Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) Chairman Andrew E. Masich today announced that James M. Vaughan of Washington, D.C. has been appointed as the agency’s new executive director, effective November 28, 2011.
Vaughan most recently served as Vice President, Stewardship of Historic Sites for the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C., where he expanded the number of National Trust Historic Sites by 50 percent, inaugurated the Associate Sites program for Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios; and convened the two Kykuit symposia on the future of historic sites and house museums. Previously, Vaughan had led several historic organizations including the Hermitage, Home of President Andrew Jackson in Tennessee; San Diego Historical Society in California; Hagley Museum & Library in Delaware; and Strawberry Banke, Inc. in New Hampshire.
Vaughan comes to the PHMC with more than 30 years of experience in managing museums and historical organizations and has been the recipient of numerous national awards. They include being named to the American Association of Museum’s Centennial Honor Roll, which pays tribute to 100 of America’s museum leaders who have worked during the past 100 years to innovate, improve, and expand how museums in the United States serve the public. Vaughan holds both a master’s degree in higher education administration and a bachelor’s degree in history from Ohio State University. He has completed Ph.D. work at the University of New Hampshire.
Vaughan succeeds Barbara Franco, who leaves the commission after nearly 7 years of service, effectively guiding the commission through challenging economic times and limited fiscal resources. Masich and the commission expressed their deep gratitude to Franco for her dedication and professionalism.
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.