The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) has selected Cecilia Rokusek as President and CEO, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She will begin her tenure on September 1, 2018, succeeding Gail Naughton, who has served in the role since 2002.
A native Midwesterner, Ms. Rokusek has held top academic and administrative positions at numerous colleges and universities for more than four decades. She currently serves as the Provost and Chief Executive Officer at Larkin University in Miami, Florida. In addition to serving as Florida’s Slovak Honorary Consul for the past 10 years, she has established many academic affiliations with institutions in the Czech and Slovak Republics, in several other European countries, and in South Korea. Prior to her current position, Ms. Rokusek has held various roles at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, Winona State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Governors State University, University of South Dakota School of Medicine, and Mount Marty College. Through these executive positions in higher education, she has gained considerable experience in fundraising at the local, state, national, and international levels.
Ms. Rokusek has previously served as an international education consultant and has been involved in policy-making related to funding for geriatric care. Fluent in the Czech and Slovak languages, she holds a doctor of education degree from the University of South Dakota, a master of science degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a bachelor of arts degree from Mount Marty College.
In making the announcement, NCSML board of trustees member and search committee chair Tom DeBoom said, “The search committee was immediately impressed with Cecilia’s application, and this impression was magnified when we had the opportunity to talk with her at length about her passions and skills and the museum’s direction and future. It’s a tremendous match. We especially value her experience in strategic planning and implementation, which will be crucial for us moving forward.”
“I am both honored and pleased to serve as the President and CEO of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, a true cultural gem for our region, nation, and international communities,” Ms. Rokusek said. “Cedar Rapids is a cultural epicenter, and I am especially looking forward to becoming an active member of the community. I am delighted to be joining the dedicated team of professionals, volunteers, and board members of the NCSML as we work together to promote, develop, and expand the museum and library.” She added, “As a fourth-generation Czechoslovak, I am especially proud of my ancestral heritage. Growing up in Tabor, South Dakota, graduating from the University of Nebraska, and working in both Minnesota and Illinois, I am delighted to be coming home to the Midwest.”
“ACG congratulates the many stakeholders involved in the search process who will benefit from Ms. Rokusek‘s expertise and passion for Czech and Slovak culture,” said ACG Associate Vice President Peter Mraz. “We are confident that she will help shape the dialogue on the organization’s strategic development in response to the evolving role of museums today. We wish her and the entire team at NCSML all the best as the organization continues to inspire people from every background to connect to the Czech and Slovak experience.”