Longtime CEO of the American Jewish Committee David Harris announced on Thursday that he will be stepping down in May after 31 years in the position.

Harris said in a news release that it was an honor to have been selected as CEO in 1990 after first joining the AJC staff in 1979 and praised the support he received from AJC staff members in the execution of his work.

Harris said that he will stay active as a consultant for an additional year to help transition to his replacement.

His successor will be chosen by the AJC Succession Committee, led by AJC honorary president John Shapiro, the AJC executive council and an outside international executive search agency, Heidrick & Struggles, to find a “visionary leader who will set the course for the next era of Jewish advocacy,” according to the release.

“For the past 31 years as CEO, David has built AJC into the leading global Jewish advocacy organization it is today,” wrote AJC president Harriet P. Schleifer in a letter to AJC’s leadership. “A tireless visionary and a passionate advocate for world Jewry, the State of Israel and democratic values, David’s leadership has been a gift to AJC and to the Jewish people.”