News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 10/31/2013
Subject :

Palo Alto Library Director Selected to Participate in International Arts Leadership Program
Contact : Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne, Library Director    (650) 329-2403
Palo Alto, CA – The Palo Alto City Library is pleased to announce that Library Director Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne has been selected by National Arts Strategies as one of 50 exceptional leaders to participate in the second class of The Chief Executive Program. Building on the success of the program’s first cohort, National Arts Strategies continues the program to help bring together cultural leaders from around the world to explore new ways to tackle the most complex and critical challenges facing the field. By the end of the program, these 50 leaders will have the ideas, tools, and connections to effect change in their own organizations and to work collectively to strengthen the cultural field. Only two public library directors were selected to join the cohort.

The Chief Executive Program is built around learning cycles of exploration, reflection, application, and sharing. Beginning in September 2013 and continuing through 2014, the program includes three in-person educational events at Harvard Business School, at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and at Sundance Resort, as well as a variety of “at-work” activities designed to help leaders move forward on their own unique objectives and goals. These events and activities are designed to give participants a deeper understanding of the strategic challenges they face, a firm grasp of change leadership, and the ability to translate their visions for the future into reality.

“I’m eager to work with leaders in a broad variety of cultural institutions, to learn how better to collaborate and bring their experiences to play in the library,” said Ziesenhenne. “This is an exciting opportunity to benefit the Palo Alto City Library and our future programs and services. I especially like that this program will apply to our day-to-day work.”

“The Chief Executive Program harnesses the power of connection – bringing together extraordinary and talented people from around the world. We are delighted to welcome a new class of outstanding thinkers and leaders into this program, and are looking forward to helping them as they create the future of their organizations,” said NAS President and CEO Russell Willis Taylor.

NAS will not only provide these executives with opportunities for learning, innovation, and collaboration, but will also publicly highlight their work in an effort to raise the level of discussion on the critical issues facing the cultural sector. Ideas generated during the program will be shared via the NAS blog, Field Notes, through video interviews and case stories, in NAS newsletters, and at industry conferences and events.

Participants in The Chief Executive Program were selected following a highly competitive recruitment process to identify 50 of the top executive cultural leaders from around the world with an aptitude to tackle the intractable issues presented by the curriculum. The leaders chosen to participate in The Chief Executive Program were selected from a wide range of cultural forms, locations, perspectives and experience levels. These executives have proven themselves to be effective, innovative, collaborative, and open-minded, and were chosen from a pool of over 250 open applications and nominations from industry stakeholders.

Development of The Chief Executive Program was made possible by the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Fidelity Foundation and The Kresge Foundation. Additional information about The Chief Executive Program is available at

About National Arts Strategies
National Arts Strategies works with faculty from leading universities in the country to develop leadership programs for organizations from across the arts and culture sector. This investment in leadership capacity has produced the sector’s most diverse leadership community of alumni and faculty. It has also generated changes in the language and core management frameworks used by grantee organizations, partnerships to advance the full range of educational services available to the field and policy discussions with leading grantmakers to enhance field capacity building.