Chris Sommerich was named Humanities Nebraska executive director effective Jan. 1, 2011. He joined the council as development officer in 2004, and became development director in 2007. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where as a graduate assistant he served as undergraduate adviser and teach assistant in the political science department. Chris achieved a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification in 2007, which emphasizes the highest standard of ethical and professional conduct in fundraising. He served on the board of directors for the Nebraska Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) in 2005-2011 and as its president in 2010. In 2014 Chris was elected to the board of directors of the Federation of State Humanities Councils, and he was a member of Class VII of Leadership Nebraska in 2014-15. He came to HN after four years of managing annual giving programs as development associate for Audubon Nebraska. Chris lives in Lincoln with his wife, Vicki, and two sons, Eli and Benjamin.
Previously, Sommerich served as an undergraduate advisor and graduate assistant for the Department of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln while a graduate student. After completing his Master’s degree, Sommerich worked in development for four years at Audubon Nebraska, a state office of the National Audubon Society.
Among professional fundraisers, Sommerich has held many leadership roles including serving on the Nebraska Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) board of directors, where he was president in 2010. During his presidency, AFP-Nebraska hosted the regional Mid-America Conference on fundraising. He served on the planning committee for the National Humanities Conference in Omaha in 2009 and in 2010, Humanities Nebraska received the Friend of Tourism Award from the state tourism agency for having brought the conference to Omaha. Currently, Sommerich serves on the board of Community CROPS and is a member of Class VII of Leadership Nebraska. Sommerich lives in Lincoln with his wife, Vicki, and two sons, Eli and Benjamin.