Foundation that gives National Book Awards names director

AP News
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Posted: Feb 10, 2016 11:13 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — The former publisher of the literary magazine Guernica has been named executive director of the National Book Foundation, which presents the National Book Awards.

Lisa Lucas succeeds Harold Augenbraum, who announced last year he was stepping down after heading the foundation since 2004. Her appointment was announced Wednesday by the organization's board of directors. Besides the book awards, the nonprofit foundation also oversees a wide range of educational and reading programs.

Lucas will be the foundation's third executive director in its 30-year history, and the first woman and first African-American to hold the job. Besides heading Guernica, she has worked with the Tribeca Film Festival and the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago.

Foundation chairman David Steinberger praised Lucas as a "passionate advocate for literature" with an "impressive record" in the arts.