(Left) Katie Caljean has been named to replace Mark Letzer (right) as president and CEO of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. Photos courtesy of Maryland Center for History and Culture.

The Maryland Center for History and Culture, formerly the Maryland Historical Society, has a new leader.

Katie Caljean has been named to replace Mark Letzer as president and CEO of the MCHC. Caljean has been with the center for the past decade, mostly recently as senior vice president of education and strategic engagement. The center’s board of trustees approved the change in leadership on Thursday.

“As I step down, I am confident in the decision to appoint Katie as my successor,” Letzer said in a statement. “We have achieved so much together over many years and she is the right person to take MCHC forward.”

The history center occupies much of the city block bounded by Monument, Howard and Centre streets and Park Avenue, in the Mount Vernon historic district. Letzer becomes executive chairman of the organization after spending seven years as president and CEO and being affiliated with the organization for 28 years.

He has overseen a period of reimagining of the museum and its role in the community, its rebranding in 2020, and more recently its latest exhibition, “Passion and Purpose: Voices of Maryland’s Civil Rights Activists.” In his new capacity, Mark will assist Caljean in the transition by focusing on advancement, special collections, and projects until June 2023.

Caljean has led some of the center’s most successful initiatives, including the development of the new virtual learning studios, and has served in many capacities, from organizing fundraising events to strategic planning.

With education as her focus, she has overseen multiple departments, including K-12 education, university-level programs, youth and family programs, adult tours, virtual public programs, community outreach, strategic partnerships, and academic publications.

“I am honored to assume the helm of this wonderful organization and collaborate with the next generation of arts leaders,” Caljean told the staff. “Leveraging our world class collections, digital resources and physical spaces, our talented team will strive to make Maryland history and culture accessible and welcoming to all.”

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Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.