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Giovanna Gray Lockhart Named Executive Director of the Frances Perkins Center

Newcastle, Maine: The Frances Perkins Center board of directors is very pleased to announce that Giovanna Gray Lockhart will lead the Center as its next Executive Director effective July 24.

“After an extensive national search, we have identified a great leader for the Center’s next chapter,” said Sarah Peskin, Board Chair of the Frances Perkins Center. “She brings valuable experience and expertise at the intersection of culture, public policy, leadership, fundraising, and a mission-driven focus to expand the Center’s capacity and outreach in Maine and across the country. We are eager to collaborate with Giovanna as she helps shape a dynamic plan for the future.”

Lockhart steps into the role at an important transition point in the organization. Her predecessor, Michael Chaney, led the effort to purchase the Frances Perkins Homestead and the extensive preservation efforts to make this historic treasure accessible to the public. Lockhart takes the helm as the first tour season and opening celebrations of the Frances Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark are being launched. Chaney will continue stewardship of the Homestead property in a part-time capacity.

Lockhart moved to Yarmouth, Maine full time three years ago. Her national experience spans work in government from an advisor to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York to national nonprofit leadership as a member of the Board of Directors for StoryCorps. Previously, Lockhart held senior roles at venture-backed companies, as the Senior Director of Impact at The Wing and as Chief Strategy Officer at The Riveter. Immediately prior to coming to the Center, she provided strategic consulting, advising executive level clients across the country on philanthropy, advocacy, board-building, and communications. Lockhart sits on the Board of Trustees for the Waynflete School in Portland.

“I have always been a huge admirer of Frances Perkins and consider her one of the most important women in our country’s history.” said Lockhart. “I am honored to be taking the helm of the Frances Perkins Center at this particular moment to build on its many accomplishments and continue to elevate Frances Perkins to her rightful place in history. I know well the power of place to inspire and I hope to attract an ever-growing number of visitors to this Maine historical gem that shaped Perkins’ character and tell the story of a national heroine, connecting her New Deal accomplishments to the challenges our country faces today. I’m thrilled to be part of shaping this work both for immediate impact and for the benefit of generations to come. My commitment to social and economic justice issues, especially gender equity, flows through my professional experiences and my personal endeavors. I am a passionate believer in the power of women and I look forward to leveraging my experience and relationships on behalf of the Frances Perkins Center.”

Frances Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark

About Frances Perkins
Frances Perkins (1880-1965), the first woman to serve in a U.S. presidential cabinet, was Secretary of Labor (1933-1945) for the entire tenure of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency. Perkins was the driving force behind the groundbreaking New Deal programs on which Americans still rely – Social Security, unemployment insurance, the 40-hour work week, and the minimum wage. She spent summers throughout her life at her ancestral family homestead in Newcastle, Maine, now a National Historic Landmark owned by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Frances Perkins Center.

About the Frances Perkins Center
The Frances Perkins Center is dedicated to honoring and preserving the legacy of the woman behind the New Deal by continuing Frances Perkins’ work for social justice and economic security and by preserving for future generations her nationally significant family homestead in Newcastle, Maine. The Homestead opened to the public in summer 2023 after undergoing a major preservation project.

To learn more about the Frances Perkins Center, visit, call
(207) 563-3374, or email


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cropped Frances and Faith icon

April 2024 FPC E-Newsletter

To appreciate thoroughly the life and
accomplishments of Frances Perkins, a great agent
of social change who served as Secretary of Labor
throughout FDR’s tenure, requires recognizing that
faith was the foundation of who she was and all that
she did.