Press Releases

Jul 09, 2015

Jeffrey Herbst Selected as Newseum President and CEO

Award-Winning Political Scientist Joins Nonprofit Dedicated to the First Amendment

WASHINGTON — Dr. Jeffrey Herbst, the outgoing president of Colgate University and a noted political scientist and award-winning author, has been named president and CEO of the Newseum and the Newseum Institute.

In a joint statement, Jan Neuharth, chair and CEO of the Freedom Forum, and Peter S. Prichard, who has been chairman and CEO of the Newseum and the Newseum Institute since last October, said:

“We considered more than 300 candidates. The pool was exceptionally well-qualified, but Jeffrey stood above all of the others because of his outstanding record of leading complex institutions and his deep experience in fundraising. And he shares a passion for our mission — to champion First Amendment freedoms and the right of free expression. That’s why he was our unanimous choice to help us achieve our ambitious goals over the next decade and beyond.”

During his five-year tenure at Colgate, Herbst led the university as it completed a transformational $480 million fundraising campaign, including a successful effort to raise $51 million for financial aid above the initial goal. He also championed the development of a university-wide, five-year strategic plan, increased the use of digital technology, including Colgate’s entrance into the edX online learning platform, and oversaw the development of several new world-class facilities on campus.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be joining this world-renowned institution at such an important time in American history,” said Herbst. “The Newseum is doing critical work to champion our core freedoms, and I look forward to helping write its next chapter. At a time when technology is changing the fundamental models of journalism, the nature of religious liberty is contested and countries everywhere are debating the nature of freedom, the Newseum will play an important role as a convener of debates in an increasingly polarized world.”

Before being named president of Colgate in 2010, Herbst served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and professor of political science at Miami University in Ohio. He was chair of the department of politics at Princeton University, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in 1983. Herbst earned a master’s degree from Yale University in 1985 and a doctorate in 1987, also from Yale. He is the author of the award-winning “States and Power in Africa” and, with co-author Greg Mills, “Africa’s Third Liberation” and the just-published “How South Africa Works and Must Do Better.”

The search process was led by Kristin Mannion and Charles Ingersoll of Korn Ferry’s Washington office, which focuses on searches for nonprofit institutions.

About the Newseum

The mission of the Newseum, located in Washington, D.C., is to increase public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment. Visitors experience the story of news, the role of a free press in major events in history, and how the core freedoms of the First Amendment — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — apply to their lives. Considered one of the most interactive museums in the world, the Newseum has seven levels with 15 galleries and 15 theaters. The Newseum also reaches millions of students through its robust offering of on-site classes and workshops. The Newseum is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including its principal funder, the Freedom Forum. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Press Contacts

Jonathan Thompson