The board of directors of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators has elected Sarah Baker, previously the organization's associate executive director, as its new executive director. She began her first renewable two-year term on February 1.

Baker, who has been with the organization since 2011, succeeds the organization's cofounder, Lin Oliver, who retired on January 31. Her election to the position caps a tumultuous year for the SCBWI, which saw the organization embroiled in controversy last summer surrounding circumstances related to its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

“Alongside our members, I hope to make improvements that are rooted in community feedback and good process so that our changes are lasting and meaningful,” Baker said in a statement. “The world and our industry are changing quickly, and I promise, both as SCBWI’s executive director and as a children’s book creator myself, to lead a team that is always growing and learning, and searching for new ways to elevate the art and reach of children’s literature.”