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Ithaca’s Sciencenter names new executive director

By Eric Reinhardt


Sciencenter in Ithaca has selected Michelle Kortenaar as the organization’s new executive director, replacing replacing Dean Briere in that role. (Photo provided by Sciencenter)

ITHACA, N.Y. — The board of trustees of Ithaca’s Sciencenter has selected Michelle Kortenaar as the nonprofit’s new executive director.

She’s replacing Dean Briere, who “has decided not to renew his contract” to serve in the same role, the Sciencenter said in a news release. Briere’s decision followed “several months of careful deliberation,” the organization noted.

Kortenaar started her work as executive director this past Friday, though Briere has agreed to serve in a consulting capacity to help with the transition for the Sciencenter’s new leadership.

“I am honored to have served the Sciencenter and the Ithaca community for the past three years,” said Briere. “And I am thrilled that the board of trustees has chosen Michelle to succeed me. Her background and experience in education, exhibits, guest services, and development uniquely qualify her to lead the Sciencenter forward as it cultivates a broad community of curious, confident, critical thinkers.”

Kortenaar has worked at the Sciencenter since 2010, serving as director of education; senior director of engagement and learning, and most recently as VP of strategic development.

“I am humbled and excited to be assuming leadership of the talented team at the Sciencenter,” Kortenaar added in the release. “Together we will engage our community by making science accessible to all. I am grateful to Dean for his generosity and look forward to guiding the Sciencenter in new directions while continuing to build on the strategic goals developed under his able leadership.”

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