March 26, 2019
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Frances Perkins Center names new executive director

Julia Bayly | Bangor Daily News
Julia Bayly | Bangor Daily News
Laura Fortman

NEWCASTLE, Maine — The Frances Perkins Center announced Wednesday that Laura A. Fortman is its new executive director.

Fortman, who has served as labor commissioner for the last seven years, will assume her new duties immediately.

The Frances Perkins Center is dedicated to celebrating and advancing the goals and principles of Maine resident Frances Perkins, who spearheaded the nation’s response to the Great Depression. She was a champion of fire-safety regulations, improved infant and maternal care and workplace standards. She was also the primary architect of Social Security and served as U.S. secretary of labor from 1933 to 1945.

Before her service in state government, Fortman was executive director of the Maine Women’s Lobby and Maine Women’s Policy Center, where she was an advocate for Maine’s women and girls. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire and Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government senior executives program, Fortman also holds a master’s degree in leadership from Northeastern University.

The Frances Perkins Center was founded in 2008. The center is dedicated to perpetuating for future generations Frances Perkins’ legacy of promoting social justice and economic security through education, scholarly research and fostering meaningful policy dialogue.

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