May 20, 2022

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Chairman William D. Adams Announces Resignation

From NEH:

William D. Adams, the tenth chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, announced today his resignation from the agency, effective Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

Adams was nominated by President Barack Obama in April 2014 and was confirmed by the United States Senate three months later. His service to NEH followed 14 years as president of Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

In a brief statement to staff, Adams expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve as the chairman of NEH and his admiration for the work of the agency. “Leading this important organization has been one of the most exciting and gratifying experiences of my life,” he said. “I’m especially appreciative of the excellent and dedicated staff of the agency, who taught me so much about the importance of the humanities and the innovative and meaningful work that is going on at NEH and across the country.”


In explaining his decision, Adams noted the positive resolution of the agency’s funding for the remainder of FY 2017 and the beginning of the administrative transition at NEH. “We’re encouraged that Congress and the President increased our funding for the current year and that the White House has initiated the process of bringing new political appointees to the agency,” Adams said. He also noted his desire to pursue his scholarship and to spend more time with his family. Adams will return to Falmouth, Maine, where he lives with his wife, Lauren Sterling.

Deputy Chair Margaret Plympton will serve as acting chair. NEH will announce its next round of grants following the meeting of the National Council on the Humanities in July.

Read the Complete Announcement

See Also: Margaret (Peggy) Plympton Bio (via NEH)

See Also: Interview: The Education of William Adams (November/December 2014 via Humanities)

See Also: William Adams Confirmed as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (July 9, 2014)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.