Stephanie Meeks to lead National Trust for Historic Preservation

By Jacqueline Trescott
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced Monday that Stephanie Meeks, a longtime official in the nonprofit community, would became its president in July.

Meeks, 45, is president and chief executive of Counterpart International, a humanitarian organization. Earlier she worked at the Nature Conservancy for 18 years, and for one year was its acting president.

Meeks succeeds Richard Moe, who was president of the trust for 17 years and completed a $165 million fundraising campaign last year. Moe retired earlier this month.

Originally from Loveland, Colo., Meeks has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Colorado and a master's in business administration from George Washington University. "The work is an expansion of what I have been doing in the protection of unique and special places. I'm particularly interested in the trust's Main Street program and its Preservation Green Lab program. At the end of the day, it is all about how we can enjoy the places we love," Meeks said.

Counterpart International works around the world to build partnerships to work on economic, environmental and social issues. Since the devastating earthquake in Haiti, it has raised $1 million in relief for that country. Meeks has been the leader of the group since November 2008.

At the Nature Conservancy, she led a successful $1.6 billion fundraising campaign.

The trust has been a leader in the preservation field since 1949, bringing attention to historic buildings, landscapes and communities that were in decay or in danger of being destroyed. Its annual list of Most Endangered Sites is a rallying cry for architects and civic activists to step in before it's too late. The Trust has named 200 places since 1988. This year the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in downtown Washington, where abolitionist Frederick Douglass worshiped, was added to the list.

In recent years the trust voluntarily declined to receive federal funding, led the fight to stop the Walt Disney Co. from developing a historic theme park close to the Manassas Civil War Battlefield and worked to preserve President Lincoln's Cottage in Washington.

In 2001 the trust was awarded the National Humanities Medal for its work.

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