AUGUSTA — The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine has hired Shenna Bellows, who is also local state legislator, to be its new executive director.

Bellows, of Manchester, the Democratic state senator for District 14, will fill a position left vacant when the center’s former director, Liz Helitzer, left the job in April.

The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, located at the Michael Klahr Center at the University of Maine at Augusta, hosts permanent and rotating exhibits highlighting Holocaust history and human rights issues and conducts educational programming.

“Our mission to promote universal respect for human rights is more important than ever, and the lessons of the Holocaust provide valuable insight into how we can stand up against human rights violations,” Nancy Spiegel, president of the organization’s board of directors, said in a news release Friday. “Shenna Bellows has the experience and vision to help us build capacity and expand our reach in these important times.”

Bellows previously was executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine for eight years and most recently owned a nonprofit consulting firm providing services to nonprofit organizations including the Maine Women’s Lobby and Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition.

David Greenham, who has been the center’s program director, is moving to the position of assistant director as part of the leadership changes.

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