Participant Profile

Tracie D. Hall

United States

Tracie D. Hall most recently served as the tenth Executive Director of the American Library Association (ALA). Hall’s work in library and arts administration has focused on advancing early and adult literacy, expanding broadband access, advocating for library and literacy services for people who are incarcerated. In 2022, Hall became only the second librarian to be honored with a National Book Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. Early in 2023, she was named the recipient of the Literacy Leader Award by scaleLIT. In April 2023, TIME Magazine named Hall to its annual TIME100 list of the most influential people in the world. In September 2023, Hall followed Rep. John Lewis and journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones in receiving the medal for Freedom of Speech and Free Expression from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Institute.

The first Black woman to helm ALA in its nearly 150-year history, Hall left that post in fall 2023 and is now devoting time to her writing and grassroots advocacy work. She has previously served in numerous library and arts leadership positions nationwide: Culture Program Director at The Joyce Foundation; Deputy Commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; Vice President of Strategy and Organizational Development at Queens Library in NYC; Community Investment Strategist and Community Investor for the Boeing Company’s Global Corporate Citizenship division; Assistant Dean of Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science; other library positions at the Hartford Public Library, New Haven Free Public Library, and Seattle Public Library and non-profit and public sector roles across the country.

In addition to her work in libraries, Hall is an artist, curator and was the founder of Rootwork Gallery (2015-2019) in Chicago.