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Executive director of Historical Society of Princeton had ‘tremendous impact’ during tenure with organization

PHOTO COURTESY OF HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PRINCETON
Izzy Kasdin, who has served as the executive director of the Historical Society of Princeton since May 2016, will step down from the helm at the end of the month.
Izzy Kasdin, who has served as the executive director of the Historical Society of Princeton (HSP) since May 2016, will step down from the helm at the end of the month.

Since 2007, Kasdin engaged with HSP as a volunteer, research assistant and curator prior to taking this leadership role.

A Princeton native, Kasdin will be moving into the next phase of her public history career.

“We have been very fortunate to have Izzy lead HSP for such a long and important period. Izzy made a tremendous impact on the organization, reframing its mission and vision for the visitor experience at Updike Farmstead, building dozens of new programs delivered throughout town, and developing invaluable partnerships with other community institutions,” Paul Pessutti, president of the Board of Trustees, said in a prepared statement. “Izzy is at the beginning of what we are sure will be a long and successful career. We are very excited for her next role and opportunity and are proud that HSP will always be the place where she began. Though we will miss her expert leadership and passion for Princeton’s history, the entire board wishes her all the best in her future endeavors.”

“HSP has formed so much of who I am as a public history and museum professional. I will never forget how much I learned working at this wonderful institution in this deeply engaged community,” Kasdin said in the statement. “I am eternally grateful to HSP for giving me the chance to influence the institution. I look forward to seeing what is next for this important community asset.”

Since the time Kasdin informed HSP’s Board of Trustees of her plans to depart, both she and the board have been working to administer a comprehensive transition plan, ensuring that HSP’s important history education programs continue uninterrupted, according to the statement.

Leanne Hunter, a current staff member at HSP, will step in as interim director while a search committee, comprised of HSP board and staff members, conducts a nationwide search for Kasdin’s replacement.

“Thanks to Izzy’s skilled leadership, HSP will emerge from the pandemic in a position of strength,” Pessutti said in the statement. “Princeton’s history is incredibly rich, and there are so many opportunities for programming and partnerships. Taking the baton from Izzy and leading HSP into this next phase of its legacy as a history organization in the Princeton community will be a tremendous opportunity for an accomplished cultural leader.”

Founded in 1938, The Historical Society of Princeton (HSP) is a museum and research center dedicated to interpreting the history of Princeton. HSP’s headquarters, Updike Farmstead, is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places and lies within the Princeton Battlefield/Stony Brook Historic District. For more information, visit www.princetonhistory.org.

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