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Smithsonian CULTURAL RESCUE INITIATIVE

Unite to Save Conference, October 7-9, 2015


Bios of Conference Staff, Presenters, and Discussants

Komal Aryal

Visiting Professor, Centre for Disaster Studies, Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Komal Raj Aryal is a visiting professor at the Centre for Disaster Studies, Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Since the immediate aftermath of the 2015 Nepal Gorkha Earthquakes, he has been working in various capacities from immediate relief to the early recovery phase including civil-military cooperation on first aid to cultural heritage, disaster risk reduction, and humanitarian acts and policy advocacy for the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS), local NGOs, and the Nepalese Government. He has also provided technical inputs to develop the Nepal Reconstruction Authority Act 2015 through the Campaign for Disaster Risk Reduction Nepal, a loose network of Nepalese Members of Parliament. Currently he is involved as a project advisor for a food security, livelihood, and early recovery joint assessment for the UNOCHA and REACH. The assessment is an opportunity for development partners of Nepal to build a common baseline for recovery and reconstruction programmes. He previously worked as a vulnerability assessment and humanitarian specialist for the National Disaster Management Agency for the government of The Gambia. Dr. Aryal was a research fellow in disaster risk management and a research associate at Northumbria University in Britain. His research at Northumbria explored local risks and the impact of these risks on local environment. This research has been used to develop local risk and resilience tools (LRRT). The aims of LRRT are linked with current and future development needs associated with local and global sustainability. He has organized more than 70 local, national and international events in Nepal, Japan, Korea, Bangladesh, India, Panama, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and Denmark.

Stacy Bowe

Stacy Bowe is currently a contractor for the Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture within the Smithsonian Institution and was one of the course assistants for the First Aid in Times of Crisis course in 2015. After completing her masters program in Managing Archaeological Sites at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, she participated in a six-month internship with the UNESCO Culture Unit in Bangkok, Thailand, where she assisted with processing submissions to the 2014 Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Primarily interested in international archaeological site conservation, Stacy has excavated and conducted conservation surveys in Washington DC, London, and even Merv, Turkmenistan. Previously, Stacy was the Department Assistant in the Department of Conservation and Scientific Research at the Smithsonian’s Freer | Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC, where she oversaw the administrative management of the office as well as assisted conservators on several technical studies. Her original bachelor’s degree in Archaeology was obtained in 2006 from Dickinson College, Pennsylvania.

Terry Cannon

Senior Research Fellow, Climate Change and Development, Institute of Development Studies

Terry Cannon was lead editor and author of the World Disasters Report 2014 Focus on Culture and Risk (Geneva: IFRC), and co-editor of Cultures and Disasters (Routledge 2015). His background is in development studies, with a focus on disaster vulnerability analysis and adaptation to climate change. He is based at the Institute of Development Studies at University of Sussex (United Kingdom). His work is mainly in south Asia (especially Bangladesh), and involves support to NGOs and Red Cross in disaster risk reduction and preparedness for climate change. In recent years he has worked with a team (co-editors and authors of the above books) to bring in cultural analysis into the understanding of disasters. He is one of the co-authors of At Risk: Natural Hazards, People’s Vulnerability and Disasters, which has become one of the most widely cited and used books in the field of disaster studies.

Kirk Cordell

Executive Director, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, National Park Service

Kirk Cordell was appointed as the executive director of the National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training in Natchitoches, LA, in 2002. He is a LEED AP in Building Design and Construction with 35 years of experience in the National Park Service’s cultural programs. Prior to coming to the National Center, he managed the Park Cultural Resources programs in the NPS Southeast Regional Office, after working in the cultural resources planning, preservation tax incentives, and SHPO review programs. He previously worked as an architectural historian for the Louisiana SHPO. Under his leadership, NCPTT has become a U.S. leader in applying science and technology to the preservation of historic structures, landscapes, archeological sites, and materials, and has received awards from multiple professional and advocacy organizations. It has also become a center of expertise for disaster planning, response, and recovery, as he and his staff have provided technical assistance, training, and hands-on assistance for cultural resources affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Sandy, as well as the Gulf Oil Spill. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Cordell was an Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia, where he received a bachelor’s degree in architectural history before completing graduate work in architectural history and preservation planning at Cornell University. He serves on the advisory boards of the Tulane University and College of Charleston preservation degree programs, and presented the biannual Morrison Memorial Lecture at the Historic New Orleans Collection in 2012.

