Tree Swenson is new Executive Director at
Richard Hugo House
A letter from John Burgess, RHH Board President
I have exciting news to share with you. Richard Hugo House has hired a new Executive Director—Tree Swenson.
Tree brings to Hugo House an incredible wealth of nonprofit literary arts leadership experience. Since 2002, Tree has served as the executive director of the American Academy of Poets in New York City, where she provided inspirational leadership, vision, strategy, and management of the $1.8 million national organization. Before that, Tree served as the Director of Programs at the Massachusetts Cultural Council in Boston.
Tree also has strong ties to the Northwest. She co-founded Copper Canyon Press in Port Townsend, the nationally recognized literary press devoted to poetry, and served as its executive director and publisher for 20 years. We’re so happy she wants to return to the Northwest!
Tree has been connected to the world of writing for many years. She has served on boards for literary organizations, served on countless arts grants and fellowship panels and taught classes at universities on both coasts.
We’re so enthusiastic about Tree’s arrival and the future of our work together. Over the next several years we’ll expand the depth and breadth of Hugo House’s impact through the efforts of our staff and community partners, the board’s good stewardship of resources, the momentum of Tree’s leadership, and your continued support and participation.
Tree will start at Hugo House in March. Please join us in officially welcoming Tree at our annual fundraising event, Eat Read Hugo, on March 29.
While I have the honor of making this announcement, I share the credit for this milestone with many others:
The insightful group of volunteers who served on our Executive Director Search Committee, including board members, Hugo House teachers, and staff members.
Anne Jaworski, who provided incredible leadership as the chair of the Search Committee.
The talented group of close to 100 candidates, both from our local community and around the country, who recognized in Hugo House a unique opportunity to make a difference in the community.
Also, I want to publicly thank Barbara Green, who’s been serving as our interim executive director since June. She worked hard in her short time with us, bringing ideas and openly sharing her expertise, to leave us in great shape for our next journey.
Hope to see you at the House soon!