Oregon Humanities Executive Director Steps Down

Cara Ungar departs the organization after overseeing six years of transformation.

By Aaron Scott January 16, 2013

The executive director of Oregon Humanities, Cara Ungar, announced in a statement today that she is stepping down “after months of reflection and soul searching.” As the fourth executive director of the organization, Ungar has overseen six years of incredible transformation, including an early rebranding with the help of local guru Jelly Helm from the Oregon Council of the Humanities to Oregon Humanities (or O.Hm, with the tagline "the sound of hearing a new idea"), and the overhaul and refinement of the organization’s popular programs: Idea Lab, Think & Drink, and the Conversation Project.

In her statement, Ungar says she will stay on for five months at the board’s request while it searches for the new executive director. 

More to come, but until then, here is Ungar’s statement:

After months of reflection and soul searching, I have decided to step down as executive director of Oregon Humanities.

The past six years have been thrilling, challenging, and rewarding. I'm proud of the work we've accomplished in guiding the organization through some big changes and connecting more Oregonians to transformative ideas. It has been a privilege to work with our staff and board on these efforts. I'm eager to see the organization continue to thrive and grow in the coming years, and I'm excited about pursuing new challenges and opportunities.

At the board's request, I have agreed to stay up to five months during this transition. The board, led by Chair John Frohnmayer, will immediately begin a search for Oregon Humanities' next executive director. If you have any questions about the search, you can direct them to [email protected].

Thank you very much for making these last six years so wonderfully rewarding.

Cara Ungar
Executive Director


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