Conservation and Site Preservation Committee

Paul Rissman, Co-Chair
Stephen Koob, Co-Chair
Julie Herzig Desnick
Thomas Roby
Charles Steinmetz
Ben Thomas
Nancy Wilkie
Claudia Chemello
James Delgado
Alice Paterakis

Carla Antonaccio, Overseeing Officer
Meredith Langlitz, Staff Liaison

Paul Rissman

Paul C. Rissman is the current co-chair of the Conservation and Site Preservation Committee. He was formerly an Executive Vice President for Alliance Capital Management L.P. and holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia University. Rissman’s archaeological interests include urbanization, early agriculture, South Asia, and the Middle East. He has excavated at the sites of Oriyo Timbo and Rojdi in Gujarat State, India, and recently excavated in Oman in January 2010 and January 2011.

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Stephen Koob

Committee co-chair Stephen Koob is responsible for the care and preservation of all of the Corning Museum’s collections. A member of numerous professional organizations, including the Archaeological Institute of America, Koob is also a Fellow of the International Institute of Conservation and the American Institute for Conservation. He is the author of the book, Conservation and Care of Glass Objects (2006). Koob holds an M.A. in Classical Archaeology from Indiana University, and a B.Sc. in Archaeological Conservation and Materials Science from the Institute of Archaeology, University of London. Before joining the Museum staff in 1998, Koob worked for 11 years as conservator, specializing in ceramics and glass, at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Julie Herzig Desnick

Julie Herzig DesnickJulie Herzig Desnick is a registered architect and member of the American Institute of Architects. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1973 with an A.B. in Fine Arts and a minor in Romance Languages, and from Pratt Institute in 1983 with a Bachelor of Architecture. She also studied at L’Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris before beginning her career as an artist in New York City. She worked at the LoGiudice Gallery and the Pace Gallery, with fashion designers Carol Horn and Liz Claiborne, and later in architecture with Yann Weymouth at Redroof Design and James Phillips at the Phillips Janson Group. Currently, she is on the Art Advisory Board of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, the Board of the Genetic Disease Foundation, and the Board of Carnegie Hill Neighbors, where she is involved with historic preservation. She resides in New York City with her husband, Robert J. Desnick, a geneticist, and son, Jonathan, who excavated for three summers at the Athenian Agora Excavations at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and is a student at Yale University.

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Thomas Roby

Thomas RobyThomas Roby is an Architectural Conservator with extensive experience in the conservation of archaeological sites and mosaics in the Mediterranean region. He worked in private practice based in Rome for many years before joining the Getty Conservation Institute in 2001, where he has directed the on-going training project in Tunisia to develop regional teams of maintenance technicians for in situ mosaics in collaboration with the Institut National du Patrimoine. Next year he will direct similar training for mosaic technicians from countries in North Africa as part of the Mosaikon Project, a collaborative initiative of the GCI, ICCROM, ICCM and the Getty Foundation. He is also a member of the GCI's Valley of the Queens Project, a site conservation and management implementation and training project in collaboration with the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt.

Roby has been an AIA member since he was an undergraduate major in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College. He received his conservation training at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, and subsequently at the University of York, UK, as a Kress Foundation scholarship recipient. He finished his studies by attending the UNESCO/ICCROM Stone Conservation course in Venice. He was a Fellow in Conservation at the American Academy in Rome, and is a Professional Associate of the American Institute of Conservation.

