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Jody Blankenship was appointed president and CEO of the Indiana Historical Society in 2019. He previously served as CEO of the Connecticut Historical Society. Under Blankenship’s leadership, the Connecticut Historical Society enhanced customer service, increased service hours, and improved and speeded up cataloging. During his tenure, the number of new, public exhibitions increased each year from three to nine, affinity groups for specific history specialties were created, and the availability of the collection of historical materials increased so that people in Connecticut have increased direct access to their history. Blankenship also led the successful adoption of the 25-year-old Connecticut Folklife Program, a partnership that represents the histories of all of Connecticut’s diverse population, and significantly increased the organization’s revenues, grew investments to $56 million, and substantially increased annual fundraising.
Previously, he was Education Director at the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) where under his leadership, KHS advanced its educational model and secured $1.2 million in grants to pilot model curricula, and revamp Kentucky’s cemetery preservation program. In addition, Blankenship launched “Explore Kentucky History,” the institution’s first mobile application which provides location and contextual data to the State’s historical marker program.
Prior to his appointment at KHS, Blankenship managed the Ohio Historical Society’s (now the Ohio History Connection) Outreach and Field Services Department. His outreach involvement included educational programs such as National History Day in Ohio, the Ohio Social Studies Resource Center, the Buckeye Council for History Education, the Ohio Historical Markers program and the Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums.
“I’m honored and delighted to be chosen by the Board to be the Indiana Historical Society’s next President and CEO. The IHS is a nationally significant organization that has been a leader in providing access to and engagement with history. I look forward to working with the Board, staff and citizens of Indiana to further this cause and build on an incredible legacy.”
Blankenship received an M.A. from Cooperstown Graduate Program at the State University of New York and a B.A. from Ohio Northern University.