Elizabeth Stack, Ph.D., Appointed Executive Director of the Irish American Heritage Museum

Elizabeth Stack, Ph.D., Appointed Executive Director of the Irish American Heritage Museum


Press release from the Irish American Heritage Museum | 370 Broadway | 518.427.1916

ALBANY, NY - The Board of Trustees of the Irish American Heritage Museum announces the appointment of Elizabeth Stack, Ph.D., as Museum Executive Director.

In her new position, Dr. Stack is responsible for all aspects of the Museum's operations, located at 370 Broadway in New York State's Capital City, Albany. Almost one-quarter of the Capital Region's population claims Irish heritage, making it the area's largest ethnic heritage group and one of the most concentrated Irish-metropolitan areas in the country. The Museum hosts many historical exhibits, as well as presenting lectures, music evenings, genealogy sessions and cultural, educational, stage and film events.

Elizabeth joins the museum from Fordham University, where she taught Irish and Irish-American History and was an Associate Director of the Institute of Irish Studies. She completed her Ph.D. at Fordham, writing about Irish and German immigrants in New York at the turn of the twentieth century, as they grappled with the immigration restriction movements of that time. She has a master's degree in Anglo-Irish Relations in the 20th Century from University College Dublin in Ireland and was a high school teacher in Ireland before moving to New York in 2009. 

A native of Listowel, in Co. Kerry, Elizabeth sees a huge connection between her own experience as an immigrant and the important mission of the museum to preserve and share Irish heritage and culture. "I have learned that because emigration is part of the Irish story, and immigration part of the American, there is a reciprocity that exists between both countries that exceeds familial ties or time of arrival. I am very excited to be a part of an organization that collects and celebrates our common culture." The museum strives to build on that relationship, by encouraging members to share the stories of their ancestors and by helping preserve the culture to pass it on to their own descendants.

"We are delighted to have Elizabeth join us as the new Director of the Irish American Heritage Museum," said Mike Reilly, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Museum. "Her understanding of the mission of our museum, and her own expertise in immigration history, bring a distinctive perspective that will enable the museum to flourish and chart a new course in public programming."  

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The Irish American Heritage Museum is a permanently chartered 501(c)3 non-profit with an educational mission: To preserve and tell the story of the contributions of the Irish people and their culture in America, inspiring individuals to examine the importance of their own heritage as part of the American cultural mosaic. As such, the Museum is unique in America, where almost 36 million individuals claim Irish ancestry.It is committed to the basic tenet that preserving one’s heritage is vital to providing a cultural and historical foundation to future generations of Americans. Our museum in Albany, New York, provides year-round access, especially by school groups, to our exhibits, our Paul O’Dwyer Library, lectures, presentations, film screenings, book signings and other special programs. The Museum was an integral force in requiring instruction in New York State’s public schools about the Irish Famine of 1845-1853. Further, we are the first Museum of its kind here in America to have exhibited at the National Library in Dublin.