Heather P. Campion Named CEO of the JFK Library Foundation

For Immediate Release: January 28, 2014
Further information: Rachel Flor (617) 514-1662, rachel.flor@jfklfoundation.org


BOSTON, MA – Kenneth R. Feinberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, today announced the selection of Heather P. Campion as the new Chief Executive Officer of the organization. Campion is a highly-regarded leader in the business, academic and philanthropic communities with deep roots in national politics, including service on the White House staff of President Jimmy Carter. Campion will take on oversight of the Foundation on March 3, 2014.

[Click here to watch a video introduction of Heather Campion.] 

Campion is charged with implementing a bold new long-range plan for the Foundation that was developed following the dramatic success of celebrations surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy presidency. Inspired by President Kennedy’s ambitious goals for his own administration, the plan calls for the deployment of innovative technology to engage both national and global audiences by connecting President Kennedy’s vision and ideals to the challenges of our time. This will include a redesign of museum displays, adding new technologies to exhibits. In addition, programs will be developed to attract more students and scholars to mine the rich materials about the Kennedy era available at the Library. 

“I am thrilled and honored that Heather Campion will serve as the next Chief Executive Officer of the Kennedy Library Foundation,” said Caroline Kennedy, honorary President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. “We are fortunate to be gaining a leader with Heather's energy, vision and commitment to excellence as it seeks to inspire new generations to public service.”

“I am so pleased that we were able to recruit a leader of Heather Campion’s caliber, whose diverse experience in the public and private sectors, academia, digital commerce, and on the front lines of national politics will help usher in a new era of innovation and collaboration at the Kennedy Library Foundation,” said Feinberg. “Her Boston roots and far-reaching reputation make her uniquely qualified to lead this vibrant, living memorial to President Kennedy.” 

“After fifty years, President Kennedy's sheer optimism and confidence in our ability as Americans to achieve great things – to go to the moon, deter nuclear war, promote peace and understanding through service in a Peace Corps – is an enduring inspiration in our country and throughout the world,” said Campion. “The JFK Library is a national treasure – an architectural masterpiece, and a repository of our nation's heritage. With the support of the Kennedy family, an outstanding Board of Directors and a talented and dedicated staff, it will be a joy and a privilege to help carry President Kennedy's legacy forward to new era.”

The events commemorating the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s presidency captured the imagination of countless Americans and people around the world, demonstrating the continued endurance of his legacy. In conjunction with the 50th anniversary, the Kennedy Library launched the nation’s largest and most sophisticated online digitized presidential archive, introduced a cutting-edge website that has served over 7 million visitors since 2011, and sponsored national programming on civil rights, public service, and responsible citizenship. Today, according to recent polls, President Kennedy tops the list as the most popular modern president (CNN and Gallup). 

“I am delighted with the selection of Heather Campion, who I’ve known from her tenure at Harvard’s Kennedy School and from her work on the Foundation’s Board of Directors,” said Tom Putnam, Director of the Kennedy Presidential Library. “Her appreciation for history, experience in government, and proven success in creating partnerships will help set us on a course for success in the next chapter of the Library’s history.”

Campion is the fifth executive to lead the Foundation, following former Kennedy White House staffer Charles U. DalyAmbassador John ShattuckDavid McKean, and Tom McNaught. McNaught, who has served at the Foundation for more than 17 years in the capacity of Director of Communications, Deputy Director, and, since 2011, as Executive Director of the organization, will be retiring on February 28, 2014. 

The Foundation’s Board of Directors, on which Campion has served since 2003, led by Caroline Kennedy, honorary President, and Kenneth R. Feinberg, Chairman, is made up of prominent leaders in all sectors, including CEOs, college presidents, civic leaders, and members of the Kennedy family. Newly elected Board members include Tatiana Schlossberg, granddaughter of President Kennedy, Matt Kennedy, grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, and Adam Frankel, former Obama speechwriter and assistant to President Kennedy’s close adviser Ted Sorensen. 

Campion has a diverse background with extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, and higher education. From 2010-2013, she served as Chief Administrative Officer of Northeast Bancorp, and led the development of its successful direct online savings division, ableBanking. From 1998 until 2007 she was a leading executive at Citizens Financial Group, Inc., one of the top ten commercial bank holding companies in the United States. She served as Group Executive Vice President and Director of Corporate Affairs, and sat on the company's Executive Management Committee, its most senior leadership team. Between 1981 and 1998, Campion held key administrative positions at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, helping to build the School’s Center for Business and Government, serving as Director of the Public Liaison office, and as Director of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, and Associate Director of the Institute of Politics. Campion also has experience in government and national politics, having served on the White House staff in the Speechwriting Office, and the Office of Public Liaison during the Carter Administration and having held senior positions on the 1984 Mondale and 1988 Dukakis presidential campaigns. 

Campion has long been active in the community and currently serves on the Boards of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Conference for Women, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the President’s Advisory Council of the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. She is a member of the Massachusetts Women’s Forum and from 2006 to 2008 served as President. Campion is also a director of AAA of Southern New England. Campion graduated from Mount Holyoke College with honors. She and her husband Chuck Campion, have two children and reside Brookline, Massachusetts. 

About the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial support, staffing, and creative resources for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

The private financial support provided by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation enables the federal government to expand the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum’s research and archival capacity, to undertake marketing and public information projects, to offer intern and research fellowship programs, to enhance its museum and exhibits, and to offer nationally recognized educational and public programming. 

By sponsoring and administering programs such as the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, the New Frontier Award, and the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest for High School Students, the Foundation is united with the Library in a common mission to perpetuate President Kennedy's ideal that political and public service be conducted and exemplified as an honorable and patriotic profession. The close relationship between the Library and Foundation illustrates the benefits to society and the American taxpayer that accrue from such public/private partnerships. 

About the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. One of Boston’s most popular destinations for visitors from all nations, the architectural masterpiece designed by I.M. Pei sits on a 10-acre waterfront site on Columbia Point offering panoramic views of Boston’s skyline and Harbor Islands.

The Kennedy Presidential Library seeks to advance the study and understanding of President Kennedy's life and career and the times in which he lived; and to promote a greater appreciation of America's political and cultural heritage, the process of governing and the importance of public service.

The Kennedy Presidential Library’s archives currently include more than 8.4 million pages of the personal, congressional and presidential papers of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and more than 40 million pages of over 300 other individuals who were associated with the Kennedy Administration or mid-20th Century American history. In addition, the archives hold more than 400,000 still photographs; 9,000 hours of audio recordings; 1.5 million feet of motion picture film; and 1,200 hours of video recordings. The Kennedy Library also houses the Ernest Hemingway Collection, which spans Hemingway’s entire career, and contains ninety percent of existing Hemingway manuscript materials.