- 28 Sep, 2016
Sonnenreich to lead public-private partnership with U.S. Department of State in cultural preservation efforts
Washington, D.C. – October 1, 2016 – Michael R. Sonnenreich has been named president of The Fund to Conserve United States Diplomatic Treasures Abroad (The Fund to Conserve), a non-profit organization in strategic partnership with the U.S. Department of State to steward culturally significant U.S. government properties and collections worldwide.
Following his endorsement by Secretary of State John Kerry, Sonnenreich was officially elected as president by the Fund’s Board of Directors. Additionally, Marcia V. Mayo, an art historian, appraiser, and trustee emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was appointed as the Fund’s executive director. Board members of The Fund to Conserve include former U.S. ambassadors Jenonne Walker (Prague), Victor Ashe (Poland), Philip Hughes (Barbados/ Eastern Caribbean); Bank of America’s Global Arts and Heritage executive Rena DeSisto; and real estate executive Anise Snyder.
Initiated in 2012, The Fund to Conserve is a public-private partnership promoting the conservation and preservation of the U.S. Department of State’s heritage collections, as well as its buildings of cultural and architectural significance. Representing over two centuries of U.S. international diplomacy, these artifacts and structures reflect and honor the rich cultural traditions of countries in which the U.S. operates missions.
Through fundraising, the Fund advocates active stewardship of these important cultural treasures in U.S. chanceries, consulates, and ambassadors’ residences. By shepherding their restoration and ongoing care, the U.S. demonstrates its appreciation and support for the cultural heritage of diverse countries around the world.
Current projects include the restoration of the monumental bronze entrance doors of the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Tokyo; restoration of the Louis XIV Salon in the ambassador’s residence in Paris (Hôtel Rothschild); and restoration of the Grand Gallery in the Rome Embassy (Palazzo Margherita).
A lawyer, philanthropist and influential Washingtonian with global connections, Sonnenreich has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry and is a stakeholder in several national and international companies. As The Fund to Conserve’s president, he says he plans to galvanize new legions of support for the organization’s aims.
“With Department resources focused on pressing international concerns, there is an immediate need for support to responsibly steward these cultural properties,” Sonnenreich said. “Now is the time for dedicated advocacy of this worthy conservation mission.”
“Secretary Kerry is grateful for Mr. Sonnenreich’s willingness to serve as the president of the Fund to Conserve in its partnership with the Department of State,” said State Department Spokesperson John Kirby. “Public-private partnerships such as this are essential to preserving, conserving and restoring the buildings and other historical treasures that have been entrusted to us. We are confident Mr. Sonnenreich is the right person to lead this effort.”
Patrick Kennedy, Under Secretary for Management for the U.S. Department of State, commented, “One of my early foreign service assignments was as a general services officer in charge of the U.S. Embassy properties in Paris. We’ve come a long way since then in systematically caring for our buildings and the permanently installed art and other objects that compose the Department’s heritage collection.”
Kennedy continued, “Nevertheless, there will always be work to do in maintaining the high professional standards that we have set for ourselves, and that are expected by the countries where our facilities are located. Working with Vivien Woofter and her colleagues in the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, The Fund to Conserve was created to supplement the funding provided by the Department of State for preservation, conservation and restoration projects. I’m confident that under Michael Sonnenreich’s leadership, we’ll be able to set new standards of excellence as a result of this public-private partnership.”
“I’m honored to accept this leadership role at such a critical time in the Fund’s mission,” Sonnenreich added. “As president, I will actively advance the U.S.’s commitment to preserve and protect these national treasures – an initiative that serves as a true symbol of U.S. diplomacy.”
To learn more about Mr. Sonnenreich and the critical initiatives and work surrounding
The Fund To Conserve United States Diplomatic Treasures Abroad, please visit fundtoconserve.org
Director, Nonprofit & Arts
Sage Communications (for The Fund to Conserve)