Brian I. Daniels

Director of Research and Programs, Penn Cultural Heritage Center, University of Pennsylvania Museum

Brian I. Daniels is the director of research and programs for the Penn Cultural Heritage Center at the University of Pennsylvania Museum and a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Daniels co-directs the Safeguarding the Heritage of Syria and Iraq Project, which aims to enhance the protection of cultural heritage by supporting professionals and activists in conflict areas, and leads a National Science Foundation-supported study about the intentional destruction of cultural heritage in conflict. He has also worked with local communities on issues surrounding heritage rights and repatriation for over fifteen years. Previously, he served as the manager of the National Endowment for the Humanities regional center initiative at San Francisco State University, where he worked on strategies for community engagement and folklore documentation. Dr. Daniels received his doctoral degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Rosemary Fallon

Paper Conservator, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian

While at the National Portrait Gallery, Rosemary Fallon’s research, presentations, and publications have addressed artists’ materials and techniques, time based media art, and emergency preparedness, salvage and recovery. In February 2011, Rosemary co-taught a workshop on the preservation and conservation of works of art on paper and photographs with an emphasis on preventive conservation in a tropical climate at the Haitian Cultural Recovery Center in Port-au-Prince. She is a professional associate of the American Institute of Conservation of Artistic and Historic Works (AIC) and is co-chair of the AIC Emergency Committee.

Lori Foley

Administrator, Heritage Emergency National Task Force, FEMA/Smithsonian

Lori Foley is the administrator of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF), a partnership of 42 national service organizations and federal agencies co-sponsored by FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution. Founded in 1995 to protect cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies, the Task Force serves as a vital response and recovery resource following Presidentially declared disasters, ensuring that local, county, state, and federal partners in the cultural heritage and emergency management communities work together to obtain needed assistance. Prior to joining FEMA and being detailed to the Smithsonian, Lori was Vice President of Emergency Programs at Heritage Preservation, where her responsibilities included connecting cultural stewards with emergency managers at the local, county, state, and federal levels through such programs as Alliance for Response and the State Heritage Emergency Partnership. When Heritage Preservation was dissolved in June 2015, Lori worked at the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC), helping settle Heritage Preservation’s emergency programs into their new home. Lori has lectured widely and conducted numerous workshops on emergency preparedness and response at cultural institutions across the U.S. and internationally.

Debra J. Ford

Leadership Program Director, University of Kansas School of Nursing

Debra J. Ford is program director of leadership majors in the M.S. and D.N.P. programs at the University of Kansas (KU) School of Nursing. She has joint appointments in Communication Studies at the University of Kansas-Lawrence, and in the Department of Health Policy and Management, University of Kansas School of Medicine. Previously, she was associate dean of Student Affairs for the KU School of Nursing. In that role, she was responsible for collaborating with other associate deans and the dean on strategic planning, policy development, annual budgeting and fiscal monitoring, developing and implementing new initiatives, reviewing and revising admission requirements and evaluating quality of all missions for the School. She is a member of the executive committee for the Kansas Action Coalition, charged with implementing at the state level the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report (2010). Her research focuses upon strategies used by organizations to influence public policy, with a specific focus on health policy; interprofessional healthcare teams, leadership in nursing, group communication processes in public-private partnerships, and high reliability organizations.

Katharyn Hanson

Fellow, Penn Cultural Heritage Center, University of Pennsylvania Museum

Katharyn Hanson, Ph.D., is a fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Museum’s Cultural Heritage Center, a research associate in the Office of the Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution, and a visiting scholar at the Geospatial Technologies Project at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She works as an archaeologist specializing in the protection of cultural heritage. Katharyn received her doctorate from the University of Chicago with a dissertation entitled “Considerations of Cultural Heritage: Threats to Mesopotamian Archaeological Sites”. She has curated museum exhibits and published on damage to ancient sites in Iraq and Syria. Her research combines archaeology, remote sensing, cultural heritage, and public policy. She has been involved in various archaeological fieldwork projects for over 19 years. She also serves as the program director for the Archaeological Site Preservation Program at the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage in Erbil, Iraq.

