After a six-month search led by the New York-based firm Phillips Oppenheim and an Academy search committee (led by Trustee Linda Ahlers), the Honolulu Academy of Arts is excited to announce today that it has a new director! Stephan Jost is currently the director of the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, where he has been for the past five years. He starts at the Academy on May 2. I had the pleasure of meeting him during his second interview with the Academy. He is energetic, savvy, humble and gregarious. And he turns 42 on Saturday.

Why was he a unanimous pick by the search committee?

“Stephan Jost’s accomplishments and past experience make him an ideal director to lead the Honolulu Academy of Arts,” says Lynne Johnson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Acting Director since March 2010. “From understanding the needs of a museum that serves a highly regional audience as well as acts as an important tourist destination, to having a strong fundraising track record, to having a deep knowledge of art history and a passion for contemporary art, Stephan is poised to successfully steer Honolulu’s art museum into the future.”

Vermonters are missing him already. Check alternative Vermont paper Seven Days’ hilarious blog post about his departure. I know we’re going to love him!