Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute’s executive director retires

John Heubusch, the man who has been at the helm of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute since 2009, is leaving his post at the end of the year, following through on plans he announced back in August, as the Washington Examiner reports.

According to a story in the Ventura County Star published over the summer, Heubusch had decided to step down from his role at the Simi Valley institution in order to spend more time with his family in the Hidden Hills area of Los Angeles County after having spent years working in private industry, public affairs, and the philanthropic world.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library spokesperson Melissa Giller took pains at the time the decision was announced to emphasize that it was not at all related to Heubusch’s prior diagnosis of esophageal cancer, noting that “he’s 100% cancer-free.”

In his own statement about his impending retirement, Heubusch said in August, “It’s been the honor of my life to preserve and promote the legacy of Ronald Reagan with so many talented people at such a special place.”

According to the Examiner, when former first lady Nancy Reagan offered Huebusch the job he is now poised to leave, he was eager to accept, grounded in the belief that he could help tell Ronald Reagan’s story to new generations in an environment that he has described as “the right combination of education and entertainment.”

In characterizing the reactions of visitors to the space itself, Heubusch explained, “No matter when you come here, you’re just bowled over by the experience. It’s above and beyond what people expect from a presidential library, and that’s what makes it great.”

Among Heubusch’s most notable achievements during his tenure is the fact that when he rose to the position of executive director, the institute had just $50 million in endowment funds, and he has since grown that total to more than $250 million, the Examiner added.

Once he leaves the institute for good on Dec. 31, Heubusch says he has no plans to seek further employment but will, having already penned two books, complete another writing project and perhaps even offer his endorsement to a future presidential candidate – a freedom he did not enjoy while serving in his current role.

No announcement has yet been made about who will succeed Heubusch as the head of this national treasure, something that will likely occur once the institute’s board of trustees completes its formal search process.