Andrew Hare

Supervisory East Asian Painting Conservator, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian

Since 2000, Andrew Hare has supervised the East Asian Painting Conservation Studio at the Freer|Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution. He works with a team of four other Chinese and Japanese trained conservators to maintain the collections of East Asian paintings and calligraphy. In accordance with the educational mandate of the Smithsonian, he also facilitates the Hirayama Program for Japanese Painting Conservation and a five year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that funds a parallel Chinese painting conservation program. For these two initiatives, he presents lectures, runs workshops and coordinates fellowship exchanges between East Asia and the U.S. to increase awareness, promote dialogue and advance international preservation and conservation practices for East Asian scrolls, screens and albums. He has published articles that present traditional East Asian preservation techniques while incorporating contemporary conservation practice, such as Guidelines for the Care of East Asian Paintings: Display, Storage and Handling. He also contributes articles to the Online Resources section of the Freer|Sackler Conservation and Scientific Research webpage (http://www.asia.si.edu/research/dcsr/eapcs.asp). In 2013, he presented “After the Disaster: Japan's Ongoing Efforts to Conserve Cultural Properties” as part of the symposium “360: Perspectives on Urban Sustainability in Japan: Disaster, War, and Rebuilding” at Swarthmore College, focusing on the Fukushima disaster. Mr. Hare graduated from Oberlin College in 1985 with a B.A. in East Asian studies and a minor in chemistry. He received his initial training through a ten year apprenticeship in Japanese mounting and conservation at the Usami Shokakudo Conservation Studio within the Kyoto National Museum Conservation Center for Cultural Properties. Concurrently, he researched traditional East Asian crafts, including paper, textiles and dyes. He also spent several periods of study in conservation studios in China and Korea.

Stephanie Hornbeck

Director of Conservation, Caryatid Conservation Services Inc.

Stephanie Hornbeck is the director of Conservation at Caryatid Conservation Services, Inc., her private practice in object and sculpture conservation based in Miami. From 2010-2012, she served as the chief conservator for the Smithsonian Institution Haiti Cultural Recovery Project in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, directing conservation recovery efforts of cultural patrimony damaged in the January 2010 earthquake. In recognition of her service, Stephanie was awarded the Smithsonian Secretary’s Gold Medal for Exceptional Service; she is the first conservator in the award’s history to be honored. From 1998-2009, Stephanie was the conservator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art and served as the chair of the Smithsonian Forum on Material Culture from 2006-2009. She is a professional associate of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) and a past chair of the AIC Education and Training Committee. Stephanie regularly lectures on cultural disaster recovery. She also lectures and publishes on the identification and regulation of ivory and shared conservation aspects of ethnographic and contemporary art. Stephanie holds a B.A. in art history from Wellesley College and a diploma in fine art conservation (objects) and an M.A.in art history from the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, where she wrote her Qualifying Paper on Haitian art.

Carrie Hritz

Science and Technology Policy Fellow, Directorate for Geosciences, Office of the Assistant Director, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Carrie Hritz is an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow for the year 2014-2015 and received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2005, specializing in Near Eastern archaeology, landscape and settlement patterns, and the use of Geospatial tools in archaeology. Her dissertation explored the evolution of the Tigris and Euphrates river system and the impact of fluvial changes on ancient settlement systems. For this research, she relied heavily on the integration of declassified satellite photography, recent high resolution imagery and Digital Elevation Models. From 2008-2014, she was an assistant professor of anthropological archaeology in the Department of Anthropology at the Pennsylvania State University. During this period, she conducted fieldwork in Iraq (2010-2013) and Syria (1999-2010), exploring the intersection of human-environment interactions and focusing on the contribution of marsh biodiversity and shoreline fluctuations to rise and sustainability of ancient cities. From 2010 onward, Dr. Hritz began new field projects and collaborations in southern Iraq with both local SBAH representations and natural scientists at Basra University. At Penn State, she taught classes on the use of GIS and remote sensing for anthropological research and managed the departmental GIS lab.

