Photo by Kristin Smetona c/o OrangeReview.com.
JIM BYRON ELECTED PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE NIXON FOUNDATION
28-year-old succeeds Hugh Hewitt, who remains on the Board of Directors and serves as General Counsel of the Foundation
Yorba Linda, Calif., November 8, 2021 — Jim Byron, a 28-year-old nonprofit executive whose career with the Nixon Foundation began in 2007 as a 14-year-old marketing intern, was unanimously elected President, CEO, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Richard Nixon Foundation on Tuesday, November 3 at the Foundation’s annual meeting of the Board of Directors in Washington D.C., announced Dr. James H. Cavanaugh, Foundation Chairman.
Hugh Hewitt, who served as President and CEO beginning in July 2019, will remain an active member of the Board of Directors and continue to have a key role in much of the Foundation’s advancement and long-range initiatives.
“There is no one better than Jim to succeed me,” Hugh Hewitt said. “It is clear to everyone that Jim is the best person possible for this job, representing the next generation of civic leaders and tasked with leading President Nixon’s Foundation for many years into the future. Jim has my full support, and I’m standing by if he needs assistance or advice from an aging radio host.”
“I am honored to be invited to serve the legacy of President and Mrs. Nixon in this new role,” Byron said. “The full effect of President Nixon’s life is becoming more apparent with time. It’s now clear that all Americans are legatees of President Nixon; his was a life of immense consequence that shaped the world I grew up in, and I’m excited to lead the effort to teach and inspire new generations with this information — though I have very, very big shoes to fill.”
Byron served as Hewitt’s Executive Vice President, and oversaw all administration, marketing and communications, development, finance, human resources, and operations beginning in July 2019.
In making the announcement, Chairman Cavanaugh said, “President Nixon hired and inspired young people to serve in his administration and to advance his agenda, many of whom went on to enjoy very successful careers. Jim Byron represents the next generation of that type of individual: energetic, creative, decisive, and forward-thinking with management skills far beyond his years.”
“Thanks to Hugh Hewitt, the Richard Nixon Foundation’s national influence and reach have never been more prominent, while its reputation in Southern California is enjoying unprecedented levels of support,” Cavanaugh said. “Jim will follow in Hugh’s footsteps and build on what works to lead the Nixon Foundation in its exciting next phase of growth, expanding its educational offerings, growing its digital presence and increasing Library attendance through investments in international tourism markets.”
From 2019 to 2021, Hewitt coordinated the Foundation’s educational programming around significant 50th anniversaries of the Nixon administration, rebuilding the Foundation’s national presence, launching the influential Nixon Seminar on Conservative Realism and National Security, investing in new educational partnerships, developing the first long-range exhibition plans, and establishing a sustainable fundraising operation that ensured a path forward through the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to his continuing role with the Nixon Foundation, Hewitt will continue to host The Hugh Hewitt Show, his weekday morning radio show on the Salem Radio Network, write frequent columns for the Washington Post and appear as a panelist on NBC’s Meet the Press.
The 24-member Foundation Board of Directors includes four Nixon family members, former senior Nixon Administration officials, and prominent Southern California civic and business leaders.
About Jim Byron
James T. (Jim) Byron has been involved with the Richard Nixon Foundation for nearly 15 years, gaining a wealth of experience in strategic planning, message development and nonprofit advancement.
In close collaboration with nationally-syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt, and with Hewitt’s mentorship, Byron managed the Foundation’s staff and operations, including marketing and communications, business and philanthropic development, finances and accounting, and external relations as the Foundation’s Executive Vice President. He led the planning, message development and execution of more than 30 events annually on the Yorba Linda campus, and in Washington, DC.
In 2016, Byron led the year-long planning efforts for the reopening of the Nixon Library after a $15 million renovation. These two days of packed events were attended by more than 3,000 people and 40 international media outlets; Byron directed a coordinated effort of more than 100 individuals in its execution. He also led the planning and execution of the strategic communications campaign to launch the New Nixon Library, which —combined— reached more than 100 million people and won five PR-industry association awards.
From 2014 to 2017, he worked as coordinator of the Foundation’s successful $25 million capital campaign, working directly and closely with campaign chairman Fred Malek. Shortly thereafter, he led the planning and rollout of innovative mission-based programs, including civic educational initiatives that are ongoing.
Byron is a native of Santa Monica, California and grew up in Orange County. He is a graduate of Chapman University, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a Minor in History. He was Vice President of Phi Delta Theta’s California Phi Chapter. He now serves as Chairman of the California Phi Chapter Advisory Board and a member of the Board of The Pacific Club in Newport Beach.
Byron is the author of A President Comes Home, the official Nixon Library commemorative book and a history of the Nixon Presidential Library (2018). He lives in Costa Mesa and enjoys playing tennis and golf.