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Speaker Series: Kat Imhoff

James Madison, the Constitution, and America’s Ongoing Revolution

A conversation with Montpelier Foundation President and CEO Kat Imhoff about how James Madison framed our country’s conversations about rights and freedom

Hardly a week passes when the U.S. Constitution is not driving headlines, and yet, many Americans still don’t know the story of how our nation’s social contract came into existence at a moment that has been described by scholars as a “hinge point” in world history. Montpelier Foundation President and CEO Kat Imhoff will discuss how her team is creating a new kind of historic site at James Madison’s historic 2,650-acre plantation, designed to put the past in conversation with the present through a range of place-based experiences. Connecting the stories of the Foundation’s leading work on the interpretation of slavery and its work training Constitutional practitioners at the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution to the dramatic three-year period from 1786-1789 during which Madison created the framework for the U.S. Constitution and drafted the Bill of Rights, Imhoff will explain Montpelier’s methods of engaging citizens with the nation’s biggest idea: government by the people. Join us for an intriguing and far-reaching journey into the past that cannot help but refresh your view of government, politics, and American identity.

To RSVP, call 843-723-9912 or email dreutter@charlestonlibrarysociety.org

Kat Imhoff, Montpelier President and CEO

As President and CEO of James Madison’s Montpelier, Kat Imhoff is among the first generation of women to oversee all aspects of a national historic site. Under her leadership, Montpelier has become a leader in the research of slavery in the Early Republic and garnered the attention of patriotic philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, whose $10 million gift in 2014 jumpstarted efforts to reconstruct the landscape of slavery at Montpelier and fully furnish James Madison’s historic home.

Montpelier also operates The Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution whose mission is to improve the public’s understanding of the founding principles of the United States and inspire civic engagement. Kat’s fresh, visionary leadership of the Center has repositioned Montpelier as a cultural organization with an innovative instinct for connecting history to present day challenges through its civic education programs for constitutional practitioners.

Prior to joining Montpelier in January 2013, Kat enjoyed a five-year tenure as State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Montana, where she led a successful $90 million effort to conserve an ecologically intact unit of 310,000 acres of land in the Northern Rockies that serves as an environmentally-protected migratory corridor extending from Wyoming across Montana to Canada.

Before her leadership role at The Nature Conservancy, Kat served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (TJF) which owns and operates Monticello, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

She has served as the Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance of Virginia, Vice President for Conservation and Development of the Piedmont Environmental Council, and the Executive Director of the Commission on Population Growth and Development, a 33-member legislative study commission established by the Virginia General Assembly to promote growth management legislation.

Earlier Event: April 8
CLS Book Sale
Later Event: April 14
Closed for Easter