Olsen Jean Julien

Former Minister of Culture, Haiti

Olsen Jean Julien is an engineer-architect from the State University of Haiti. He also holds a master's degree in the conservation of monuments and cultural property from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña (UNPHU, Dominican Republic) and a post-graduate certificate in the conservation of historic buildings and archaeological sites (Columbia University, United States). He worked for the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (2004). He served as Haiti’s Minister of Culture and Communications (2008-2009) and as Director of the Smithsonian-Haiti Center for the Recovery of Cultural Property (2010-2012), created as part of the Haiti Cultural Recovery Project (http://www.haiti.si.edu). He is also one of the principals of PHÉNIXIENCE, an architecture and engineering firm in Haiti. Professor at the State University of Haiti and at Quisqueya University, he has received many awards including the UNESCO Medal of the Five Continents (2009) for his commitment to the protection of Haiti's cultural heritage and the Smithsonian Institution Gold Medal (2011) for exemplary service.

Ben Jeffs

Program Director, World Monuments Institute, World Monuments Fund

Ben Jeffs is Program Director for World Monuments Institute, World Monument Fund’s center for research, education, and training. Previously, Ben was in private practice as a cultural heritage expert and archaeologist specializing in the protection and management of fragile heritage in developing countries. He holds a degree in archaeology from University College London and a master’s degree in architectural conservation, with field experience managing research, documentation, training, planning, and restoration projects in over a dozen countries representing national governments, private clients, and NGOs. Ben is a consulting scholar for the University of Pennsylvania Museum and an expert member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM).

Jessica S. Johnson

Head of Conservation, Museum Conservation Institute, Smithsonian

Jessica S. Johnson is the Head of Conservation at the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute (MCI), specializing in archaeological materials and ethnographic artifacts. Before coming to MCI in fall 2014, she worked with the University of Delaware, Institute for Global Studies, and helped to establish the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage (IICAH) in Erbil, Iraq, where she lived and worked from 2009-2014. At IICAH, she served as a program director for Collection Care and Conservation (2009-2010) and most recently as the academic director (2011-2014). Jessie was the senior object conservator at the National Museum of the American Indian from 2000-2009 and conservator for the National Park Service Museum Management Program from 1997-2000. In addition to her recent five-year stint in Iraq, Jessie has had extensive experience in archaeological field conservation working with archaeologists in Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Cyprus since 1983. She has developed curricula and taught extensively on conservation in the US and abroad. She received an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Arizona (1986) and a B.Sc. (Hons) in archaeological conservation from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London (1990) where she is currently an honorary research associate. She is currently co-editing a book on heritage conservation and development to be published by UCL Press.

Gail Joice

Museum Collections Manager, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian

Gail Joice is the museum collections manager for the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall. Gail began work for NMAI during the move of the collection to the new downtown museum building in December 2003. She was previously the head registrar and senior deputy director of the Seattle Art Museum from 1978-2003. At the Seattle Art Museum, she was responsible for supervision of collections management and disaster preparedness for the collections. She was the Seattle Art Museum’s on-site emergency director for the 2001 Seattle 6.8 magnitude earthquake. At NMAI she was in charge of response for the collections on exhibit at the museum on the National Mall during the 2011 Washington, D.C., 5.8 magnitude earthquake. A highlight accomplishment at the Smithsonian was serving as the on-site registrar for the establishment of the Haiti Cultural Recovery Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after the January 2010 earthquake. Gail has taught collections management and emergency response for museum professionals as part of the NMAI’s programs for Native Museum Professionals and as an invited instructor in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has served on AAM’s Accreditation Site Visit Committees and has been a peer reviewer for NEH and IMLS grant reviews in collections and conservation.

John V. Ketchum

Federal Preservation Officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security

John V. Ketchum serves as the federal preservation officer (FPO) for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the Department of Homeland Security. Appointed as FPO in 2001, Mr. Ketchum directs FEMA’s compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act and related laws. His responsibilities include formulation and dissemination of agency policy and guidance, certification of professional qualifications for FEMA’s historic preservation cadre, development and delivery of training for FEMA and state emergency management personnel, and coordination with Federal, state, and local partners to ensure that historic and cultural resources receive appropriate assistance in the aftermath of presidentially declared disasters. Mr. Ketchum managed FEMA’s historic preservation compliance responsibilities in Louisiana in 2005-2006, following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. More recently, he oversaw a multi-year effort by a team of FEMA Headquarters and regional representatives to develop a prototype programmatic agreement governing FEMA’s historic preservation compliance review responsibilities. In December 2013, the prototype agreement was formally designated by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

