Talbott, 63, has been acting head of the society since
"She has extraordinary skills in exhibition, interpretive and strategic planning, collections management, and grant writing, all of which will benefit [the society] tremendously," Fenton said in a statement.
For many years, Talbott served on the society's board.
In an interview, she said she will be taking over after "a fairly good run" for the society, and she praised Sajet for her six-year tenure as president.
"The society has risen in reputation and is seen as a leader in the history and heritage community," Talbott said. "During my interim period, which has been 10 months long, we've been trying to build on that legacy of leadership."
Talbott said she was particularly interested in enhancing "strategic partnerships" and in encouraging "creative thinking when it comes to solving some of the financial considerations plaguing us and so many of our sister institutions."
Since the society is not a performing arts organization or museum, she noted, it lacks ticket revenues. Membership provides some financial respite, but is relatively small.
"We don't have a robust revenue stream from our audience," she noted. "That means we are very dependent on fund-raising and income from our endowment."
The endowment stands at about
Talbott is probably best known for her work on
She was the deputy director for the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary and chief curator of "
"During the last couple of years," she said, "more and more people are attending [society] programming that's been more and more varied. The trick is finding out who they are, reaching out via e-mail and social media, and making sure people know they are welcome here."
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