Conservation and Site Preservation Committee
Paul Rissman, Co-Chair
Stephen P. Koob, Co-Chair
Laetitia La Follette, Overseeing Officer
Meredith Anderson, Staff Liaison
Cynthia Meera Frederick
Julie Herzig Desnick
Larry Coben is a recognized expert in the fields of archaeology/cultural heritage and energy. Coben, a University of Pennsylvania archaeologist, serves as Executive Director of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, which seeks to save and preserve the world's cultural heritage by providing transformative and sustainable economic opportunities to local communities. He serves on the Governing Board of the AIA, where he was the first Chairman of its Task Force on Site Preservation. He was the director of Proyecto Inkallakta, a multidisciplinary project at the monumental Inka site of that name in Bolivia. He co-edited the seminal "Archaeology of Performance: Theater, Power and Community"(2006), and has published numerous other articles on archaeological subjects.
Coben serves on the Department of Homeland Security's Sustainability and Efficiency Task Force and on the Cleantech for Obama Steering Committee. He was co-chairman of the Lieberman for President 2004 National Energy Policy Committee. Coben is CEO of Tremisis Energy Corporation, a company that invests in the energy and environmental sectors. He is a director of US-based NRG Energy and SAESA, a Chilean utility.
Cynthia Meera Frederick has been active on numerous boards and committees of various non-profit cultural and charitable organizations with a focus on governance, strategy, and development. She divides her time between the US and India where she leads art and architectural tours throughout the country. She is active in promoting the work and visibility of ongoing preservation efforts in the subcontinent and works with various agencies to promote the protection and conservation of Indian Cultural Property including art and architecture, tribal crafts, ethnological material and archeological sites. She is a graduate of Wheaton College where she majored in Art History and Classics.
Julie 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.
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.
Thomas 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.
Charles (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.
Ben 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
Nancy 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.
The Stafford Civil War Sites in Virginia held its grand opening in April 2013.
The Site Preservation Program is funding the San Bartolo Mural Project thanks to a special gala pledge drive.
Read the Program's 2013 Annual Report to learn about its many activities this past year.