Salam al Kuntar

Visiting Fellow, University of Pennsylvania Museum

Salam al Kuntar is currently a research associate at the Institute for the study of the Ancient World of New York University, a visiting fellow at the Penn Museum and co-directs the Safeguarding the Heritage of Syria and Iraq Initiative (a project run by the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, the Smithsonian Institution and the American Association for the Advancement of Science). She has worked with the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums in a number of capacities from 1997-2012. Dr. Kuntar has excavated at numerous sites in Syria and is the co-director of the Tell Hamoukar Expedition from 2005 to present. Her publications include scholarly articles and chapter contributions on early urbanism in Mesopotamia, and on the excavations at Hamoukar, as well as analyses of current struggles in cultural heritage. She received her diploma from Damascus University, her M.A. from the University of Liverpool, and her Ph.D. in archaeology from the University of Cambridge.

Richard Kurin

Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, Office of the Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, Smithsonian

Richard Kurin is the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, responsible for most of the Institution’s national museums, cultural and educational programs. For two decades before that Kurin directed the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and was responsible for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival held every summer on the National Mall, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and other cultural programs and products that have won Grammy, Emmy, and Academy awards. He also produced major national special events, from presidential inaugurals to the opening of national museums and dedication of memorials. Kurin is liaison to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and other boards. He led a U.S. and international project to rescue Haiti’s cultural heritage following the devastating 2010 earthquake and oversees similar Smithsonian efforts to help save heritage in other nations. He served on the U.S. Commission for UNESCO and helped draft an international treaty on safeguarding the world’s living cultural heritage now ratified by more than 160 nations. He has been honored by the International Council of Museums, Harvard, the American Anthropological Association; the American Folklore Society, and the Smithsonian and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A former Fulbright-Hays fellow, Kurin earned his doctorate in cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago and taught at The Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of several books, his latest, the best-selling The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects, which is now also a Great Courses lecture series and a worldwide MOOC.

Richard M. Leventhal

Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania; Curator, American Section, Penn Museum

Richard M. Leventhal is a professor in the University of Pennsylvania Department of Anthropology and curator in the American Section of the Penn Museum. He is also the former director of the Penn Museum, president and CEO of the School of American Research in Santa Fe, director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at UCLA, and director of the Institute for Mesoamerican Studies at SUNY-Albany. He has done extensive archaeological field research in Belize, Mexico, and other parts of Central America for over thirty years, which has resulted in several monographs and books about the ancient Maya. Dr. Leventhal lectures and writes extensively on the preservation of cultural properties and cultural sites, on the need to prevent the looting of global heritage resources, and on the acquisition policies of museums.

Ky Luu

Executive Director and Clinical Associate Professor, Tulane Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy

Ky Luu founded the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy at Tulane University (DRLA) in 2009, and currently serves as the executive director. The DRLA (www.drlatulane.org) is the only academically based disaster resilience leadership development program in the world and conducts interdisciplinary graduate education and research in disaster resilience leadership. Mr. Luu has a distinguished record of more than 20 years of professional and academic experience in disaster risk management and humanitarian assistance and immediately prior to joining Tulane University, by way of presidential appointment, was the director of the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). As OFDA Director, Ky led the U.S. Government’s international disaster program and worked closely with the Department of State, Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Human Services. In his final year as the director of OFDA, he oversaw a budget of approximately $800 million and planned and executed 81 disaster response and recovery programs benefiting more than 193 million people in 57 countries. In addition to his academic and public sector experiences, Ky has served in leadership positions with non-governmental organizations within the disaster and humanitarian fields that include serving as the vice president of the International Medical Corps. Ky was also a corporate associate with White & Case LLP in New York and specialized in mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Luu holds a J.D. from George Washington University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Deidre McCarthy

Chief, Cultural Resources GIS Facility, National Park Service

Deidre McCarthy holds a B.A. from Mary Washington College in historic preservation and an M.A. from the University of Delaware in urban affairs and public policy, with a specialization in historic preservation. She is chief of the Cultural Resources GIS Facility (CRGIS) of the National Park Service (NPS), in Washington, D.C., the only office within the NPS dedicated to applying GIS to cultural resource management and planning. There, she focuses primarily on helping State/Tribal Historic Preservation Offices and National Park units to integrate both GIS and GPS into their traditional preservation activities. At CRGIS for the past 19 years, she has helped preservationists identify applications for these technologies in daily activities through a variety of projects across the country and within National Park units, as well as providing GIS/GPS training and other guidance. As part of these efforts, she led a team to create NPS cultural resource spatial data transfer standards to help facilitate data exchange, enhancing cultural resource management and serving as a foundation for an NPS cultural resource enterprise data set. These standards and this data set will allow the NPS to respond to natural and man-made disasters more quickly and efficiently. Currently, she is working to develop similar federal standards for cultural resource spatial data.

