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In the news: Noelle Trent

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In the news: Noelle Trent
Noelle Trent COURTESY PHOTO

The Museum of African American History (MAAH) on Beacon Hill and Nantucket has hired a seasoned museum professional and Boston native as its next president and CEO.

Noelle Trent comes to MAAH from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, where she served as the director of interpretation, collections and education. During her seven-year tenure at one of the country’s premier heritage and cultural institutions, she developed and implemented strategies for major exhibitions, collection acquisitions, education programming, community outreach and interpretation.

“I am honored and excited to join the Museum of African American History. Together, with an experienced senior staff and an engaged and supportive board, I am confident that we will expand MAAH’s reach, influence and impact throughout the region and across the country,” she said.

Prior to joining the Memphis museum, Trent served as a contractor in several roles at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Between 2009 and 2016, she worked there as a curatorial assistant, researcher, docent curriculum developer and docent instructor. Earlier in her career, she spent eight years as an interpretive park ranger in Washington at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, part of the National Park Service.

Trent, born in Boston, spent her early childhood years in Newton Centre before moving with her family to West Chester, Pennsylvania, and later Washington. She is a graduate of Howard University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in history, a master’s in public history and a Ph.D. in American history, specializing in the life and work of noted abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

Sylvia Stevens-Edouard, chair of MAAH’s board of directors, said of Trent: “The entire board is confident that her expertise, deep relationships in the national museum community, and stellar reputation will help propel MAAH well into the future and position our exhibits and historic spaces as ‘must see’ sites in Boston and Nantucket.”

Trent will begin her tenure at MAAH June 12, but will take part in the June 5 opening of “The Emancipation Proclamation: A Pragmatic Compromise,” an exhibit that will kickoff the museum’s programming for the Juneteenth holiday.