Letter to Members: Executive Director Search

by Victoria Young, SAH President | Mar 08, 2022

Dear Members of the Society,

Since the announcement of Executive Director Pauline Saliga’s departure in September 2022, the Society of Architectural Historians Executive Committee and Board of Directors have been working together to craft our plan for moving forward. In order to keep you apprised of what is going on, I’d like to update you on the course of action we will take, as was just approved by the SAH Board.

Strategic Plan

Our Board has voted to pause the strategic planning process until we hire a new executive director. The Executive Committee and Board feel strongly that this is an asset to our search and that our new executive director will want to be a part of this process. I’m grateful to our Strategic Planning Committee and chair Patricia Morton for the work they have done so far, and we will look forward to them engaging with this process again in a refreshed and revitalized way when our new executive director is in place.

Searching for Our New Executive Director

The Board has voted to hire a search consultant to aid a search committee in finding our next executive director. We believe that this is a professional way to find our new director with the most fairness, confidentiality, and assistance to our volunteer leaders of the SAH. Funds for the cost of the consultant, in addition to any expenses for the search, will be taken out of (by the Board’s approval) the Board Designated Restricted Fund (BDF). The BDF is an unrestricted restricted fund that we as a Board can draw on in times of need, usually for one-time, big-ticket items, for “any purpose which furthers the Society’s mission” (Article X-A, Section 10.9-10.17 of the SAH Bylaws). This search fits the Society’s mission in a powerful way.

SAH Executive Director Search Committee

A search committee will be named by the end of March 2022. As president of SAH, it is my duty to appoint any ad hoc committee. You’ll see in this document the responsibilities of this committee. I have asked the SAH Board to create a list of names of engaged and committed members who could do this work from March through August/September of 2022. If you feel that you are an excellent candidate for this committee, please feel free to reach out to any SAH Board member through March 20. On March 21, this list of nominations will be sent to the Executive Committee who will work with me to craft a group of 7–9 people who will be tasked with the search for our next executive director.

General Timing of the Transition

Once a search committee is in place by April 1, 2022, they will be asked to seek and find a search consultant who will be recommended to the SAH Board for approval. Pauline’s last day will be in September 2022, and we will hope to have the new executive director in place by September 1, so that there can be some overlap during the transition.

It's a time of great celebration for SAH—for the wonderful work of Pauline over the many years of her leadership, as well as the opportunity for us to move forward in just as powerful a way with a new executive director.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Thank you all for being a member of this fine organization. Our future is bright!

Very best to you all,

Victoria Young
SAH President

Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs.

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610