Karen L. Daly Headshot

Karen L. Daly

The Board of Directors of Stratford Hall announced that after a nationwide search, Karen L. Daly, executive director of Dumbarton Hall, will succeed John Bacon as president of the 18th-century historic home and property of the Lee family of Virginia. Stratford Hall is home to four generations of the Lee family and the only two brothers to sign the Declaration of Independence.

During her tenure at Dumbarton House, the headquarters of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in Washington, DC, Daly oversaw strategic planning, institutional advancement, capital campaign fundraising, renovations, and collections expansion. Before becoming executive director in 2008, Daly served as education director for five years and, earlier in her career, taught fourth grade in the Washington, DC public school system.

Stratford Hall Board Chair Elaine Deming said, “Karen Daly is a leader in the museum field and brings a strategic mind to build on Stratford Hall’s reputation as a significant and historic American landmark. That, combined with her energy and passion for history, makes her uniquely qualified to be our next President.”

Daly, who will start her new role in January, said, “Stratford Hall stands out as one of the finest examples of historic preservation in the Commonwealth, and a spectacular example of the power of place to inspire. I am grateful to the NSCDA for the opportunity to lead Dumbarton House over these past years. I look forward to working with the board and staff team at Stratford Hall to connect this incredible historic site and landscape to visitors—in person and online—from throughout the country.”

Daly currently serves as a board member of the Virginia Association of Museums, one of the most active museum service organizations in the country. She also received the William A. Cochran Award by the Georgetown Business Association.