Diana Baird N’Diaye

Cultural Specialist/Curator, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian

Diana Baird N’Diaye is a cultural specialist and a core member of the research, policy and curatorial teams at the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. She currently leads Center initiatives on cultural heritage industries and on community partnerships and outreach (Folklife 360). In addition to her own extensive curatorial projects in the U.S., Africa, and the Caribbean, Dr. N’Diaye has written, presented, and advised for more than two decades on issues of intangible cultural heritage and community engagement at the invitation of UNESCO, OAS, IDB and other national and international agencies. As a member of SI’s advance response team in Haiti immediately following the 2010 earthquake, she curated the cultural recovery concert and crafts presence at the 2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. In 2013, she co-developed and taught, with Dr. Mary Jo Arnoldi, a two-day workshop on community engagement and disaster preparedness at the National Museum of Mali as part of the SI/ICOM/UNESCO program in Bamako on cultural heritage disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Dr. N’Diaye is co-editor of the forthcoming book Curatorial Conversations: Cultural Representation and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (University of Mississippi Press, 2016). In recent years, she has developed social media platforms for multi-sited community generated research as principal investigator of The Will to Adorn, a project on the diversity of African American identities as seen through the lens of dress. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology and visual studies from the Union Institute Graduate School, and is a graduate of the 2010 Smithsonian Leadership Development Program.

Evi Oehler

Project Manager and Architect, Office of Planning and Project Management, Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations, Smithsonian

Evi Oehler is an architect and project manager with the Smithsonian’s Office of Planning and Project Management, where she oversees the budget, schedule, and scope of multiple capital improvement projects from planning through design and construction, managing over $25 million annually. Her primary focus is the National Museum of Natural History where the renovation of the museum’s most popular exhibit, the Dinosaur Hall, is underway. Evi has worked at the Smithsonian for over 20 years in various positions - as the exhibits chief for the Smithsonian American Art Museum and as the exhibits project manager for the inauguration of the National Museum of the American Indian. Evi has also taught exhibition planning and design at the Iraq Cultural Heritage Project in Erbil and the Corcoran School of Art, and served as the special projects manager for Sharjah Museums in the United Arab Emirates. Evi participated in the Smithsonian’s Haiti Cultural Recovery project, helping to select and upgrade a facility for use as conservation lab and collections storage after the earthquake. Evi brings life-long experience working in museums to any project, as well as the eye of an experienced exhibit designer and architect.

Ihor Poshyvalio

Deputy Director General, Ivan Honchar Museum (National Centre of Folk Culture, Kyiv, Ukraine)

Ihor Poshyvailo is responsible for the general management, development and execution of research and projects at his organization. He is ex-head and now a member of the Museum Council of the Ministry for Culture and responsible for strategic planning, crises management, legislation, and developing of cultural policies. He is also member of a working group at the Ministry for Culture that focuses on the protection and evacuation of museum collections. He is head of the expert council on intangible cultural heritage at the Ministry for Culture that is responsible for implementation of the UNESCO Conventions and Recommendations. He is a co-founder and a chairman of the Maidan Museum NGO, and earned his Ph.D. in history. Mr. Poshyvailo was a Fulbright scholar at the Smithsonian Institution from 2009-2010, and was an FAC participant in 2015.

Eric Pourchot

Institutional Advancement Director, Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation

Eric Pourchot joined FAIC in 2001 to initiate FAIC’s professional development program, which offers workshops throughout the United States, a series of web-based courses, and tutorials on conservation science, as well as an array of scholarships and grants. His duties also include grant writing and other development work. He was marketing director for the Emelin Theatre in New York and for Shakespeare & Co. in Massachusetts. Later, he served as director of Theatre at Long Island University and managed distance learning programs for Old Dominion University. He holds a Ph.D., M.F.A., and B.A. in theatre and a Master of Business Administration. He has published articles on Romanian theatre, including entries for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance.