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Charles Steinmetz

Charles SteinmetzCharles (Charlie) Steinmetz is a member of the Governing Board of the AIA where he also serves on the Finance Committee, Development Committee, AIA Site Preservation Committee and the UCLA/AIA Site Preservation Committee. He has a BSC degree from Santa Clara University and a MBA from UCLA. He is President of the Steinmetz Foundation which supports literacy programs in Southern California. He also is President of JCA Associates and Tiernay Properties. Previously he was Vice President of Tiernay Metals, a worldwide distributor of aluminum extrusions to the aircraft industry. Steinmetz’s non-profit involvements include: UCLA Library; Directors Council, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA; Board of Directors, Ocean Institute Dana Point CA.; Development Committee, Los Angeles Catholic Education Committee; Past Board Member, UCLA Alumni Association; Board of Advisors, Steinmetz’s interest in archaeology has been a lifelong passion. After selling Tiernay Metals in 1999 he finally had time to pursue this field. He has worked with Professor Bernie Frischer at Horace’s Villa near Licenza, Italy; with Professors Sarah Morris and John Papadopoulos at Lofkend, Albania; and Charles (Chip) Stanish at Island of the Sun in Bolivia and Tarapaca, Peru. His overall objective is to bring the fun and discovery of archaeology to inner city children to help them “develop curiosity” to make reading and learning relevant. Steinmetz and his wife Ellen (Weezie) live in Manhattan Beach, CA.

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Ben Thomas

Ben ThomasBen Thomas is the AIA’s Director of Programs. In this capacity, he oversees many of the Institute’s initiatives and activities including societies, public outreach, education, the national lecture program, and site preservation. He holds a B.A. in anthropology from Brandeis University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in archaeology from Boston University. He specializes in Maya archaeology and in addition to being the AIA’s Director of Programs he is an assistant professor in the liberal arts program at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He wrote his Ph.D. thesis on Maya Settlement and Political Hierarchy in the Sibun River Valley in Belize and has excavated at sites in Belize and Guatemala.

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Nancy Wilkie

Nancy WilkieNancy Wilkie has a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota where she studied classics and prehistoric Greek archaeology. She is a professor at Carleton College where she divides her time between the departments of Sociology/Anthropology and Classical Languages, where she teaches Greek language and literature. In SOAN she teaches courses in human evolution and prehistory and archaeological methodology. She is an Honorary Past President of the AIA, and was President from 1998-2002. Since 2003 she has been a member of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of State. Over the years, many Carleton students have worked with her on archaeological field projects in Greece, Egypt, and Nepal. She also has directed Carleton off-campus programs in Nepal and Sri Lanka.

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Claudia Chemello

Claudia Chemello is Senior Conservator at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the Museum in 2006, she was a conservator for the Agora Excavations, Greece and has also worked in a private conservation practice in Australia. She has a graduate degree in conservation from the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and is a professional associate member of AIC. Her primary interests are the conservation of archaeological materials, particularly metals, field conservation methods and the integration of conservation and archaeology. She has provided conservation for numerous excavations in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Central America, and Asia. She is currently an assistant coordinator for the ICOM-CC Metal Working Group and co-chair of the Archaeological Discussion Group of the AIC.

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James Delgado

Dr. James Delgado is currently the Director of the Maritime Heritage Program at NOAA, formerly the President and CEO of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, and was the Executive Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum in Vancouver, British Columbia for 15 years. Previously, he was the head of the U.S. government’s maritime preservation program and was the maritime historian for the U.S. National Park Service. Dr. Delgado has participated in shipwreck expeditions around the world, including the RMS Titanic, the Carpathia, the USS Arizona, and the Civil War-era Sub Marine Explorer. He also co-hosted the National Geographic television series The Sea Hunters, along with best-celling author Clive Cussler, from 2001-2006. Dr. Delgado holds his Ph.D. from Simon Fraser University. 

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Alice Paterakis

Alice Boccia Paterakis has served as Director of Conservation for the Kaman-Kalehöyük, Yassihöyük, and Büklükale excavations in Central Anatolia, Turkey, for the Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology since 2008. Prior to this, she served as Head of Conservation for the Ancient Agora Excavation and Museum in Athens, Greece, for the American School of Classical Studies from 1986 until 2004. In 2007 she contributed to the University of Pennsylvania's Gordion Furniture Project in Ankara, Turkey. She has served on the Directory Board of the International Council of Museums – Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC) and on the AIA's Conservation & Heritage Management Committee. She is a Fellow of the International Institute for Conservation (IIC) in London and the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) in Washington, D.C. Dr. Paterakis holds a Ph.D. in Archaeological Conservation from the Institute of Archaeology at University College London.

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