Hugh Price LAW ’66, president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League, announced Nov. 6 that he will step down from his post in April.
Price, a former Yale Law School and political science professor, has led the 93-year-old National Urban League since 1994. In a letter to the League board, Price said he may step down earlier if the League is able to appoint a successor sooner than April. The League’s mission, according to its Web site, “is to enable African-Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity and power and civil rights.”
While Price said his experience at the League has been “the opportunity of a lifetime,” he said he is ready to step down.
“I have decided that it is time for me to seek a new professional challenge and for the board to enlist fresh leadership for the 21st century,” Price said.
Michael Critelli, chairman of the League’s board of trustees, said in a press release that Hugh will be missed but the League will continue to thrive.
“We have benefited immensely from Hugh’s leadership,” Critelli said. “Yet, in vibrant and venerable organizations like the League, transitions are to be expected and can help prepare the organization for even greater future success.”
Critelli said he would name a committee soon to search for the next president.
In comparing his experience as leader of the League to a runner, Price said he wanted to finish his tenure on a good note.
“I believe very strongly that leaders of national organizations like the League should not cling to their positions interminably,” Price said. “They should go flat out and then pass the baton to someone fresh before — not after — their own interest and energy begin to flag.”
Price added that his hard work with the organization was taking a toll on other aspects of his life.
“After crisscrossing the country on Urban League business, week-in and weekend-out, ever since I became president, it is time to recalibrate the balance between my professional and personal lives,” Price said.
Yale Law School professor Drew Days, a former classmate, said he is not surprised Price was ready to make a career change.
“I think he’ll have a lot of opportunities open to him,” Days said. “I’m sure he’ll — continue to make important contributions to society and still make time for his wife and his daughters who are very important to him.”
In 1996, Days presented Price with the Law School’s Medal of Merit, which is presented each year to an exemplary graduate of the Law School.
Yale President Richard Levin said he is grateful for the contributions Price has made to Yale throughout his career.
“He is a terrific person,” Levin said. “He’s done outstanding work.”
Before joining the League, Price served as an attorney in New Haven and later became the human resources administrator for the city. He also served on the editorial board of The New York Times, was senior vice president of WNET/Thirteen — America’s largest public television station — and was vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation.