The California Historical Society (CHS) has announced the appointment of Alicia L. Goehring as its new Executive Director & CEO, beginning August 26, 2019. Goehring comes to CHS from the Wisconsin Historical Society where she has served in a number of senior leadership positions over the past 20 years.
Goehring will provide new vision for CHS’s diverse initiatives in alignment with the organization’s mission, including rotating exhibitions and public programming, the North Baker Research Library and the CHS collections, and Teaching California, a collaborative project funded by the State of California and designed to offer California K-12 teachers and their students an innovative online collection of teaching resources and primary source material. She will also oversee the ongoing assessment of the organization’s needs and future in San Francisco’s Old U.S. Mint as part of an intensive study of that property as CHS’s new home.
“We are thrilled to have found Alicia to fulfill the role of Executive Director of CHS,” Board Chair Mike Sangiacomo said. “Her deep and varied experience and expertise as a public historian and non-profit leader is the perfect fit for guiding this historic organization on its continued path of impact and growth.”
Goehring comes to CHS with more than 20 years of experience as a senior leader for the Wisconsin Historical Society. With a budget of $29.4 million, 12 museums and historic sites across the state, over 12,000 members, and 300 year-round and seasonal employees, the Wisconsin Historical Society is one of the largest and most comprehensive state historical societies in the nation.
During her time at WHS, Goehring oversaw many programs including the state history museum, the state historic sites system, collections, exhibitions, public programming, multicultural outreach programs, hands-on-history for elementary school students, teacher education programming, underwater archaeology, and burial sites protection, among others. Most recently Alicia was director of special projects, working primarily on the initiative to create a brand new ($100 million, 100,000-square-foot) statewide history museum on Capitol Square in Madison, WI.
“A vital 21st century historical society is not an organization that lives in the past but one that shares stories and provides tools for people to navigate the present and future,” Goehring said. “I am excited to work with the CHS Board, staff, and partners to increase access to history and to make it relevant to the communities we serve.”
About the California Historical Society: The California Historical Society (CHS) is a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to make the state’s richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives in order to create a more just and informed future. Founded in 1871, CHS maintains a premier collection of original materials documenting the history of California from the Spanish conquest to the present day. The CHS Collection represents the environmental, economic, social, political, and cultural heritage of the entire state, including materials from outside California that contribute to a greater understanding of the state and its people. Beginning with its founding, and especially since establishing its Yerba Buena District headquarters on Mission Street in 1995, CHS has served residents of the Bay Area, the state, and beyond with its research library, exhibitions, publications, and public educational programs that draw on its important and wide-ranging collections of California history.