Maryland Humanities Director of Programs Named to Maryland 250 Commission and Leadership Maryland Program

June 18, 2024

a Black woman with her hair back. She wears a black, dressy top and earrings.(Baltimore, MD) – Governor Wes Moore has appointed Alexandra Cenatus, Director of Programs at Maryland Humanities, to the Maryland 250 Commission, created by Executive Order 01.01.2023.10 to “develop a commemoration of Maryland’s many contributions to America’s 250 years,” reads the Order. Cenatus has also been selected as a member of Leadership Maryland’s inaugural class of the Emerging Leader Program. The nonprofit says the program is “designed to help each applicant increase their self-awareness and gain behaviors, skills, and tools to become more adaptive, inclusive, strategic, and impactful leaders” in a press release.

If you don’t understand your history, you will never understand your power. The 250th anniversary of America’s founding calls on us to reflect on all parts of our history – the good and the bad – and recognize the inner power we all possess” said Governor Moore. ” Maryland is home to the origins of American democracy. By learning our history, Marylanders will be better prepared to strengthen American democracy.” Former Governor Parris N. Glendening and Judge Catherine Curran (Katie) O’Malley serve as the Commission’s Chair and Vice Chair.

The opportunity to apply my complex professional skills towards commemorating Maryland’s rich, intricate story through the 250 Commission’s crucial efforts is immensely rewarding,” says Cenatus. “As a Marylander and an advocate for nuanced history, I am continually inspired by the enduring statewide impact this service will have. The Commission’s programming will shape how we memorialize the integral contributions of marginalized groups to the state’s past, present and future. Our inclusive events can spotlight diverse narratives.“

Leadership Maryland CEO David Fike says: “We are excited to announce the very first Emerging Leader class and welcome these motivated and forward-thinking individuals to our new program. This year’s class selection process was highly competitive, and after careful review of the applications, I am thrilled to share that the 40 members of the Class of 2024 represent a dynamic cross-section of ambitious and promising rising leaders,” he adds. “The knowledge, experience, and connections they will gain in our program will prepare them to become more adaptive and impactful leaders in their careers and communities.” 

Cenatus (she/her/ella/elle/li) is an interdisciplinary scholar focusing on the interaction between gender, race, religion, and class. She works on creating equitable spaces for communities and expanding capacity through collaboration. As the Director of Programs at Maryland Humanities since 2022, Cenatus is responsible for producing, executing, and managing an innovative and engaging menu of public humanities programs that advance the mission of Maryland Humanities and the goals of its Strategic Plan. 

Cenatus published an online exhibit entitled The Haitian American Dream Timeline with her collaborators (Margarita Vargas-Betancourt and Ivanna Moreno) in 2021.  The project highlights the history of Haitian migration in the U.S. In 2019, Cenatus served as Assistant Director of the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere where she connected students, faculty, and community members to the humanities for three years. She received a UF-Duke National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to explore the social role of priestesses in Haitian Vodou in 2015. Her master’s thesis builds on this research and analyzes the ways in which Haiti’s social changes affect the economic livelihood of Haitian Vodou priestesses.

About Leadership Maryland
Leadership Maryland is a statewide nonprofit offering professional development programs dedicated to building a better Maryland by harnessing the strength of its business and community leaders. Established in 1992, Leadership Maryland’s Executive Program selects as many as 52 diverse and accomplished senior-level leaders from Maryland’s public and private sectors each year to come together as a class for an eight-month learning program focused on the state’s most vital social, economic and environmental issues. And new in 2024, Leadership Maryland’s Emerging Leader Program brings together a class of the state’s rising stars and gives them the skills and tools they need to advance in their careers. With an alumni network comprised of leaders from all industries and regions of the state, Leadership Maryland has established thousands of Marylanders on their career leadership path, equipped with the knowledge, skills, and connections needed to influence positive change. To learn more, please visit  

Press Release