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Anne Frank Center USA Appoints Dr. Lauren Bairnsfather, Seasoned Museum Professional, Scholar, and Community Builder, as CEO

NEW YORKDec. 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Anne Frank Center USA, an organization dedicated to transformative education honoring the legacy of Anne Frank, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Lauren Bairnsfather as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 2024. Bairnsfather brings a proven record of leadership of museums and nonprofits and a passion for making the lessons of history accessible to learners of all ages. She will lead the organization’s work to build the informed, compassionate world Anne Frank imagined.

“Anne Frank Center USA is thrilled to welcome Dr. Bairnsfather as its next CEO,” said Jonathan Cohen, Board Chair of AFC USA. “We are impressed by her strategic thinking and vision to empower emerging adults to respond to hate. Dr. Bairnsfather has been recognized for her novel approaches to Holocaust education, and we look forward benefitting from her leadership and expertise. Moreover, her ability to build relationships across communities of perceived difference aligns with AFC USA’s commitment to honor Anne Frank’s legacy through creative, age-appropriate educational programs. We are confident that, with her emotional intelligence and conviction for our mission, Dr. Bairnsfather will guide AFC USA to even greater success.”

Bairnsfather began her career at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and most recently served as Executive Director of the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh. She holds a Doctorate in History from the University of Texas at Austin and serves on the boards of the Association of Holocaust Organizations and the Council of American Jewish Museums.

Anne Frank’s hope in the face of devastating circumstances inspires my approach to work and life every day,” Bairnsfather said. “It is an honor to lead this organization as we continue to grow the next generation of Anne-Frank inspired leaders. With rising antisemitism globally and challenges to fact-based education, the work of AFC USA is more urgent than ever. Together with AFC USA’s talented and dedicated team, I look forward to growing our impact and inspiring emerging adults to make positive change in the world.”

About Anne Frank Center USA
The Anne Frank Center USA traces its roots to the efforts of Otto Frank in the 1950s to raise funds to support the restoration of Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. He established the Anne Frank Foundation in New York as a fundraising organization dedicated to this purpose. The Anne Frank Foundation evolved into the Anne Frank Center USA, securing official 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in New York in 1977. AFC USA, which is still based in New York, functions as a decentralized organization. This makes it possible for the organization to remain nimble and responsive in a rapidly changing world. Over the past year, programs of AFC USA have reached hundreds of thousands of students in twenty-two states and the District of Columbia.

About Anne Frank
Born on June 12, 1929Anne Frank was a Jewish teenager from Frankfurt, Germany who was forced to go into hiding during the Holocaust. She and her family, along with four others, spent over two years during World War II hiding in an annex of rooms on Prinsengracht in Amsterdam, today known as the Anne Frank House. After being betrayed to the Nazis, Anne, her family, and the others living with them were arrested and deported to Nazi concentration camps. In March of 1945, seven months after she was arrested, Anne Frank died of typhus at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. She was fifteen years old.

About The Diary of a Young Girl
Since it was first published in 1947, Anne Frank’s diary has become one of the most powerful memoirs of the Holocaust. Its message of courage and hope in the face of adversity has reached millions. The diary has been translated into more than 70 languages with over 30 million copies sold. Anne Frank’s story is especially meaningful to young people today. For many she is their first, if not their only exposure to the history of the Holocaust.

Meaghan Repko / Chloe Karp
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher

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Meryl Streep for the Anne Frank Center USA on the 70th anniversary of Anne's diary
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