A New Executive Director for
Tall Ships America

Tall Ships America is proud to announce that it has engaged Dr. Kris Von Wald as its Executive Director, after an extended search.   Kris will take the helm in the next few weeks, where she will lead the organization — and assist the industry — as both face the challenges of the coming years.
Kris is well-known to the Tall Ships community as the lead author and investigator for the creation of the “Sail Training Programme Evaluation Self-Assessment Toolkit.” Development of the Toolkit involved her extensive — and worldwide — interaction with sail vessel operators and with the tall ships races, including sailing on board Christian Radich.   She has experience as a social science leader for a British Exploring Society expedition to Greenland and as a participant on a sailing expedition with Hurricane Island Outward Bound.  Kris has directly relevant experience as the chief executive of the Association for Experiential Education in the United States and the Hibernian Community Foundation in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Kris has served as a senior leader and consultant in non-profit, public–sector, and commercial positions in the United States and the UK.  She has taught master classes in leadership, governance and organizational development.  In particular, her work has emphasized leading transformative change, facilitating strategic leadership development, and business planning. She has written business development plans for non-profit organizations, strategic plans for departments of higher education, and change management plans for government agencies.

Kris has a BSc in Business (Finance and Marketing), a MA in Educational Psychology and a PhD in Leadership and Innovation.  She has served on many boards including Scouts Scotland, Volunteer Edinburgh, and the Forum on Community and Restorative Justice. Most recently she was with Penn State as the business and operations director of a large engineering department and significant prevention research unit.

Tall Ships America looks forward to introducing Kris to the membership and the industry at the forthcoming Annual Conference in San Pedro, California — February 25-27.


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