Miles Lerman is Leaving the Holocaust Museum
Miles Lerman, Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, informed President Clinton yesterday of his intention to step down from that post as soon as the President appoints a successor. After 22 years of dedicated service to the development of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, including the past six years as chairman, Mr. Lerman believes it is now important for a new generation of leadership to carry on this vital task into the new century. In his meeting with the President, he discussed the process for an orderly transition. Mr. Lerman will continue as a member of the Presidentially appointed Council and intends to remain actively engaged with the Museum.
"I am proud that I have accomplished all of my original goals, along with many others," Mr. Lerman said. "The Museum is a national treasure with an international presence beyond my greatest hopes and dreams. The history and lessons of the Holocaust are becoming embedded in American life. And, the Museum now rests on a solid foundation of effective governance and rigorous leadership."
Beginning with his 1978 appointment by President Jimmy carter to the Advisory Board of the President's Commission on the Holocaust, Miles Lerman quickly became a driving force in the creation of the Museum. Following the Advisory Board service, he was appointed in 1980 by President Carter to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, a federal entity established by a unanimous vote of Congress, charged with the task of building "a permanent living memorial to the victims of the Holocaust." He has been re-appointed to the Council by every president since.
Before the Museum opened to the public, Mr. Lerman spearheaded several efforts critical to its creation. He led the nationwide campaign that raised nearly $200 million to build the Museum, and as Chairman of its International Relations Committee was responsible for negotiating historic agreements with various Eastern European governments that enabled the Museum to acquire essential collections for its acclaimed Permanent Exhibition and to build a world-class archive to support original research on the Holocaust.
Only few people in the history of this country contributed to the memory of the Holocaust as did Miles Lerman. He is a Holocaust survivor and a partisan as well. As a survivor, he came to this country and managed to establish a successful business empire.
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