For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

Heather Ohlson

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

CCE Dutchess County

2715 Rt. 44, Millbrook, NY 12545

(845) 677-8223 ext.156

Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County Welcomes New Leadership

(Millbrook, NY) – Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County (CCEDC), connecting communities with Cornell research and expertise to enrich and empower New York State neighbors, local businesses, towns, and cities, is delighted to announce the joining of Mary Lou Carolan as the new executive director. Ms. Carolan has been previously working as Director of the Newburgh Free Library for the past five years; growing outreach and services, including opening the Local History Resource Center and Tech Hub workspaces as places to reconnect people afterthe Covid epidemic. The Newburgh Free Library is overseen by the Newburgh Enlarged City School District.

With a primary focus of bringing library services into the community, she has made certain that the library had a seat at decision making tables, ensuring that the library was seen and experienced as a critical part of the city’s infrastructure and community service plan. Carolan has been recognized for her numerous accomplishments but receiving the “Champion of the Arts” award for the Newburgh Free Library’s work bringing the award-winning sculpture of Harriet Tubman to the city during the pandemic was a highlight of her career.

“The community should be at the heart of all that we do,” said Carolan. “Our work, whether it is in libraries or through the services of Cornell Cooperative Extension, should be filling a need, impacting personal and professional growth, and positively effecting the growth and awareness of all Hudson Valley has to offer.”

Through her leadership at CCEDC Carolan’s goal is to ensure that the legacy of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s work through flagship programs like 4-H and Master Gardeners, endures, by securing sustainable funding for its landmark work in the agricultural, environmental and social well-being fields and has the funding needed to further Cornell University’s research and commitment to bringing excellence in programming to the communities it serves through programs like CCEDC. 

On behalf of the CCEDC Board of Directors, I am thrilled to welcome Mary Lou Carolan as the new Executive Director for Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County,” stated Lacie Reilly, President of the CCEDC Board of Directors. “With Mary Lou’s proven leadership, expertise, and passion for our mission, we are confident that she will lead us to new heights of success. Mary Lou brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective that will undoubtedly drive innovation and positive change in her role at CCEDC. We look forward to working closely with her as we embark on this exciting new chapter together."

Ms. Carolan has already started with the support of state officials:

"Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County is fortunate to have Mary Lou Carolan as its new Executive Director,” said Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson, representing District 104 which spans Orange and Dutchess Counties. “I have known Mary Lou for many years. She is smart, energetic, and committed to serving the greater good. During her tenure as Executive Director of the Newburgh Free Library, Mary Lou launched many innovative projects and was beloved by the community she served. All of Dutchess County will benefit from having Mary Lou lead its Cornell Cooperative Extension team."

"Congratulations to Mary Lou and CCE Dutchess County on this terrific choice to lead the organization,” said State Senator Rob Rolison of the 39th District. “Ms. Carolan is the complete professional and I am thrilled to see her continue her career in Dutchess after leading Newburgh Free Library to new vistas of success. I look forward to continuing to work with Ms. Carolan on critical issues for our region such as open-space preservation and agricultural tourism in the months to come."

Since 1913, CCEDC has responded to the needs of Dutchess County residents with unbiased, research-based information, tools and education that people have come to depend on and trust. Our programs are developed in direct response to community input and are based on the most current information available from Cornell and other Land Grant universities from across the nation.

CCEDC provides diverse programming throughout Dutchess County; administering the Mid-Hudson Clean Energy Hub, Dutchess County 4-H, TasteNY Todd Hill, Dutchess County Master Gardeners, Dutchess County Agriculture Navigator, Green Teen, No Child Left Inside (NCLI) Dutchess, in addition to diverse programming focusing on agriculture, horticulture, youth and families, environment and energy, financial literacy, and nutrition.


Ms. Carolan received an Advanced Certification of Public Library Administration from LIU Post Palmer School of Library and Information Science. She has a Master of Science in Library Science from Clarion University, Clarion, Pennsylvania and received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California.

Complete information about CCEDC services and resources can be found online: or calling 845-677-8223

# # # # #

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  LinkedIn

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities. This program is partially funded by the County of Dutchess, Dutchess County office for the Aging, and New York State Office of Children and Family Services. Please contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension office if you have any special needs.