J. Lance Mallamo to Retire as Director of Office of Historic Alexandria; Gretchen M. Bulova Appointed Acting Director

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J. Lance Mallamo to Retire as Director of Office of Historic Alexandria; Gretchen M. Bulova Appointed Acting Director

For Immediate Release: November 21, 2017

Lance Mallamo and Gretchen Bulova photoCity Manager Mark B. Jinks has announced that J. Lance Mallamo, director of the Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA), will retire effective November 30.  Deputy Director Gretchen M. Bulova will serve as acting director.

“Lance has made immeasurable contributions to the preservation and interpretation of our city’s rich history,” said Jinks. “We are grateful to him for his stewardship of Alexandria’s unique museums and historic sites and wish him all the best in retirement.  We will miss his enthusiasm, entrepreneurial spirit, and love of Alexandria’s history.”

Mallamo joined the City of Alexandria in 2007.  OHA’s accomplishments during Mallamo’s tenure include development of the Contraband and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial; expansion of historic information on the City’s website and through media partners; support of the City’s wayfinding initiatives; a substantial increase in admission revenue, grants, and private donations to support the department’s budget; and the 2017 acquisition of one of Northern Virginia’s most significant 18th century homes, the Murray-Dick-Fawcett House, at no cost to the City.  In 2012, OHA became only the third municipal museum system in Virginia and the eighth in the United States to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

Prior to joining the City, Mallamo served for more than 30 years in New York as executive director of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, official historian of Suffolk County, and director of historic services for Suffolk County.

Bulova was appointed OHA’s first deputy director in 2015, following more than 20 years of service with the City.  She joined Alexandria in 1991 as a part-time collections manager for the Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, left for two years to work as a curator for the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum in Washington, D.C., and returned in 1995 to become the City’s records administrator and archivist.  Bulova became assistant director of Gadsby’s Tavern in 1995, served as that museum’s director from 1996 to 2015, and also became director of the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum when the site was donated to the City in 2006.  Her contributions to OHA also include coordination of the museum system’s national accreditation.

“Gretchen is a nationally recognized expert in Alexandria’s history,” said Jinks.  “She has spent her career researching, interpreting, and sharing knowledge about Alexandria’s first 268 years and prior, and she will be an asset to OHA as acting director.”

Bulova holds a master’s degree in museum studies from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and classical studies from The College of William and Mary.  She is the president-elect and a current vice president of the Virginia Association of Museums; president of the Historic House Museum Consortium of Washington, D.C.; and a former chair of the Fairfax County History Commission.  Bulova is a longtime peer reviewer for the AAM’s accreditation programs, and is the author or curator of more than 50 publications, exhibitions, and lectures.

The Office of Historic Alexandria operates the Alexandria Black History Museum, Alexandria Archaeology Museum, Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site, Friendship Firehouse Museum, Gadsby's Tavern Museum, The Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum, and the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum.

For media inquiries, contact Craig T. Fifer, Director of Communications and Public Information, at craig.fifer@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3965.

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/100813.