David M. Kahn to Step Down as San Diego History Center’s Executive Director

Kahn to lead the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, NY

San Diego, Calif.—San Diego History Center (SDHC) announced today that their Executive Director, David M. Kahn, will step down on August 31. Kahn joined SDHC in August 2008 and will assume his new position as Executive Director of the Adirondack Museum in upstate New York.

“Everyone has enjoyed working with David over the past three years,” said SDHC Board President, Hal Sadler. “He has done an extraordinary job and we will miss him very much. We wish him the best in his new post.”

A search committee, headed by Dr. Iris Engstrand and Tom Fetter has been organized to find a successor during which time an interim director will be appointed to oversee operations.

During Kahn’s tenure, SDHC underwent restructuring to streamline the organization and shift focus to the core strengths of the History Center as a museum, education center and research library. Exhibitions were mounted featuring SDHC’s costume and photograph collections as well as loan shows such as Faces of the Frontier borrowed from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. In addition, Kahn secured major grants from the Mellon Foundation and the Institute of Museum Library Services to enhance access to SDHC’s collections. Under Kahn’s direction, visitation by schools increased by sixty-eight percent to 21,000 students a year.

“The San Diego History Center is a fabulous organization with outstanding collections. It saddens me that I will not be able to take part in the exciting preparations of the Centennial of the Panama-California Exposition in 2015 and am confident that SDHC will assume a leading role in making the celebration a huge success.”

Kahn previously served as director of the Louisiana State Museum, the Connecticut Historical Society and the Brooklyn Historical Society prior to joining SDHC. A native of New York he will now be returning to his home state to be closer to his family.

San Diego History Center is dedicated to helping people of all ages learn about, and enjoy, the history of San Diego, and to appreciate how our past, present, and future are interrelated. The History Center was founded in 1928 and is one of the oldest and largest historical organizations in California. Together with the Chicago History Museum, the Atlanta History Center, and the Museum of the City of New York, it is one of only a handful of institutions nationwide that is dedicated to celebrating the heritage of a major American city. The History Center also operates the Junípero Serra Museum in Presidio Park.