On January 19, 2011, President Obama appointed Susan Hildreth to be director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The nomination to her new post was confirmed by the US Senate by unanimous consent on December 22, 2010.
Hildreth is the former city librarian of Seattle where she managed the Seattle Public Library, which includes the world-renowned Central Library and 26 new and expanded branches. The Library operated on a $50 million budget, had approximately 650 staff members, served more than 14 million visitors, and circulated nearly 12 million books and materials in 2010.
Hildreth was the former state librarian of California, where she managed a $70 million administrative budget supporting library and research services for the state government and funding and consultation for California libraries.
Before her 2004 appointment by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hildreth was city librarian of San Francisco, overseeing an annual operating budget of more than $58 million and a $130 million building program.
Hildreth was president of the Public Library Association and served on its board of directors. She was an elected member of the council that governs the American Library Association. She was a longtime member of the California Library Association and served as its president and treasurer.
Hildreth graduated cum laude from Syracuse University and holds a master's degree in library science from the State University of New York at Albany and a master's degree in business from Rutgers University.