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The White House Historical Association hosted its biennial Presidential Sites Summit at the historic Mayflower Hotel with special events at the White House, Library of Congress, and Smithsonian National Museum of American History this week, September 25-28. The Summit, themed “Change and Continuity,” drew leaders from presidential libraries, historic homes, and museums across the country to discuss changes in historic interpretation, educating the public, civic engagement, and technology.

See images from the 2023 Presidential Sites Summit

The Summit kicked off with a special welcome reception hosted by First Lady Jill Biden at the White House on Monday. Dr. Biden delivered remarks at the reception, along with John F.W. Rogers, Chairman of the Association’s Board of Directors.

“The President and I are so grateful for your commitment to that mission. And together, we can continue to open the doors of the President’s house wider and wider so more people can feel the invisible threads that connect us to one another so we may understand our past and use it to help guide our present and inspire us to build an even brighter future together.”

Summit registrants also attended a special program and reception at the Library of Congress Monday evening 7-9PM, featuring a moderated conversation with Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress; Chuck Sams, Director of the National Park Service; and Dr. Colleen Shogan, Archivist of the United States. In this first ever gathering of the four federal agencies and cultural institutions that oversee presidential sites, records and history, the group discussed each organization’s role in preserving presidential history and sharing this history with the public. Watch the Library of Congress program.

The Summit also included an evening event at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History that highlighted the importance of the White House as a stage for hospitality and diplomacy with moderator Anita McBride, Chair of the Presidential Sites Summit Committee and former Assistant to President George W. Bush and Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush, and guests Jeremy Bernard, Former White House Social Secretary to President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; Gahl Hodges Burt, Former White House Social Secretary to President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan; and Amy Zantzinger, Former White House Social Secretary to President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. Watch “Entertaining at the White House.”

The Presidential Sites Summit included moderated conversations on topics including: Engaging the Next Generation at Presidential Sites, Innovative Technologies, Tools, and Platforms, Telling the Full American Story at Presidential Sites, Sharing Women’s Stories at Presidential Sites, Engaging Audiences through Social Media and Podcasts, Inspiring Civic Education through History, and FLARE (First Ladies Association for Research and Education) on the new book, U.S. First Ladies, Making History and Leaving Legacies.

Summit speakers included:

  • Avery Akkenini, President, Vayner3
  • Joni Albrecht, Director, John Marshall Center for Constitutional History & Civics
  • Todd Arrington, Site Manager, James A. Garfield National Historic Site
  • Jay Barth, Director, William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum
  • Felicia Bell, Senior Advisor to Dr. Anthea M. Hartig, National Museum of American History
  • Amy Bracewell, Superintendent, Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
  • Greta Brawner, C-SPAN, Host & Executive Producer for Public Affairs Programming
  • John Bridgeland, Founder & CEO, Civic Enterprises
  • Jim Byron, President & CEO, Richard Nixon Foundation
  • Diana B. Carlin, Professor Emerita of Communication at Saint Louis University and FLARE Treasurer
  • Jean Case, CEO, the Case Foundation and Member of the White House Historical Association’s Board of Directors
  • Brooke Clement, Director, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum
  • Chris Cummings, Founder & CEO, Iconic Moments
  • Mike Duncan, History Podcaster and author
  • Meredith Evans, Director, Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum
  • Barbara Franklin, 29th U.S. Secretary of Commerce
  • Elizabeth Ghosh, Partner Manager, Meta
  • Tammy Haddad, President & CEO, Haddad Media
  • Sara Bon-Harper, Executive Director, James Monroe’s Highland
  • Nik Honeysett, CEO, Balboa Park Online Collaborative
  • Julia Kaufman, Associate Department Director & Senior Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation
  • Caroline Kilbanoff, Executive Director, Made by Us
  • Kate Lemay, Curator & Historian, National Portrait Gallery
  • Stewart McLaurin, President, White House Historical Association
  • Fionnghaula O’Reilly, Founder, Space to Reach and White House Historical Association Next Generation Leader
  • Christina Shutt, Executive Director, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
  • Julie Silverbrook, Senior Director of Partnerships & Constitutional Scholar in Residence, iCivics
  • Nancy Kegan Smith, Author and Former Director of the Presidential Materials Division of the National Archives and Records Administration
  • Sara Kanawati Stephany, Co-Chair, New Frontier Network at the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation
  • Janet Tran, Director of The Center for Civics, Education, and Opportunity, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute
  • Gayle Jessup White, Public Relations and Community Engagement Officer at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson Foundation
  • Sharon Yang, Policy Partnerships, Meta

The 2023 Presidential Sites Summit also included optional tours of the National Mall, President Lincoln’s Cottage, Mount Vernon, and St. John’s Church.

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About the White House Historical Association

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $115 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.

To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit