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Pearl S. Buck CEO announces her retirement, successor sought

Janet L. Mintzer, president and CEO of Pearl S. Buck International said she will retire from her role after 18 years of leading the organization, effective Dec. 31.

“Every day that I serve this organization is a dream come true for me,” Mintzer stated. “I have the privilege of working with an outstanding Board of Directors, committed staff and passionate volunteers. I will leave with a full heart, ready to pass the baton, and support the transition. Then, I will devote myself with the same passion to my art, travel for pleasure, and my grandchildren.”

Mintzer began her career serving six months as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Pearl S. Buck International in 2001, before taking the lead as President & CEO.

Mintzer’s commitment, passion, and tireless efforts to the mission are representative of her trademark of excellence. Pearl S. Buck International is the first and only nonprofit in Bucks County to be accredited by the National Standards for Excellence and has also achieved the highest ranking of all other charity watchdogs under her leadership.

“We are grateful for Janet’s leadership over the years and appreciate the impressive success she has accomplished through her outstanding skill set and dedication,” said Pearl S. Buck International Board Chair Fred Schea. “She has elevated the organization to one that is highly regarded and has advanced the mission and impact immensely.

Among many other noteworthy accomplishments, Mintzer successfully directed a $2.7 million restoration of the National Historic Landmark Pearl S. Buck House, hired its first curator, and increased site visitation from 7,000 to over 100,000 annually including international visitors.

With a vision to continue the legacy of Pearl Buck, Welcome Workplace, a program to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive workforce, was developed. Mintzer was also responsible for the creation and 2018 launch of a new social justice tour of the Pearl S. Buck House that features founder Pearl Buck’s advocacy efforts, still relevant today.

Finishing strong, Mintzer will oversee the construction of a new Conference and Events Center to be completed in the fall, to serve as a cultural hub for exhibits, programs, events and gatherings that create understanding and appreciation for all peoples.

Mintzer also enhanced the global efforts of Pearl S. Buck International during her tenure. She moved dependent overseas country offices into independent entities governed by local boards to better serve more than 100,000 marginalized children and family members annually in South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Philippines, while strengthening operations in Vietnam.

She also developed cultural exchange programs with partner countries, global conferences, and led trips overseas, while introducing a Global Leadership Program for area high school students.

Partnerships and expanded relationships were also a hallmark of her tenure. Most noteworthy is the partnership established with Zhenjiang, China, the city where Pearl Buck lived her first 18 years, supporting the development of exchange programs, conferences, symposiums, and the Zhenjiang Pearl S. Buck Museum.

“We are optimistic for a smooth transition and confident about a strong future for the organization,” Schea said. “With the dedication of the staff and support of the Board, Pearl S. Buck International will continue to serve constituents and deliver the mission with excellence.”

The Board of Directors has established a search committee and is in the process of selecting Mintzer’s successor. Interested candidates may review a summary of job requirements and qualifications at Applications for succession in the role of President and CEO are currently being accepted. All interested parties should submit a resume and cover letter to before May 3.