Ellen Dyer has been appointed to be the new executive director of the General Henry Knox Museum in Thomaston.

“The museum is thrilled that Ellen has accepted this challenge at a time when many museums are struggling,” said Sandra Freeman Orluk, co-chairman of The General Henry Knox Museum Board of Trustees, in a news release. “We have every confidence in her abilities to lead the museum because of her proven track record and professionalism.”

The museum, often referred to as Montpelier, is dedicated to celebrating the life and times of Gen. Henry Knox, Washington’s chief of artillery during the American Revolution and the country’s first secretary of war. Knox retired to the Midcoast in 1795 to promote the settlement and economic development of the District of Maine.

Dyer first became associated with The General Henry Knox Museum in 2003 when she was engaged as a contractor to research the museum’s collections and to create an electronic database and a published catalog of the collections. Since 2004 she has been a full-time employee for the museum, taking on responsibility for the preservation of the mansion and its collections as well as its educational programming, including projects such as speaking at a symposium at George Washington’s Mount Vernon and at the Sulgrave Club in Washington, D.C. She also collaborated with several Thomaston organizations to create a heritage Web site for the town of Thomaston on the Maine Memory Network.

In 2006 she was made director of the museum’s Center for the Study of Early American History, which runs the museum’s Summer Teacher Institute, a program that received a competitive federal grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services. She is also overseeing the development of a Knox-appropriate landscaping plan for the museum grounds, including an abutting property with a Federal period house, which the museum acquired in June 2009. As well, she is implementing the recommendations resulting from the museum’s recently completed Public Dimension Assessment facilitated by the American Association of Museums.

“I am very excited to be stepping into this role at the Knox Museum,” Dyer said. “The museum has undergone a lot of positive change since the state of Maine transferred the title to the property to a private board in 1999, and with the team of board members, volunteers and staff that is currently in place, I see a lot more positive change to come.”

Dyer is originally from Sidney, Maine, and earned a bachelor of arts in history from Bowdoin College and a master of arts in history and a master of science in library science from Simmons College. In addition to her professional activity at the Knox Museum, she also serves on the Maine Historical Records Advisory Board. She resides in Warren.