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National Women's Hall of Fame names its first executive director

Jennifer Gabriel holds a sign saying, "National Women's Hall of Fame"
National Women's Hall of Fame
Jennifer Gabriel has been named the first executive director of the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls.

The National Women’s Hall of Fame has a new executive director. The Seneca Falls-based museum has named Jennifer Gabriel to the newly created position.

Gabriel grew up in Ithaca and most recently headed up development and community relations for Hospicare & Palliative Care Services, based in Tompkins and Cortland counties.

Gabriel said one of her goals is to get more people, both locally and nationally, to learn about the Finger Lakes connection to women’s rights "and make sure that across the nation, from coast to coast, people associate Seneca Falls with the National Women's Hall of Fame in the same way that they associate Cooperstown with the Baseball Hall of Fame.”

The Women’s Hall of Fame has taken steps in recent months to diversify the list of women it inducts into the museum. That’s a focus Gabriel sees as an important ongoing initiative for the museum.

“So many of them showcase examples of how their accomplishments were stolen or diminished or forgotten. And we know that's still happening today, especially to communities of color. And so we want to continue telling those stories, and you know, to make sure that we are telling all of the stories,” Gabriel said.

Gabriel said her immediate tasks include prepare for this fall’s induction ceremonies,as well as the ongoing expansion work for the Hall’s new home at the former Seneca Knitting Mill. Former First Lady Michelle Obama is among the nine women being inducted Oct. 2.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's Director of News and Public Affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.