Historical Society loses Dennis Fiori to Boston group

November 09, 2005|By MARY MCCAULEY | MARY MCCAULEY,SUN REPORTER

The longtime director of the Maryland Historical Society confirmed yesterday that he has accepted a new job in Boston.

Dennis Fiori will leave the Historical Society, which he has guided for nearly 12 years, at the end of next month. In January, he will start his new post as head of the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston.

Fiori's wife, Peggy Burke, will remain director of the Maryland Humanities Council. The couple plan to have a commuting relationship until their teenage daughters finish high school in Baltimore.

"It's hard to leave because we really love it here, but this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up," Fiori said.

An interim director will be appointed while a committee conducts a nationwide search for Fiori's successor. Jay Griswold, former board chairman of the Historical Society, will head the search committee.

During Fiori's tenure, the society embarked upon a successful $30 million capital campaign and expanded its reach. The Historical Society merged with the former City Life Museums, took over the Civil War Museum and opened a new Maritime Museum.

Fiori's new venture will be very different. The Massachusetts Historical Society is a respected research institution with, among other things, the letters of former President John Adams and the architectural drawings of former President Thomas Jefferson. But it is not a museum that mounts exhibitions and that has a large public profile.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge," Fiori said.

mary.mccauley@baltsun.com

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