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Jessica MacFarlane Appointed Executive Director of NMHS

The Board of Trustees of the National Maritime Historical Society is pleased to announce the appointment of Jessica MacFarlane as the organization’s new Executive Director, effective 1 September 2022.

Ms. MacFarlane has been a member of the NMHS leadership team for eight years, serving as the organization’s Vice President and Director of Development and reporting to President and Executive Director Burchenal Green, who is stepping down on 31 August.

In her previous role, Ms. MacFarlane advanced marketing, public relations, and online communications, worked to increase philanthropic support and membership, and managed key events for the organization. Prior to her time at NMHS, she worked for fourteen years in the real estate development industry with roles in finance, communications, operations, and human resources. She holds a B.A. in political science with a concentration in ethics and public policy, and an M.S. in communications from Clark University.

“On behalf of the Trustees and the entire organization, we are energized and encouraged with the leadership Jessica MacFarlane is bringing to her new role at the Society,” said NMHS Chairman Jim Noone. “For the last eight years, Jessica has been committed to raising support for the Society, championing the stories of our maritime past and present, and bringing these important lessons to young people. Her expertise in communications, fundraising, operations and strategic planning makes her ideally situated to lead the Society.”

As Executive Director, Ms. MacFarlane will collaborate closely with Trustees to lead strategic planning for the organization, advancing its goals of expanding a diverse membership, increasing revenue through operations and philanthropic support, and accelerating the Society’s digital and social media presence.

“I am honored and privileged to lead the organization and build on Burchie’s remarkable work on behalf of the maritime heritage community,” said Ms. MacFarlane. “Her leadership has had a tremendous impact on the growth and evolution of the Society, and as we embark on our 60th year, I am excited to further the broad panorama of our global maritime heritage as the new Executive Director of NMHS.”

NMHS has thrived under the leadership of Ms. Green, who will continue to work with the Society on special maritime outreach programs. Her main focus in the near term will be Sail250, a series of events involving naval and sail training vessels in five US port cities to commemorate the nation’s 250th birthday in 2026, and the Center for American Marine Art, a national project to document and digitize marine art for virtual and traveling exhibitions.

“I have had the distinct honor of leading the Society for more than a quarter of a century, and I’m grateful to be able to help lay the groundwork for NMHS’s next leader,” said Ms. Green. “I thank our Trustees for their efforts on the Search Committee and commend them for conducting a vigorous national search. I’m confident that Jessica will thrive in her new role and that you will join me in welcoming her.”