WASHINGTON, April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Courtney L. Surls, vice president for development for the University of Southern California, has been named senior vice president of development for the Newseum, the interactive museum of news and history located on historic Pennsylvania Avenue.
Following a nationwide search, Surls's appointment was announced by James C. Duff, president and chief executive officer of the Freedom Forum and chief executive officer of the Newseum. The Freedom Forum, which operates the Newseum, champions the First Amendment as a cornerstone of democracy.
"Courtney has an outstanding record as an innovative and energetic leader in the most ambitious university fundraising campaign in the country," Duff said. "We are delighted that Courtney will join and lead our development team at the Newseum. She has both the skills and the enthusiasm for our civic education mission to help propel our greater outreach initiatives."
Surls played a leadership role in the advancement efforts of the University of Southern California, one of the top fundraising universities in the country. She was integral in the development of fundraising programs and infrastructure to support the $6 billion capital campaign launched by USC last year.
"The First Amendment touches the lives of every American and defines our nation," Surls said. "The Newseum's critical mission, inspirational leadership and bold vision make for an ideal environment to engage people and attract support."
Surls was named USC's vice president for development in December 2008, after serving in that role on an interim basis. She joined the university in 2004 as senior associate dean for external relations at the USC Marshall School of Business, where she led a 25-person staff of advancement professionals in major gift, annual fund, corporate relations, alumni affairs and campaign service units.
Previously, Surls was director of development for Loyola Marymount University's College of Business Administration in Los Angeles and development director for St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey, Calif.
Surls, 45, will join the Newseum this summer. She succeeds Mary Kay Blake, senior vice president of development for the Newseum since 2007. "Mary Kay has been a superb and dedicated officer of the Freedom Forum and Newseum, and we are very pleased that she will continue to work on special development projects with us," Duff said.
About the Newseum
The Newseum blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on interactive exhibits. The world's most interactive museum takes visitors behind the scenes of news and instills an appreciation of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment. Since it opened in Washington, D.C., in 2008, the Newseum has attracted nearly 3 million visitors, and attendance has risen every year.
About the Freedom Forum
The Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit, is the main funder of the Newseum's operations. The Newseum has no affiliation with any media companies but receives additional support from foundations, media organizations and individuals.