Kim Simon Named Interim Executive Director

Tue, 07/01/2008 - 12:00am

Appointment Coincides with New Global Initiatives

Read USC College Dean Howard Gillman's message about the Institute's transition

Read Douglas Greenberg's message

Read about the Institute's new global initiatives

A Message from Howard Gillman, Dean of USC College

Many of you have heard that Douglas Greenberg, who has served as the Executive Director of USC College's Shoah Foundation Institute, is leaving us this summer to become the Executive Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History at Rutgers University.

Doug brought the Shoah Foundation to USC and continued as its leader here, integrating the Institute and the use of the video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses into the College and the USC community at large.  Over the last 2 years Doug taught a freshman seminar, hosted an international conference on tolerance with the College's Early Modern Studies Institute, established an important relationship with colleagues in Rwanda, increased the archive's access at an additional 12 universities across the U.S. and internationally, hosted a yearly program for visiting scholars, and developed a summer stipend program to support faculty use of the archive.

Most recently, I worked with Doug, the Institute's Board of Councilors, and the Institute staff to complete a new strategic plan that will enhance the Institute's mission inside and outside USC.  This plan also calls for the greater use of the Institute's resources by USC faculty and students, development of a new set of sophisticated online tools for scholars, teachers, and students, a refined approach to international activity, and the expansion of the archive to collect testimonies from other genocides.

Kim Simon, new interim executive director

I am very pleased to announce that Kim Simon (pictured left) has accepted an appointment as Interim Executive Director of the Institute, effective immediately.  Kim has been chiefly responsible for the Institute's international agenda and has been with the organization, in many capacities, since its inception.  She brings to this assignment knowledge of the full range of Institute activities and a commitment to its mission.  She is the ideal person to lead the organization through this transition, and she is perfectly suited to carry out the strategic plan that we have charted.

I have also appointed a search committee that will help us identify the next permanent Director of the Shoah Foundation Institute.  The committee includes four outstanding faculty leaders and four members of the Institute's Board of Councilors.  They are:

  • Gerald Breslauer (Breslauer, Rutman & Anderson)
  • Robert Katz (Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.)
  • Beth Meyerowitz (Professor of Psychology, USC College)
  • Donald Miller (Professor & Chair of Religion, USC College)
  • Bruce Ramer (Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown, LLC)
  • Michael Renov (Professor & Associate Dean, USC School of Cinematic Arts)
  • Harry Robinson (McKinsey & Company)
  • Steve Ross (Professor & Chair of History, USC College)

Given the importance of the Shoah Foundation Institute for the College, I will chair the committee.  Assisting the search will be representatives from Korn/Ferry International.

All members of the committee agreed to serve because of their abiding commitment to the vital mission of the Shoah Foundation Institute:  "To overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry–and the suffering they cause–through the educational use of the Institute's visual history testimonies."  I am grateful for their willingness to serve in this capacity, and I am confident that with this team we will find a leader who will build on our existing successes in ways that will enhance the important work of the Institute at USC and in the world.

Howard Gillman

Dean of USC College
Anna H. Bing Dean's Chair
Professor of Political Science and History

A Message from Douglas Greenberg

Dear Friends,

As many of you have already heard, I am leaving the Shoah Foundation Institute to take up a new position as Executive Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University, my alma mater.

Leaving my work here will be bittersweet.  The experience of serving as President and CEO of the Shoah Foundation and Executive Director of the Institute has been, apart from being a husband and father, the most profound and transformative experience of my life.  I have had the good fortune to have wonderful, soul-satisfying work for my entire career, but nothing I have done has meant as much to me as the work I have pursued for the last eight years here in Los Angeles and around the world.

Even more important, the people I have met in this work, especially the remarkable men and women whose testimonies are in our archive, have taught me lessons I could have learned in no other way and have changed my life in ways I can barely begin to calculate.  And my colleagues here have been the most talented and dedicated group of people with whom I have ever worked.  I hope that we have done good things together; I know I am a better man for having known them.

I also leave knowing that the Institute will be in good hands.  My trusted colleague and dear friend, Kim Simon, will be the Interim Executive Director.  Kim has been the principal architect of all our international work, has been deeply involved in all our educational efforts, and has been at the very center of crafting the new strategic plan we announced earlier this year.  I applaud Dean Howard Gillman for having selected her to lead the Institute while an international search for my permanent successor is undertaken.

My departure also reminds me how fortunate I have been to know so many of you in so many different parts of the world.  I have been moved by your generosity to me and the Institute.  I know we share a commitment to using memory to build a bridge between the past and the future.  I know too that your fidelity to our mission–to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry–is as unwavering as my own.  Knowing these things makes my departure less painful than it would otherwise be, and I leave with a deep feeling of gratitude to each of you.  It has been an honor.

Douglas Greenberg