Chloe Schwenke has been named executive director of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) after nearly a year serving in the role in an interim position.
The news was announced to AWP members and "friends" in a e-missive from Robin Reagler, chair of the AWP's board of trustees. In her letter, Reagler said that this year's AWP Conference, held in Portland, Ore., late last month, "eclipsed all previous AWP Conference records, attracting nearly 15,000 attendees, 561 panels, 2,000 presenters, and 800 exhibitors." The news follows a lengthy nationwide search for a replacement for longtime AWP executive director David Fenza, who was dismissed last March.
"Over the past year, while she served as Interim Executive Director, AWP benefited from Chloe’s leadership and deep nonprofit management experience," Reagler wrote. "Under her watch, the Association transitioned to a new autonomous operational model, crafted a comprehensive new strategic plan, and attained stability and direction following a period of relocation and transition."
In addition, Diane Zinna has been promoted to deputy executive director and will, Reagler wrote, "manage staff in their day-to-day activities."
Schwenke comes to the AWP—a nonprofit formerly associated with a handful of universities, but which, under her interim directorship, severed its ties with the University of Maryland and gone solo as an entity—with a background in senior level and management experience in nonprofit and for-profit organizations, academia, and government. Her memoir Self-ish: A Transgender Awakening, was published by Red Hen Press last year.