The American Irish Historical Society (AIHS) in New York City is now accepting applications for its new, permanent Board of Directors.

In a letter issued on March 17, the interim board of the AIHS (John MacIntosh, Interim Board Chair; Gregory Pressman, Interim Board Secretary; Elizabeth Stack, PhD, Officer) provided an update on the progress they’ve made “since being entrusted with the interim leadership in December 2022. 

“The Society’s auditors have completed the 2020 audit and are undertaking audits for 2021 and 2022. Utility services have been restored to the mansion at 991 Fifth Avenue, various repairs have been made to the building and a detailed assessment of the building’s physical condition has been done. 

“We have also engaged professional archivists to review and categorize the contents of the building and the collections of AIHS. 

“Having laid this foundation, we are now beginning the process of selecting and electing a permanent governing board for the Society. If you are interested in being considered for a position on the board, please complete this questionnaire by April 14 and encourage others to consider applying.

"We will review interested candidates during the last two weeks of April with input from BoardStrong, an organization specializing in assisting nonprofits in board governance and recruitment. 

“During May we expect to meet with potential board members in person before making final invitations in June. The permanent governing board will have nine members of which at least five will be selected during this initial phase of the recruitment process. Under the law, it is our fiduciary duty to elect the permanent board that we believe will best take the organization forward. In fact, this is our most important task as the interim board.

"We understand the foundational and historical significance of the Society, and the importance of maintaining and preserving its charitable assets. We are mindful of the trust which has been placed in us and deeply value the ongoing support of stakeholders across the community. We ask for your continued support as we complete our work, and know that the engagement of the community will be essential for the new board once it is in place. 

“Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.”

Responding to the St. Patrick's Day update, New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement: “For decades, the American Irish Historical Society has been a home for the Irish American community to celebrate and honor their culture and traditions.

“My office was proud to work with the community to preserve this vital organization and help install an interim leadership team to oversee the transition. 

"Today, the interim board is taking an important next step and beginning the search for a permanent board for AIHS. 

“Irish Americans have contributed so much to New York’s past and present, and because of our collective efforts, AIHS will be able to thrive for generations to come.”

Happy St. Patrick's Day, New York! 🍀🇨🇮

One of the best ways to celebrate Irish-American traditions and culture in New York is at the @StPatsParadeNYC.

— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) March 17, 2023

Last December, the New York Attorney General's office announced that a new interim Executive Director and interim Board of Directors were appointed to guide AIHS through a six-month period of transition, which would include "an open and transparent selection process to appoint a permanent board."

Once selected, the permanent board will work with the Attorney General's office and other stakeholders, including the Consulate General of Ireland, to develop a strategic plan for the future of AIHS.

The AG's office had been investigating the management of the AIHS after an online petition to prevent the sale of the Fifth Avenue building was launched in February 2021, receiving more than 41,000 signatures. 

AG James formally addressed the potential sale of the AIHS on St. Patrick's Day in 2022, stating that the Fifth Avenue building has been a "focal point" of the Irish experience in the US for decades.