this year, The Washington Post reported that the Newseum had considered selling an ownership stake in its building to generate revenue but decided against the strategy.