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Loudoun Museum Names New Director

There’s a new leader at Loudoun Museum.

The museum’s board of trustees announced Tuesday that Joseph Rizzo has been named the museum’s new executive director. He comes to Loudoun by way of Charleston, SC, where he served as curator of interpretation and museum programs at Drayton Hall.

Rizzo has more than 10 years of museum experience and has held positions in both community museums and at historical sites in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. He is also an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston. Prior to his work at Drayton Hall, he was a historian with the Manassas National Battlefield Park.

Rizzo holds a doctorate in history from West Virginia University; a master’s degree in American history, also from West Virginia University; and an undergraduate degree in history from State University of New York Buffalo. He has authored numerous publications and reviews and was a 2018 recipient of the Whitelaw Founders Award.

“I am honored and excited to lead the Loudoun Museum in our mission to discover, conserve, interpret and disseminate knowledge of Loudoun’s culture and history,” Rizzo said. “I am looking forward to working with the trustees and the Town of Leesburg and county staff as well as with our partners and the community as we transform the museum and advance our mission.”

It’s been a tough year for the museum, which saw its executive director terminated in early summer and its remaining staff resign. The museum has been closed since June. The museum’s board of trustees has vowed both to the Leesburg Town Council and Loudoun County Board of Supervisors—its landlord and major funding source, respectively—to develop a sustainable plan for the museum’s operations.

“Dr. Rizzo has not only the credentials and experience to lead the Loudoun Museum but the passion and vision to transform the museum into an institution the community can be proud of,” Michael O’Connor, president of the museum’s board of trustees, stated. “Joe brings us the kind of expertise the Board of Trustees deemed crucial for the Museum’s long-term success.”

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