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updated: 3/12/2014 4:25 PM

Holocaust museum names new CEO

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  • Susan Abrams

    Susan Abrams

Submitted by the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center has appointed Susan L. Abrams as chief executive officer, it announced Wednesday.

Abrams, currently the chief operating officer of JCC Chicago, has more than 25 years of nonprofit, museum and financial management experience. She will begin her new job at the end of April.

"Susan's breadth of professional experience and passion for education make her the right person to lead the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center into its next decade of growth," said J.B. Pritzker, chairman of the museum's board of trustees.

"We looked for someone with experience leading large nonprofits, with development and financial expertise. Susan is a blend of those characteristics mixed with compassion for the survivors."

As COO of JCC Chicago, Abrams, 49, oversees all of the $34 million-organization's businesses executed at over 30 locations in the Chicago area and revitalizing its position as a community resource.

Formerly, as vice president of the Chicago Children's Museum, Abrams created the strategic business and marketing plans to guide the museum's move to Navy Pier and helped lead its capital campaign.

Previously, Abrams worked for McKinsey & Company and Goldman Sachs. She is also a published author.

"I am pleased and honored to lead the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center at this time of significant opportunity -- to help fulfill its mission to honor the legacy of the Holocaust and teach universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice and indifference," said Abrams.

"I am excited to build on the success that this world-class institution has achieved ... and to work side by side with the board, staff, supporters, volunteers and most importantly, the survivors."

Abrams has a master's degree from the Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and she serves on the board of advisers for Kellogg's Women's Business Association.

Fritzie Fritzshall, Holocaust survivor and president of the museum, added, "On behalf of my fellow survivors, we extend an enthusiastic welcome to Susan and look forward to working with her to further our legacy and ensure that 'Never Again' becomes a reality."

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