New Leadership on the Institute's Board of Councilors

Tue, 05/11/2010 - 12:00am


Contact:  Talia Cohen                                                           
Phone:  213.740.6036
Fax:  213.740.6044

LOS ANGELES, CA—(May 11, 2010)—Howard Gillman, Dean of USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, announced the newly appointed leadership positions of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Board of Councilors:  Robert J. Katz as Chair of the Board, and Susan Crown and Harry Robinson as Vice Chairs.

“We are very fortunate to have these three esteemed individuals serve in leadership roles on the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Board of Councilors.  I am confident that under their direction, and through the efforts of all members of the Board of Councilors, the Institute will make unprecedented contributions to tolerance education and scholarship not only at USC, but throughout the world,” said Gillman.

“The Institute has benefited from the guidance and expertise of Bob Katz, Susan Crown, and Harry Robinson over many years,” said Executive Director Stephen Smith.  “Their new roles will help to ensure that the survivors and other witnesses who entrusted their memories to us will become teachers of humanity whose faces are seen, whose voices are heard, and whose life stories will touch future generations.”

These appointments coincide with an important phase of the Institute’s activity.  In addition to promoting widespread use of its Visual History Archive by undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scholars at USC, the Institute is making the archive accessible at more universities and institutions across the world.  It is continuing to develop innovative, web-based educational tools for secondary school teachers, and it is making significant progress toward the completion of the multi-year effort started in 2008 to create preservation-quality copies of each of the nearly 52,000 Holocaust eyewitness testimonies in the archive.  The Institute has also begun to work with partners to collect testimony from survivors of other genocides.

About Robert J. Katz

Robert J. Katz has been a driving force behind the growth and achievements of the Institute since its early years as the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.  When the Foundation finished collecting Holocaust testimony in 1999, Katz helped the organization evolve into an institution where the testimonies would find new life and purpose through their educational use.  He served as Chair of the Foundation’s Development Committee, and he was instrumental in moving the organization to the University of Southern California, where the archive has found a permanent home and the Foundation became the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.

Katz serves as a Senior Director of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.  He is a Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at Cornell University, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Dean’s Advisory Board of Harvard Law School, and the Council of Foreign Relations.  He is also Chair Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of Horace Mann School, and a trustee of Achilles International, a worldwide organization devoted to mainstream athletics for people with disabilities.

About Susan Crown

Susan Crown became involved with the Shoah Foundation Institute in 1997, served on its Development Board and chaired its Board of Directors from 2002–2005, during which time she played a critical role in moving the Foundation, and its Visual History Archive, to USC.

Crown is a principal of the Chicago firm of Henry Crown and Company, a director of Illinois Tool Works and Northern Trust Corporation, and former president of the Arie and Ida Crown Memorial.  Crown is also a member of the Executive Committee of Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, a trustee of the Aspen Valley Community Foundation, and a member of the National Council of the Rocky Mountain Institute.

About Harry Robinson

As a member of the Shoah Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2001, Harry Robinson helped lead the effort to sharpen and implement its worldwide educational mission.  His guidance proved equally essential in integrating the Shoah Foundation seamlessly into USC, and to the development of the Institute’s 2008 strategic plan and the global initiatives that have resulted from it.

Robinson leads McKinsey & Company's West Coast Media & Entertainment Practice, and he has worked extensively in hospitality, gaming, and entertainment across the world.

About the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education

Established in 1994 by Steven Spielberg to collect and preserve the testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute maintains one of the largest video digital libraries in the world:  nearly 52,000 video testimonies in 32 languages and from 56 countries.  The Institute is part of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California; its mission is to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry—and the suffering they cause—through the educational use of the Institute’s visual history testimonies.

The Institute works within the University and with partners around the world to advance scholarship and research, to provide resources and online tools for educators, and to disseminate the testimonies for educational purposes.  In addition to preserving the testimonies in its archive, the Institute is working with partner organizations to help document the stories of survivors and other witnesses of other genocides.

For more information, visit the Institute’s website.