President and CEO, New-York Historical Society
Louise Mirrer joined the New-York Historical Society as President and CEO in June 2004. Under her guidance, New-York Historical is reinvigorating its commitment to foster greater public understanding of history and its impact on the world of today, to support and encourage historical scholarship, and to develop education initiatives for young people, students, and adults. Mirrer recently led New-York Historical’s campaign for a major renovation of its landmark building on Central Park West, which raised more than $100 million.
She is currently at work on a new exhibition entitled, Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion which will open at New-York Historical in October 2014. The exhibition will tell the story of Chinese in America, from the 18th century China trade to the present. Art, artifacts, and documents from New-York Historical’s rich collections will be among the treasures displayed in the new show, including a platter commissioned for George Washington’s home in New York, when the city was the nation’s first capital; gold nuggets and spectacular Arnold Genthe photographs from the Gold Rush period in San Francisco; and more recent acquisitions.
Under Dr. Mirrer’s direction, the New-York Historical Society has launched groundbreaking exhibitions, including Slavery in New York; New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War; A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls; French Founding Father: Lafayette’s Return to Washington’s America; Grant and Lee in War and Peace; WWII & NYC; and a rich array of intellectually engaging lectures, debates and family programs. Dr. Mirrer also inaugurated the “Saturday Academy,” an American history enhancement program for high-school students, and a new Graduate Institute on Constitutional History. Prior to joining the New-York Historical Society, Dr. Mirrer was CUNY Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. At CUNY, she spearheaded the U.S. History Initiative, which strengthened the University’s American history curriculum through faculty development, online course materials, and increased enrollment in American history courses. Dr. Mirrer’s research focuses on how the creation of historical narratives helps to shape and define social institutions.
In recent years, Dr. Mirrer has been honored with the Woman of Distinction Medal, League of Women Voters, 2007; Dean’s Medal, CUNY Honors College, 2005; Education and Student Advocacy Award, Hostos Community College, 2005; President’s Medal, CUNY Graduate Center, 2004; Leadership Award, Asian-American Research Institution, 2003; New York Post’s “50 Most Influential Women in New York,” 2003; Citation of Honor, Queens Borough President’s Office, 2001; Women Making History Award, Queensborough Community College, 2001; and the YWCA “Women Achievers” Award, 2000. In 2007 she was made an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge.