I have served as the Executive Director of the Dutchess County Historical Society since 2017. In that role, my goal has been to maintain the organization’s sterling reputation for historical thoroughness, accuracy, and pursuit of historical truth, while finding creative ways to share our history in a 21st century with its many demands and distractions.

I grew up in the Elm Street Historic District of Northampton, Massachusetts, where I joined the local historical society at age 13. I earned a B.A. from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT with a double major in American Studies and English, a model of both understanding the facts of our historical past, and the need for creative narratives to capture attention, that continues to serve me well. My senior year focus was on the Hudson Valley in the 19th century.

For nearly three decades I worked in global corporate advertising at the firm Ogilvy & Mather, working in its New York City, London, Singapore and Los Angeles offices, largely with technology companies like IBM and Cisco.

A brief sojourn into non-profit work at The Hastings Center, the extraordinary and founding bioethics institute in Garrison, New York, was a chance to work with academics who, among other things, examined the moral and ethical issues related to advancing technologies, like those I had spent many years creating advertising for.

In February of 2017 I fully dedicated myself to my first love, local history. I can not think of a better county than Dutchess County to have as a primary field of study.

Bill Jeffway