Traci Lester has been named Executive Director of the Center for Fiction, the only organization solely devoted to the promotion and support of the art of fiction. She began her role on April 6, 2021.
Ms. Lester joins The Center for Fiction from National Dance Institute, where she served as Executive Director from 2016 until March of this year. Ms. Lester was selected after an extensive national search and began the role on April 6, 2021.She succeeds Interim Executive Director Michael Roberts.
The Center for Fiction, located now in Downtown Brooklyn, is marking its 200th anniversary.
“We are thrilled to welcome Traci Lester as Executive Director of The Center for Fiction,” said Erroll McDonald, Chairman of the Board. “Ms. Lester is a proven leader with an extensive background in education and the arts. She brings more than 25 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector with an impressive track record of organizational development and growth. I am confident she will lead The Center with vision, creativity, and managerial skill as we continue to enhance and expand our programming.”
“I am so excited to join The Center for Fiction with its mission to encourage people to read and value fiction,” said Ms. Lester. “The Center has an unending commitment to storytelling in all its forms and advances the work of authors from diverse backgrounds whose voices deserve to be heard.”
Ms. Lester added that “the global pandemic and our national political divide have challenged us in so many ways. Through fiction, The Center works to elevate our shared humanity, which is so very important, especially during these unprecedented times.”
The Center for Fiction also announced today the election of four new members of its Board of Directors: David Bruson, Director of Public Affairs, Nickelodeon, Viacom CBS Kids & Family Entertainment; Chiwoniso Kaitano, Executive Director, Girl Be Heard; Susan Restler, Strategy Consultant and Treasurer, Brooklyn Heights Association; and celebrated writer Jacqueline Woodson.
During her tenure with the arts education nonprofit National Dance Institute, Ms. Lester worked closely with Founder Jacques D’Amboise, Artistic Director Ellen Weinstein, and the Board of Directors to ensure that NDI’s programming was delivered annually to tens of thousands of children and families, both locally in NYC public schools, and worldwide.
Ms. Lester earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers University, and a Master of Public Administration from California State University. She holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University’s Institute for Nonprofit Management. (BG)