Welcome to the History Leadership Institute

SHA2017 collage 10-31The History Leadership Institute (formerly the Seminar for Historical Administration or SHA) is the best professional development opportunity for leaders of history organizations of all types and sizes. Since 1959, it has provided history professionals the tools, ideas, and connections that enhance their ability to lead their institutions and the field. Alumni hold executive positions at such prestigious institutions as the Banneker-Douglass Museum, Senator John Heinz History Center, The Henry Ford, Historic Alexandria, Minnesota Historical Society, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Nebraska Historical Society, Ohio History Connection, Pennsylvania Museum and Historical Commission, President Lincoln’s Cottage, and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.


Earned IncomeThe History Leadership Institute is an opportunity like no other.

Over three weeks, History Leadership Institute Associates dive deep into a broad range of current and future issues facing the history and museum field. These sessions are facilitated by nationally recognized leaders such as Norman Burns (Conner Prairie), Conny Graft (Conny Graft Research), Tim Grove (Smithsonian Air and Space Museum), Julie Johnson (J2R2 Leadership and Change Associates), Trevor Jones (Nebraska Historical Society), Richard Josey (Minnesota Historical Society), Randi Korn (RK&A), Sarah Pharaon (International Coalition of Sites of Conscience), Larry Yerdon (Strawbery Banke Museum), and David Young (Cliveden of the National Trust).

The History Leadership Institute establishes a collegial environment that brings together leaders at all levels to explore and discuss a range of issues history leaders must face, including issues like the relevance of history, public attitudes towards museums and historic sites, decolonization, deaccessioning, strategic thinking, managing change, engaging the local community, and measuring success.

The History Leadership Institute is an immersive learning experience that combines theory and practice through facilitated discussions, case studies, interactive workshops, and site visits to a variety of local institutions that effectively use history, including the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Conner Prairie, Indiana Historical Society, and Indiana Medical History Museum.

Become a History Leadership Institute Associate

The History Leadership Institute is a program geared towards mid-career History Professionals. Prospective Associates are in a position of responsibility, leadership, or management at their organization or are preparing for such a position. In each year’s class, Associates represent a range of experiences, roles, and institutions. The History Leadership Institute occurs once a year, during the three weeks prior to Thanksgiving in Indianapolis, Indiana. Click here to see an example of the current curriculum.

Applications for the Class of 2018 (October 28-November 17) are due May 15, 2018: How to Apply.

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