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Museum officials named
'Seasoned professionals' chosen to fill top positions for a proposed National Slavery Museum in Fredericksburg.

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Date published: 10/3/2002

Former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder yesterday named an executive director, an adviser and a board member for his National Slavery Museum in Fredericksburg.

Wilder, chairman of the museum's board, announced yesterday that Earl W. Yates will serve as the museum's executive director. Yates was Africa regional director and South Africa country director for the Peace Corps.

The former governor also announced the appointment of Edward M. Robinson as the museum's senior adviser for development. Robinson was a development officer for Harvard Law School and for the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.

"I'm excited to have these two seasoned professionals come on board at this time," Wilder said in a prepared statement. "Their appointments put us actively on the way to establishing this important international resource of learning and public information on slavery."

Neither Wilder, Yates nor Robinson could be reached for comment yesterday. But Yates said in a prepared statement included in the news release that "it is a personal and professional honor to be involved in this historic venture that the founders have conceived."

It is unclear whether Yates and Robinson will be salaried full-time museum employees.

Wilder also announced yesterday that Howard University President H. Patrick Swygert has been added to the museum's board of directors. Wilder, who received his law degree from Howard, and Hampton University President William Harvey are the board's other members.

The museum is planned for 38 acres near Interstate 95 and the Rappahannock River in the Celebrate Virginia tourism development.

The museum recently began leasing an office in Uptown Central Park's Executive Office Suites in Fredericksburg, but it is unclear whether Yates or someone else will staff the office. No one was at the office yesterday afternoon, but a handwritten note on the door read "National Slavery Museum."