Lacy Ward Jr. has been named the new executive director of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum (ICRCM) in Greensboro.
His appointment, effective May 19 will entail working with the board, employees, and a corps of volunteers as he oversees the day-to-day administration of the Museum. His responsibilities among others are fundraising, serving as spokesperson and representing the company in professional business capacities.
Ward brings extensive experience in museum administration, curatorial affairs and development, including donor relations. This experience is derived in part from his seven year tenure with a center for the study of civil rights in education – the Robert Russa Moton Museum in Farmville, Va. – where he currently serves as executive director.
“Lacy Ward Jr. brings diverse experiences essential to our museum at this time of transition,” stated Deena Hayes-Greene, Chairperson of the Board of Directors. “He joins a staff whose expertise and commitment have nurtured the growth of ICRCM as a unique educational resource for families, school children, university students, and adult lifelong learners come here seeking an understanding of the quest for equity in this country and other nations, too. We are confident that Mr. Ward will continue building on that progress during our next phase of advancement.”
ICRCM has seen more than its share of troubles since it opened in 2010. Attendance has not met expectations and funding has been insuffient. The Greensboro City Council recently made a controversial decsion to provide the Museum with a $1.5 million loan. Located in the former F. W. Woolworth in downtown Greensboro where four North Carolina A&T State University students staged a nonviolent sit-in protest in 1960, ICRCM is a historic landmark, an exhibiting and collecting institution, and a teaching facility that promotes both the understanding and attainment of equity and freedom in the United States and societies across the world.
Earl Jones, cofounder of ICRCM and vice chair of the board, said Ward will advance the organization.
“He is a rare museum professional who is both a terrific administrator and an excellent fundraiser, raising more than $5.5 million towards endeavors in his executive director position at the Russa Moton Museum,” Jones said. “We needed someone who could organize this institution, building financial stability, while at the same time continuing to grow and develop the Museum to an even higher level.”
Ward has also given dedicated service as a member of numerous boards for non-profit institutions.
A graduate of Virginia State University and Virginia Tech, Ward’s professional experiences also consist of serving as a university vice president, park superintendent, CEO of a non-profit organization and a congressional aide. While serving in the military, Ward, a designated mission commander in the U.S. Navy, was responsible for a crew of five naval aviators executing carrier-based flight missions, including combat duty in the Libyan, Iranian, and Iraqi theaters. He is a Gulf War veteran with more than 1,200 flight hours and more than 200 carrier landings.
“This is an exciting time to take on the leadership of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum,” said Ward. “An iconic downtown facility stands ready to welcome visitors from around the world to Greensboro to further their understanding of the city’s role in fostering the global spread of democracy in the 21st century.”
Ward and his wife, Ardeania, are the parents of five adult children.