Gina Gagliano, founder and former publishing director of Random House Graphic, has been named executive director of the Boston Book Festival. Gagliano will be responsible for the festival’s year-round programming as well as strategic planning for its annual festival, starting with this year's forthcoming event

Boston Book Festival founder and chair of the board Deborah Z. Porter said that the festival is “excited to welcome Gina Gagliano to help lead the Boston Book Festival during this pivotal moment. Her expertise as a literary pioneer bringing an innovative format to new audiences, and her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion make her an excellent leader to help us further our mission, expand our community, and build meaningful partnerships.”

Gagliano, who helped found Random House Graphic, the graphic novel imprint at Random House Children’s Books, in 2018, and served as its first publishing director, left the imprint last November. Before joining Random House, Gagliano worked in marketing at First Second Books, Macmillan’s graphic novel imprint, where she was one of the imprint's original employees following its launch in 2006.

In addition to her background in book publishing, Gagliano has long been a significant force behind the growth of graphic novels in the book trade. She has worked for many years to design and support comics programming for children, teens, and adults for literary festivals and reading events around the country, including serving on the graphic novel committee for the Brooklyn Book Festival.

Gagliano said she is “excited” to take the helm at the Boston Book Festival. She continued: “Book festivals are one of the most powerful forces in a community that get people excited about reading. They have the potential to connect and bring together all the parts of a city’s literary landscape—authors, artists, teachers, librarians, publishers, bookstores, comic book stores—to share the love of books and reading directly with readers.”