Nancy Van Dolsen, Northwest Philadelphia native, appointed new Chief Executive Officer of Cliveden of the National Trust

Photo by Jerome De Perlinghi

Philadelphia, PA – The Board of Directors of Cliveden of the National Trust is excited to announce Nancy Van Dolsen as Cliveden’s new Chief Executive Officer beginning July 8, 2019. A Northwest Philadelphia native with more than thirty years of experience in historic preservation and museums, Nancy comes to Cliveden with a deep passion for eighteenth and nineteenth-century American architecture and museums. “I am delighted to return to Philadelphia and to the Germantown area, where I was born,” Nancy states. “My love of museums was founded during visits to the city’s historic sites, and to be able to work at one of the nation’s most important historic houses in my favorite city is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Nancy is enthusiastic about expanding Cliveden’s capacity as a historic site and in the community: “I am very excited to help develop a cultural landscape plan for Cliveden’s five acres, to move beyond the house to its surrounding landscape, and even beyond, into its presence during the 20th and 21st century in a developing and continually changing neighborhood.”

During her career, Nancy has written more than 40 National Register nominations, wrote or was a major contributor to three books on regional architecture, co-edited Architecture and Landscape of the Pennsylvania Germans, 1720-1940, published by UPenn Press. Additionally, she has taught Public History, Material Culture, Landscape Studies, and US History at North Carolina State University, University of Laval in Canada, and Barton College in Wilson, NC. Nancy has also served as the founding director of the North Carolina Museum of the Coastal Plain, a regional museum in eastern North Carolina, and successfully incorporated the museum into the Imagination Station Science & History Museum when she was appointed as Executive Director of both institutions in 2013.

“We are delighted that Nancy Van Dolsen, a seasoned leader with a strong track record, will be joining us as the new CEO of Cliveden,” said Theodore Reed, Chairman of Cliveden’s Board of Directors. Conrad Person, Board member and chairman of the search committee that spearheaded the year-long search, further added “Nancy’s experience and enthusiasm as well as her vision for bringing Cliveden further into the 21st century impressed us and we are confident that she will take Cliveden to greater heights.”

A site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a proud member of Historic Germantown, Cliveden opened to the public in 1972. Built in 1763-1767, Cliveden was home to seven generations of the Chew family, was the site of the Battle of Germantown in October 1777, and serves as an example of Philadelphia Georgian architecture. As a house museum, Cliveden focuses on telling the complete history of the property by interpreting the buildings and grounds; giving a voice to the men and women—black, white, free, enslaved, and indentured—who had contact with the Chews and engages community input through various programs and events. The site is open for tours through the spring and fall and for school and group tours year round. For more information: www.cliveden.org or 215-848-1777.