Foundation Names Erin Carlson Mast
President & CEO
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation (ALPLF) has named Erin Carlson Mast, a leader in the museum and historic site field and current CEO and Executive Director of President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, DC, to be its new President & CEO. The Foundation is a private 501 (c) (3) organization that works closely with and exclusively supports the exhibits and programs of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL.
Mast brings to the ALPLF a distinguished track record in leading successful capital projects, research and exhibits, public programming, and partnerships focusing on the history and legacies of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. She brings a breadth and depth of experience in increasing and sustaining a high level of philanthropy and partnerships and in campaign management.
As CEO and Executive Director of President Lincoln’s Cottage, Mast spearheaded the process under which the National Monument transitioned from being part of the National Trust for Historic preservation to its own, independent 501(c) (3) organization. As part of that effort, Mast launched a campaign to increase major donor giving and secure nearly $2M in multi-year pledges for the Cottage.
During her tenure, she led strategic planning and oversaw capital projects, the creation of new programs, an improved visitor experience, and increased resources and partnerships. The results included groundbreaking studies and programming, sustainable growth, $5M in critical preservation work, and over two dozen awards including being named one of Washington, DC’s “Best Places to Work”, being voted “Best Museum Off the Mall” four years in a row, receiving awards from the American Alliance of Museums and the American Association for State and Local History and, notably, receiving a Presidential Medal in 2016.
By providing in-kind and financial resources to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Foundation plays a pivotal role in enhancing the ability of the Library and Museum to ensure historical resources are available to all, and to foster understanding of Lincoln’s presidency, the Civil War, critical thinking about the past, and self-examination about civic responsibility today.
“We are confident we have found the right leader for our Foundation,” said Sergio (“Satch”) Pecori, Chair of the ALPLF Board of Directors. “Erin’s deep knowledge of and commitment to history and Abraham Lincoln, coupled with her proven track record in fundraising leadership and advocacy, make her ideally suited for this role.”
Prior to her current role as CEO, Mast was the Site Director of President Lincoln’s Cottage for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where she expanded earned income and contributions at the site leading to a significant cash reserve fund. She also expanded the team and deepened Board engagement, laying the groundwork for the transition to independent governance and operations.
“I am honored and truly excited to be given this opportunity,” said Mast. “The Foundation is a wonderful organization with a unique and compelling mission. I look forward to working with my counterpart at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum to sustain and grow awareness of President Lincoln’s legacy. I cannot think of a time when our country has needed to understand the Lincoln story more, and I am eager to help ensure that happens.”
Mast has written for such publications as History News and The Public Historian and was a contributing author to Museums of Ideas: Commitment and Conflict and Mission Matters (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). She also wrote two short biographies of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Lincoln (Applewood Books, 2017). She was recognized with the EXCEL Chief Executive Leadership Award in 2017. Her board service has included the Lincoln Forum and the American Association for State and Local History. Her consulting experience includes work with the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. She holds an MA in Museum Studies from The George Washington University and a BA in History from the Ohio University Honors Tutorial College.
Mast will assume her responsibilities as President & CEO of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation on January 11, 2021. She and her family will be relocating from the Washington, DC area to the Chicago area.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation engaged Kittleman & Associates to conduct a search for its new President & CEO. Kittleman & Associates is a national executive search firm that specializes in the recruitment of CEOs for tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, public charities and philanthropic organizations. Kittleman recruits leaders for the entire nonprofit sector including foundations, museums, historic sites and associations. For more information visit www.kittlemansearch.com