The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation launched a nationwide search for a new executive director, but the Park County-based organization ultimately didn’t have to look far to find the right …
The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation launched a nationwide search for a new executive director, but the Park County-based organization ultimately didn’t have to look far to find the right candidate, selecting Aura Sunada Newlin of Cody.
Newlin is a fourth-generation Wyomingite, fourth-generation Japanese American, graduate of the University of Wyoming and former anthropology professor at Northwest College.
A descendant of Heart Mountain incarcerees, Newlin had served as the foundation’s interim executive director since June, when Dakota Russell left to lead The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association in Salem, Massachusetts. Prior to becoming the interim director, Newlin had long served as the Heart Mountain board’s secretary.
“This is an exciting time for the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation as we grow to new heights and continue to establish ourselves as a nationally relevant institution,” Newlin said. “I am humbled to continue as executive director for this foundation that means so much to me.”
She was picked as the permanent director after a search committee led by Heart Mountain board vice chair Douglas Nelson and board member Lia Nitake reviewed applications from candidates around the country and conducted interviews. They chose Newlin “because of her intense knowledge of Heart Mountain history, academic credentials and desire to build the foundation into a leader for education and social justice,” the organization said in a statement.
Newlin “will take our museum and the Mineta-Simpson Institute to a whole new level,” said foundation chair Shirley Ann Higuchi. “Aura’s family incarceration history, her commitment to Wyoming and her credentials make her the obvious choice to lead our foundation.”
The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation preserves the site between Powell and Cody where some 14,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated from 1942 through 1945. Their stories are told within the foundation’s museum, the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, which is located near the former site.
For more information, call the center at 307-754-8000 or email email@example.com.