Stephanie Meeks has been the president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation since July 2010. Under her leadership, the National Trust has increased its efforts to revitalize communities, save imperiled places, engage new audiences in preservation, and increase the organization’s impact.
The Trust is leading an effort to highlight the critical connection between older buildings and vibrant cities, and is spearheading original research, data, tools and on-the-ground solutions to promote the reuse and reinvestment of older and historic buildings as the default option in American cities. Through its ReUrbanism initiative, the organization seeks to transform both the perception and practice of preservation, responding to the issues cities face today.
With co-author Kevin Murphy, she has written The Past and Future City: How Historic Preservation is Reviving America's Communities, published by Island Press in September 2016.
Also during her tenure, the National Trust has established a dynamic new program called National Treasures, which identifies significant threatened places across the United States and takes direct action through preservation, advocacy, marketing, and fundraising to save them. The growing collection of National Treasures, which is close to 100, brings resources and attention to historic places that reflect the wide contours of the American past.
In addition, the National Trust is strategically repositioning its portfolio of 27 historic sites to achieve new levels of stewardship, interpretation, and financial sustainability. Through this work, the Trust is inventing new models for these sites, combining commercial and non-profit uses to create enhanced visitor experiences and additional sources of revenue.
The current work of the National Trust brings a diverse and younger group of Americans into the preservation movement, and supports their efforts in their communities and across the nation. Through cutting-edge use of social media and public outreach, the Trust is well on its way toward its goal of enlisting 1.5 million Preservation Allies to its ranks.
Before joining the National Trust, Stephanie served in several senior executive positions, including chief operating officer and acting president and chief executive officer, during her 17-year career with The Nature Conservancy. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Colorado and an MBA from George Washington University.