The American Irish Historical Society's (AIHS) interim board members revealed the nine permanent board members in a letter dated July 21.

John MacIntosh, Interim Board Chair, Gregory Pressman, Interim Board Secretary, and Elizabeth Stack PhD, Officer, said in their letter that it had been a "privilege" to serve on the interim board of directors.

"The passion for the Society we have felt from the community has been overwhelming," the three said in their letter.

The interim board said it was "delighted" to announce the election of the first nine members of the AIHS permanent board as their "last act."

The nine new permanent AIHS board members are:

  1. James Normile, Katten Muchin Rosenman (Chair)
  2. Conor Allen, Manetu, Inc.
  3. Susan Carey Dempsey, Times Review Media Group
  4. Michael Cusick, Staten Island Economic Development Corp.
  5. Terry Golway, College of Staten Island
  6. Tom Higgins, Fiserv
  7. Kathleen Lauster, Ankura Capital Advisors
  8. Danny Leavy, The 740 Corporation
  9. Charles O'Byrne, Related Companies

The interim board said: "These individuals were elected out of a highly qualified group of more than 50 people who had expressed interest. We want to thank all of them for taking the time to share with us their enthusiasm for the Society and their vision for its future. We hope they will all find opportunities to engage with and support the Society in the years to come.

"The new board has the range and diversity of experience required to lead the Society. It is forward-looking, mission-driven, inclusive, and enthusiastic. And where gaps exist – and they do given the constraints of our time-limited, application-based election process – the new board has space under the Society’s bylaws to add to its ranks as and when it sees fit."

The American Irish Historical Society's headquarters, located at 991 Fifth Avenue in New York City, was placed on the market for $52 million in January 2021. Already facing financial and operational difficulties, it had been shuttered for some time due to the pandemic.

The effort to sell the property was met with concern from not only the Irish American community - more than 41,000 people signed an online petition calling for the sale to be halted - but also Irish politicians. 

In March 2021, on the foot of the online petition, the Office of New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that it was monitoring the potential sale of the property, noting that "under state law, the sale of property by a nonprofit organization is contingent on approval by OAG or the New York State Supreme Court."

The following year, four board members resigned after it emerged that the AIHS intended to abandon New York City for a small town in upstate New York. That same month, the AIHS listing dropped $8 million to $44 million.

Later, in December 2022, AG James announced that the AIHS board would be replaced and an interim board was being appointed to manage the organization's affairs.

In addition to MacIntosh, Pressman, and Stack, John Keefe was also named to the interim board.

By the time James announced the interim board last winter, all previous board members had resigned and were no longer affiliated with the AIHS. 

After being named to the interim board, Keefe told the Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral, “The building is no longer for sale."

He added: “What we want to do is make sure the building stays with the current non-profit, which is the American Irish Historical Society.

"It is my personal opinion that there’s a lot more that can potentially be done with the building given the fact that it is on Fifth Avenue right across from the Metropolitan Museum.”

Keefe said: "I think my mission, and the mission of the new board, is to prepare the organization, make sure the building is in good shape which, by the way, it appears in very good shape.

"And we need to make sure that the financial situation is as good as we can get it so we can attract what I would call a real top-class board.”

The AIHS interim board announced in March that it was accepting applications for the permanent board.