Ms. Erin Carlson Mast has over 20 years of experience in cultural nonprofit excellence and leadership. She joined the Lincoln Presidential Foundation as its President & CEO in 2021. Since then, she has led an organizational rebranding and relaunch, establishment of new partnerships, including with the National Park Service, and award-winning programming.
Prior to serving as the Foundation’s leader, Mast was the CEO & Executive Director of President Lincoln’s Cottage, a National Monument in Washington, DC. As CEO, Mast built and led the organization through a phase of steady growth, groundbreaking scholarship and programming, unprecedented press and awards recognition, and its transition to an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Under her leadership as CEO & Executive Director, President Lincoln’s Cottage received over two dozen awards and recognition for excellence including a Presidential Medal for its international Students Opposing Slavery program, “50 Great Places to Work” in Washington DC, “Best Museum off the Mall” four years in a row, and a must-see destination by Time magazine. In 2017, Mast received the EXCEL Award for Chief Executive Leadership from the Center for Nonprofit Advancement. Prior to serving as the CEO & Executive Director, Mast had served the organization in other leadership roles, including Curator & Site Administrator. She was an original member of the capital project team leading to the National Monument’s grand opening in 2008.
Mast’s current service to the field includes Chair of the Making History Matter campaign for the U.S. 250th anniversary for the American Association for State and Local History, Commissioner on the Barrington Cultural Commission, and Executive Committee of the Lincoln Forum. Her past service includes board service at AASLH, faculty for the History Leadership Institute, the working group for the National Census of History Organizations, committee service for the American Alliance of Museums, and advisory council for National History Day. Mast is a frequent speaker at professional conferences and major educational and cultural institutions. She has authored brief biographies of Abraham and Mary Lincoln and articles for a variety of professional publications such as Alliance Labs, History News, Forum Journal, and The Public Historian. She has also contributed chapters and essays to books including Change is Required: Preparing for the Post-Pandemic Museum, Mission Matters, Reimagining Historic House Museums, AASLH Guide to Making Public History, and Museums of Ideas: Commitment and Conflict.
In addition to her executive leadership, Mast has a depth and breadth of work experience in cultural non-profits and higher education including the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, the National Trust for Historic Preservation headquarters offices, National Building Museum, Institutional History Division of the Smithsonian Institution, George Washington University, and Ohio University. She is an alumna of Harvard University’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management Program and the American Express Leadership Academy. She received her MA in Museum Studies from The George Washington University in Washington, DC, and BA in History from the Ohio University Honors Tutorial College in Athens, Ohio.