PROVIDENCE -- Rhode Island Council for the Humanities welcomes Elizabeth Francis of Providence as its new executive director.
Francis will replace Mary-Kim Arnold, who had been the Humanites Council’s executive director since 2007 before leaving to join the staff of the Rhode Island Foundation.
Elizabeth Francis comes to the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities with a background in fundraising as well as in education and history. As a director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Brown University, Francis connected university thought leaders with institutional partners to support people and projects, many of which have contributed to the vitality of Rhode Island.
Francis studied women’s history and cultural history at Brown, earning her doctorate in American Studies in 1994. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. Francis taught at Brown and the University of Rhode Island for several years, has been a member of the board of the International Charter School in Pawtucket, RI, and chaired the Grants Committee as a member of the board at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.
“Rhode Island Council for the Humanities is well-known not only as a funder of but as an advocate for projects and organizations that inspire and engage people throughout the state, ” Francis said. “I look forward to building on these strengths and to expanding our ability to help bring Rhode Island’s vibrant heritages to light, to catalyze innovation, and contribute to the state’s progress and development.”
The Humanities Council’s executive director search was supported by Third Sector New England, a Boston-based organization devoted to providing the information and services that build the knowledge, power and effectiveness of non-profit organizations.
“Following an extensive national search, the members of the board unanimously endorsed the selection of Elizabeth Francis as the next executive director for Rhode Island Council for the Humanities,” said David Lux, chair of the Board of Directors. “Elizabeth Francis brings strong experience with program development and fund development. She is a recognized humanities scholar in her own right, and brings energy and commitment the position.”
Founded in 1973, Rhode Island Council for the Humanities is an independent, not-for-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Sharing the belief that “democracy demands wisdom and vision in its citizens,” the Humanities Council invests in individuals and organizations that engage Rhode Islanders in the intellectual and cultural life of the state. The Humanities Council has awarded over $7,000,000 in grants to over 550 humanities projects in the past forty years.