The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin has selected Lois Kim to lead its comprehensive development program aimed at advancing the Center’s strategic initiatives.
I am honored to be joining an institution whose holdings have global reach and impact, and a team so passionate about cultural preservation and celebration.
For the past ten years, Kim has served as the chief executive officer of The Texas Book Festival, founded by former first lady Laura Bush in 1995. The organization grew significantly under Kim’s leadership, as it increased the number and diversity of authors hosted at its iconic annual festival and expanded the reach of its statewide school and community programs. Doubling the size of its annual budget, Kim increased the Texas Book Festival’s base of major donors and sponsors, grew its annual fundraising gala, and forged lasting partnerships with local and national literary and cultural organizations.
“Lois Kim has been a strong advocate for the arts and humanities for her entire career,” noted Director Stephen Enniss, “and I am excited that she is now bringing that commitment and experience to the Harry Ransom Center. Under her leadership, we have the opportunity to make transformative investments in the Center’s future growth, all in service to present and future generations of students, researchers and the public.”
The Harry Ransom Center is one of the country’s leading research libraries and museums, with internationally renowned holdings in literature, theatre and the performing arts, photography, art, and early books and manuscripts. The Center’s extensive collections provide unique insight into the creative process of some of the world’s finest writers and artists, deepening understanding and appreciation of our common humanity.
As part of the university’s “What Starts Here” campaign, the Center seeks to raise $70M in support of its strategic goals. Those goals include enhancing and expanding access to rare and unique collections, exposing more students to primary source research and learning, investing in curatorial excellence, and greatly expanding capacity for the conservation care of all of the university’s most valuable and distinctive cultural objects.
“I am honored to be joining an institution whose holdings have global reach and impact, and a team so passionate about cultural preservation and celebration,” Kim said. “I look forward to helping the Center reach its ambitious goals to protect and share its priceless cultural materials with the world.”
A Korean immigrant raised in Buffalo, NY, Kim earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan. In her early career she taught high school English and pursued graduate coursework from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College before moving to Austin to complete her master’s degree and PhD in English from UT Austin, where her research focused on Shakespeare and early modern culture. She has served on the Library Foundation Board of the Austin Public Library and on various national and local committees for literary awards and grants.