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No. 2 official at JFK Library Foundation resigns

Two weeks after the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation chief executive resigned amid concerns over leadership style, her former second-in-command is stepping down.

The departure of Connie Chin, chief operating officer at the foundation, caps a painfully public clash over the management and direction of the nonprofit, which pays for much of the presidential library’s operations.

Chin, in a brief e-mail to staff Monday announcing her departure, made no reference to the controversy over former leader Heather P. Campion, writing that “it’s been an honor and privilege to work at this organization and with you” and offering to “be of assistance in the transition.”

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Chin, who declined a request for comment, took the job in November 2014, according to the foundation’s website, and was responsible for implementing the policies of Campion and the foundation’s board of directors.

Campion’s tenure was marked by upheaval, with more than a third of the foundation’s staff either resigning or being terminated.

Thomas J. Putnam, the library’s director and a federal employee, resigned abruptly in September, and the National Archives and Records Administration decided not to immediately seek a replacement because of the instability at the Dorchester institution.

Campion’s defenders say that the foundation’s board brought her in to change the organization’s direction and that some turnover was to be expected.

But with criticism mounting inside and outside of the organization, she stepped down early this month to work as a consultant to Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, with a focus on women’s leadership.

Her resignation left Chin as the foundation’s top-ranking manager. But with the organization working to overhaul its leadership structure, it seemed unlikely that she would remain in place.

“Connie has been helpful in implementing our new strategic plan and furthering key initiatives of the Kennedy Library Foundation,” said Kenneth R. Feinberg, the chairman of the foundation’s board, in a written statement. “We appreciate her service to the institution.”

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It was unclear Monday whether Chin might have another job lined up. Before taking the post as chief operating officer, according to the foundation’s website, she worked as general manager at Jacob’s Pillow Dance, a prestigious center in the Berkshires.

A team of veteran John F. Kennedy Library Foundation managers is overseeing the organization on an interim basis while the board begins the process of finding new leadership.


David Scharfenberg can be reached at david.scharfenberg@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dscharfGlobe.