Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Board of Trustees Names New Executive Director

Hartford, CT – The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Board of Trustees has named Briann G. Greenfield, Ph.D. as the Stowe Center’s new Executive Director. Greenfield will begin her new position on June 18, following Katherine D. Kane who will retire May 11.

Greenfield joins the Stowe Center from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities where she has served as Executive Director since 2014. During her tenure she led development and implementation of a transformational strategic plan charting a new programmatic direction, instituted program evaluation, dramatically improved financial stability and operating efficiency, and built strong relationships with government, education and cultural leaders.

Prior to the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, Greenfield was Professor of History and founding director of the Masters in Public History Program at Central Connecticut State University, a position she held for 13 years training emerging museum professionals for 21stcentury practices.

Greenfield has broad nonprofit, academic and social issues experience. Her career has focused around building strong cultural organizations that advance the public good. She holds a Ph.D. in American Civilization and an M.A. in American Civilization/Museum Studies from Brown University and a B.A. in History from University of New Hampshire. She completed a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship at Winterthur Museum and has published both scholarly and popular history works. Greenfield is the recipient of a 2010 Board of Trustees Research Award from Central Connecticut State University.

“Dr. Greenfield’s strong experience as a leader, scholar, and teacher is enhanced by proven skills in innovative programming, community relationship building, and strategic planning,” said Thomas Farrish, Chair, Stowe Center Board of Trustees. “We look forward to her advancing the Center’s mission, as it continues to connect Stowe’s life and work to today’s world, and inspiring the public to work for positive social change.”

“I am excited and delighted to join such a vibrant and innovative organization,” said Greenfield. “No other organization of its kind uses history and literature so effectively to illuminate contemporary conditions and strengthen our pluralistic society.”

Greenfield was identified through a nationwide search and selected by the Stowe Center’s Board of Trustees with a search committee that included trustees, former trustees and  community members. The Stowe Center is grateful to the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for providing an Executive Transition Grant supporting the process.

Both Briann Greenfield and Thomas Farrish are available for interviews.

Katherine Kane has served as Stowe Center Executive Director from 1998-2018. Under her leadership, the Stowe Center transformed from a private foundation to a publicly-oriented museum with a diverse audience, a myriad of programs, and expanded regional and national partnerships. Kane said, “I am just delighted that a leader of Briann’s caliber will take the seat at the Stowe Center, and look forward to seeing what comes next for this important organization under her leadership.”

A program center and tourist attraction, the Stowe Center attracts people from all 50 states and 20 countries to take inspiration from Harriet Beecher Stowe whose words changed the world with her 1852 anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In addition to those who visit, the Stowe Center annually engages online with more than 300,000 people from countries around the globe including Pakistan, Argentina, India and the United Kingdom.

The Stowe Center’s innovative programs include award winning Salons at Stowe,bringing the public into the parlor for conversations on contemporary issues; the Harriet Beecher Stowe Prize for Writing to Advance Social Justice – with the 2018 Prize being presented September 5 to Matthew Desmond for Evicted;and the Student Stowe Prize. The Stowe House interior preservation — the first major renovation since the National Historic Landmark opened in 1968 –with an inventive new tour experience opened in 2017.