Who We Are
The Fund to Conserve United States Diplomatic Treasures Abroad (Fund to Conserve)
The Fund to Conserve was established, in 2012, as an independent, non-profit, nonpartisan private sector partner to the U.S. Department of State, Overseas Buildings Operations, Office of Cultural Heritage. The purpose of this public-private partnership is to fund – through philanthropic giving – the conservation and preservation of the Department of State’s many properties of cultural and architectural significance, and the heritage collections they house.
There are 266 significant buildings, including 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and thousands of collections items representing over two centuries of United States diplomacy around the world. These places and the stories they represent demonstrate our respect for the countries where our diplomats serve. These buildings serve as beacons of democracy and are irreplaceable physical manifestations of hope for the future.
View our 2022 Annual Report here.
Board of Directors
The Fund to Conserve Board of Directors consists of individuals representing diverse backgrounds and interests, including historic preservation, law, decorative and fine arts, fundraising, nonprofit governance, history, business, philanthropy and diplomacy. The Board provides mission-based leadership and strategic governance.
Marcia V. Mayo
Vice President & Co-Treasurer
Our Partnership with
the U.S. Department of State
In the generations following its establishment in 1789 as the first and most senior arm of the executive branch, the State Department has been entrusted with a magnificent portfolio of buildings, landscapes, and collections now in the care of to its Office of Cultural Heritage.
Before the Department started building chanceries, consulates, and residences in the 20th Century, it bought centrally located buildings. These structures often have deep cultural meaning or symbolism to the host country and often represent the hand craftsmanship of artisans and tradespeople that is unparalleled in today’s world of mass production. Significant collections of fine and decorative arts sometimes conveyed with the properties. In other instances, ambassadors donated objects, and in some cases, they were diplomatic gifts. In recent decades, artworks for cultural diplomacy purposes have been included in construction budgets for many new U.S. embassy buildings.
Federal funding is generally not available to restore or in some cases maintain the State Department’s historic or culturally significant buildings, sites, and collections. To meet the demands of the 21st century, the Department’s limited resources must be prioritized for ongoing diplomatic operations. Yet the demands of cultural stewardship for these places and objects continue to grow, particularly as we face the issues of climate change and integration of modern technology. This is where The Fund to Conserve comes in. The Fund helps raise additional funds to properly preserve, restore, and protect America’s diplomatic treasures so that they may continue to inspire and strengthen our historic foreign relationships – and help forge new friendships – for generations to come in our changing world.
To meet the demands of the 21st century, the Department’s limited resources must be prioritized for ongoing diplomatic operations. Yet the demands of cultural stewardship for these places and objects continue to grow, particularly as we face the issues of climate change and integration of modern technology. This is where The Fund to Conserve comes in.