Madison Public Library Foundation’s Board of Directors has named Conor Moran the nonprofit organization’s new Executive Director.

Moran’s background with leading and nurturing the Wisconsin Book Festival for nearly 10 years — combined with his deep passion for learning, books and connecting people with libraries — will further advance Madison Public Library Foundation’s mission: to mobilize the Madison community to continuously improve, promote and support Madison Public Library. Under Moran’s leadership, the Wisconsin Book Festival transitioned from an annual fall weekend into a year-round event series, with a substantial increase in attendance. Additionally, he significantly expanded representation of diverse authors and books. A national leader among Book Festival directors, Moran is respected by colleagues and donors alike.

“We were impressed with the many ways Conor’s success in leading the Wisconsin Book Festival could translate to leading Madison Public Library Foundation,” said Heather Clefisch, President of the Madison Public Library Foundation board. “His deep knowledge of the library, the community, and his ability to connect foundation supporters with evolving and diverse community needs — especially focused around the new Reindahl Park Imagination Center library project — became very apparent.”

Madison Public Library Foundation conducted an extensive eight-week Executive Director search this fall in partnership with recruiting consultant Jennifer Winding of Tapestry Talent Search + Consulting. Outreach to national and local qualified candidates resulted in a diverse pool of 52 candidates. Several rounds of interviews with the Search Committee resulted in two finalists, who were invited to meet the board and staff, and Madison Public Library Director Greg Mickells as part of the rigorous process. The board voted unanimously to offer Moran the position.

Prior to leading the Wisconsin Book Festival, Moran worked in Development for REAP Food Group and Gathering Waters, and he served on several National Endowment for the Arts committees.

“Throughout my career, building and nurturing relationships has been at the heart of it all,” Moran said. “I’m thrilled to further these skills by leading a highly respected Madison nonprofit organization that ensures equal access to the robust Madison Public Library system and its treasured resources.” 

Moran succeeds Jennifer Jeffress, who has served as Executive Director since 2010. He will assume the new role on December 5.