20210716-LOC-McBride

Peter McBride, then the new director of the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College — which is shown on his screensaver — shows his remote work setup at his home outside of Ballynahinch, County Down, Northern Ireland, last summer. McBride later moved to the United States but resigned his position to return to Northern Ireland, according to a Keene State spokeswoman.

Keene State’s Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies will look for another leader after its previous director resigned at the end of May, according to a college spokeswoman.

Peter McBride, a post-conflict mental health specialist, took over the role last July, though temporary visa restrictions kept him from traveling to the U.S. from his native Northern Ireland until later last year.

“In his time at Keene State, Peter has effectively represented [the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies] and built meaningful relationships with CCHGS and KSC stakeholders including donors, community leaders, faculty, cross campus collaborators and international leaders,” college spokeswoman Kelly Ricaurte said in a written statement.

McBride resigned his position to return to Northern Ireland, Ricaurte added. He could not be reached for comment this week.

Ricaurte said a nationwide search for a new director will begin in the fall. For the upcoming school year, though, a familiar face will lead the Cohen Center. Celia Rabinowitz, who is also the dean of Keene State’s Mason Library, is the center’s interim director. Rabinowitz and Paul Vincent, a professor emeritus who taught history and Holocaust studies, served as interim directors of the Cohen Center for the 2019-20 school year, following the retirement of longtime director Hank Knight, and before McBride’s hiring.

In an email, Rabinowitz said she’s honored to return as the center’s interim director. “I am especially looking forward to hosting Center events that will welcome residents of Keene and the region back to the campus and the Center,” she said.

Specifically, Rabinowitz said, she’s eager for the center to host its annual Holocaust Memorial Lecture on Sept. 14 — featuring Bjorn Krondorfer, director of the Martin-Springer Institute at Northern Arizona University — and the annual Kristallnacht Commemoration on Nov. 9. Further details for both of those events are forthcoming.

Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or jrooney@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.