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Pieter Roos Named Executive Director

Pieter Roos

Photo: Annika Roos

The Mark Twain House & Museum today announced the appointment of Pieter Nicholson Roos as its new Executive Director.

Roos most recently served as Executive Director of the Newport Restoration Foundation in Newport, Rhode Island, a preservation and museum organization that owns and administers nearly ninety 18th- and 19th-century properties in and around Newport. Under Roos’s leadership, the Foundation transformed Rough Point, Doris Duke’s Newport home, from private house to one of the city’s premier house museums. Among other initiatives during Roos’s tenure, the NRF in 2010 led an effort to revise Newport’s Queen Anne Square with a new design by nationally renowned artist Maya Lin.

Roos has written extensively about museums, architecture, and material culture; he also lectures widely on those topics. Over the years he has served on many boards and committees in Rhode Island, including the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, New England Museum Association, The Governor’s Commission on the King Charles Charter, the Governor’s Commission on World Heritage, Discover Newport, the Watercraft Collections Committee of Mystic Seaport, the Advisory Board of the International Yacht Restoration School, the Trinity Church Landmark Preservation Fund, and the Properties Committee of the Newport Historical Society.

Roos has served in the museum field since 1984. His career began at Sleepy Hollow Restorations (now Historic Hudson Valley). After earning his M.A. in museum studies at the Cooperstown Program, he administered historic sites for the Morris County Park Commission in Morris County, New Jersey. He went to Newport in 1993 to become Director of Education for the Newport Historical Society.

Joel Freedman, President of the Board of Trustees of The Mark Twain House & Museum, noted that the museum conducted a national search that attracted dozens of applications, from which several strong candidates emerged and were interviewed by members of the Museum’s Board and staff.

Freedman said, “We are extremely pleased to welcome Pieter as our new Executive Director. He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to the position, and we are confident the organization will benefit greatly from his leadership as we continue to grow and pursue our mission in service of Mark Twain’s important legacy.”

Roos said, “I am particularly pleased to be coming to The Mark Twain House & Museum, one of the leading historic house museums in the country and a primary public steward of the legacy of Mark Twain, an icon of American culture and literature. My family has deep roots in Connecticut that go back a number of generations, and I am thrilled to be taking up residence with my family here later this summer. I am equally excited to be coming to the Hartford area with its vibrant arts and culture and engaging with the community at large."

Roos will begin work at the museum on July 5, 2017. He succeeds Amy Gallent, who has served as Interim Executive Director since December 2016.

Freedman said of Gallent, "I want to thank Amy for jumping in as Executive Director. She did an extraordinary job in a brief amount of time."

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