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James Leach, Chairman of the NEH, Visits NMM Galleries
Leach is the ninth chairman of the NEH, an independent grant-making agency of the U.S. government, dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programming in the humanities. Nominated by President Barack Obama on July 9, 2009, and confirmed by the Senate in early August, Leach began his four-year term as NEH Chairman on August 12, 2009.
Leach previously served thirty years representing southeastern Iowa in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and founded and co-chaired the Congressional Humanities Caucus.
After leaving Congress in 2007, Leach joined the faculty at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School where he was the John L. Weinberg Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs until his confirmation as NEH chairman. In September 2007, he took a leave of absence from Princeton and served as interim director of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
A recipient of several awards, including the Sidney R. Yates Award for Distinguished Public Service to the Humanities and the Woodrow Wilson Award from The Johns Hopkins University, Leach earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton and a master’s degree in Soviet politics from The Johns Hopkins University.
Following his visit to the NMM, his lecture at USD, and a gala dinner at the Muenster University Center, Leach traveled to Sioux Falls to attend a reception co-hosted by the South Dakota Humanities Council and the Center for Western Studies, for whom he presented a lecture, “Bridging Cultures: America & the Muslim World,” at the Holiday Inn City Centre, the following day. Leach’s visit marked the first time any NEH Chairman has visited South Dakota.
Leach Tours the NMM
NMM staff, members of the NMM Board of Trustees, and representatives of the USD Administration accompanied Leach on his tour of the NMM’s galleries.
The University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069