December 14, 2015; Boston Globe
Connie Chin, chief operating officer at the JFK Library Foundation, is leaving after just a year in the job. Her departure comes just two weeks after the exit of Heather Campion, the much-embattled president. Campion left relatively suddenly after a two-year tenure that had seen a third of the staff leave via termination or resignation. Rumors of Campion’s abrasive style within an organization that, because of its structure, requires diplomacy and negotiation, had been flying for some time, even making the Boston Globe. And when the much-admired head of the JFK museum, the paired entity, left rather abruptly, the question may have been called.
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Campion’s resignation was tendered on the heels of the release of an externally done, apparently board commissioned, operations review, the findings of which have not been made public. Chin was second in command to Campion, and like Campion did not provide a reason for her departure. Chin wrote in a letter to staff of the “honor and privilege” it had been to work there and offered her assistance during the transition.
In an awkward and public transition, as we mentioned two weeks ago, one is often left to read between the lines. It is worth mentioning that although Chin was next in command after Campion, once Campion left, a team of veteran John F. Kennedy Library Foundation managers was pulled together to lead the organization on an interim basis while a search is conducted. This was probably a clear message sent.—Ruth McCambridge