Fahim Rahimi

Chief Curator, National Museum of Afghanistan

Fahim Rahimi received his bachelor’s degree in archaeology and anthropology from Kabul University in 2005. In addition, he has completed coursework in heritage preservation and curatorial studies at Vienna University and at the International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property in Rome. He was appointed curator of the National Museum of Afghanistan in 2007, rising to chief curator in 2012. There he was responsible for one of the most significant collections of ancient and Islamic art in Central Asia. He has organized a number of important exhibitions, including “Mes Aynak New Discoveries along the Silk Road,” “Buddhist Heritage of Afghanistan,” and “1000 Cities of Bactria.” In addition, he actively participated in organizing the “Hidden Treasures of Afghanistan” exhibition, a traveling exhibition displayed in international museums. Mr. Rahimi was selected in the spring of 2014 as a junior fellow of the Kolb Society. He is currently a Fulbright scholar, and he is pursuing a master’s degree in anthropology and heritage preservation at University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Rahimi’s main focus is cultural heritage management and preservation, with particular interest in the cultural heritage of Afghanistan.

Kym Rice

Director, Museum Studies Program, George Washington University

Kym Rice is the director of the museum studies program at George Washington University. She has taught museum studies at The George Washington University since 1996 and previously served as the assistant director and both the program’s interim and acting director. Until October 1, she also served as the interim director of GWU’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. A long-time exhibition developer and curator, Professor Rice works with museums and historical organizations throughout the United States. Her award-winning exhibitions include “A Share of Honour: Virginia Women 1600-1945” for the Virginia Women’s Cultural History Project; “Before Freedom Came: African American Life in the Antebellum South,” organized for the Museum of the Confederacy; and “Taverns: For the Entertainment of Friends and Strangers” at Fraunces Tavern Museum. From 2000-2007, she served as the co-editor of the Journal of American History’s exhibition reviews section. Between 2010 and 2012, Professor Rice headed the Iraqi Museum Residency Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. She is currently the co-chair of the Committee on Museum Professional Training, a professional network of AAM. Professor Rice holds a B.A. in art history from Tulane University, an M.A. in American studies from the University of Hawaii (Manoa), and a Ph.D. in American studies from The George Washington University.

Stefan Simon

Director of the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Yale University

Stefan Simon is a conservation scientist with broad experience in scientific research and multilateral project coordination. He has specialized in material deterioration diagnostics, microanalytics, non-destructive testing, physico-chemical analysis, and climatology. Other areas of specialization include the testing and evaluation of conservation products and the control of treatment efficacy and durability. Founder and director of the private laboratory KDC Konservierung & Denkmalpflege Cons. in Olching (Germany) since 1993, he has taught conservation science at Munich Technical University since 1998. From 2001-2005, he headed the Building Materials section at the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, before being appointed director of the Rathgen Research Laboratory at the National Museums, Berlin, in February of 2005. He was elected member (2005-2013) and vice president for Finance and Administration (2009-2011) of ICCROM Council. Since 2008, he has served as president of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee Stone (ISCS), and since 2012, has been a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI). He has served as an honorary professor at X’ian Jiaotong University (P.R. China) since 2009 and at Technical University Berlin since 2013. On April 1, 2014, he was appointed the inaugural director of Yale’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH) at West Campus, overseeing its scientific, digital, and conservation departments and programs.

Theresa Sims

Since 2013, Theresa has served as Program Manager in the Office of the Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture.  In that role, she is responsible for logistics and operations of various Smithsonian programs designed to protect cultural heritage in response to armed conflict and natural disaster.  

Since 2013 as well, she has served as the Executive Assistant to the President of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield.  In that role she assists the President and Executive Board in developing membership campaign, updating website, maintaining and developing contact lists and networks, researching current events in the field and posting to social media (Facebook, USCBS Website, etc.).

Before joining the Smithsonian, Theresa served in a variety of diverse leadership, board and staff positions supporting the arts and the military community.  These include President of the Friends of the Fort Sill National Historic Landmark Museum; Gallery Guide at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto; Tour Guide at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C.; Systems Analyst at a defense corporation; and senior advisor to numerous senior military leaders on child education and family issues.

Theresa Sims holds a B.S. in Business (management) from Shippensburg, Pennsylvania and an M.S. in Systems Management (logistics) from the University of Southern California Institute of Safety and Systems Management. 

Aparna Tandon

Coordinator, International Programme on Disaster Risk Management; Project Specialist, ICCROM

As the project specialist at ICCROM, Ms. Tandon is leading its international capacity development programme on disaster risk management and its flagship training on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis. Additionally, she is coordinating and developing the activities of the SOIMA (Sound and Image Collections Conservation) program aimed at safeguarding endangered audiovisual heritage. Aparna has led post disaster assessments and training initiatives for recovery of cultural heritage in Haiti (2010), Philippines (2013) and Nepal (2015). Through ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Center at Sharjah, she has led workshops for protecting cultural heritage in conflict afflicted countries that include Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Sudan and South Sudan.

Laura Tedesco

Cultural Heritage Program Manager for the U.S. State Department in Afghanistan

Dr. Laura Tedesco serves as the cultural heritage program manager for the U.S. State Department in Afghanistan. She was posted in Kabul for 16 months where she oversaw and guided US efforts to support and preserve Afghan cultural heritage sites and monuments. Dr. Tedesco holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from New York University where her area of study included the Near East and Central Asia. Before joining the State Department, Dr. Tedesco worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She has conducted field research in the Republics of Georgia and Armenia, as well as in Syria and other nations in western and south Asia.

Corine Wegener

Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer, Office of the Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, Smithsonian

Corine Wegener is the cultural heritage preservation officer in the Office of the Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution, where she coordinates the Smithsonian’s outreach programs for cultural heritage in crisis. Before arriving at the Smithsonian, she was associate curator in the department of Decorative Arts, Textiles, and Sculpture at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. In a concurrent Army Reserve career, Wegener served on several military deployments, including as Arts, Monuments, and Archives Officer for the 352d Civil Affairs Command in Baghdad, Iraq, 2003-2004. Her Smithsonian projects include the Haiti Cultural Recovery Project and emergency programs for colleagues in Mali, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and Nepal. Wegener is founder and past president of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield and Chair of the ICOM Disaster Relief for Museums Task Force. She holds a B.G.S from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and M.A. degrees in both art history and political science from the University of Kansas.

Susan R. Wolfinbarger

Director, Geospatial Technologies Project, Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Susan R. Wolfinbarger, Ph.D., is the director for the Geospatial Technologies Project, a part of the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) where she oversees the projects of AAAS that deal with the applications of geospatial technologies to a range of human rights and humanitarian issues. Her work focuses on the conceptualization, development, and deployment of geospatial technologies and information for human rights-related issues. Her research interests focus on the use of satellite remote sensing as evidence in legal cases, particularly those related to human rights; advancing human rights outcomes through geospatial documentation; feminist and critical views of technology; and the implications and ethics related to the rapid rise in the use of geographic technologies, including volunteered geographic information. She has provided training to multiple human rights organizations, courts, and commissions regarding the implementation of appropriate geospatial methodologies to human rights documentation and litigation. She has published on the uses of remote sensing for land cover and land use change, forced migration, and environmental rights documentation. She holds a Ph.D. in geography from The Ohio State University, M.A. in geography from The George Washington University, and B.A. in geography and Spanish from Eastern Kentucky University. Susan is a consulting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum.

Qiaoyun Zhang

Co-Chair, Risk and Disaster Topic Interest Group of the Society for Applied Anthropology; Production Assistant, American Routes; Undergraduate Instructor, Tulane University

Qiaoyun Zhang is pursuing the Ph.D. degree in anthropology at Tulane University. Her current project explores the post-disaster reconstruction and tourism development of Chinese ethnic Qiang communities after Wenchuan Earthquake in 2008. Her research focuses on the interplay of the vulnerability and resilience of the affected communities, state-ethnic relations, and the local people’s transformed identity and ways of life. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Association for Asian Studies, the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, and Tulane University. Ms. Zhang also has studied the recovery of New Orleans food and restaurant culture after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She is the co-chair of the Risk and Disaster Topic Interest Group of the Society for Applied Anthropology. Ms. Zhang has worked for American Routes, a weekly two-hour public radio program produced in New Orleans since July 2011. Her work at American Routes includes transcribing interview recordings and translating Chinese interviews into English. She also assists the production of the new “Route to China” and “Cultural Diplomacy” programs to be broadcast soon. Ms. Zhang taught cultural anthropology courses for undergraduates at Tulane University between 2014 and 2015