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National Council on White House History

History's Ambassadors

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Meet the members of The National Council on White House History

who we are

In early 1961, before major restoration of the White House began, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy asked a group of informed and connected individuals to join what would become her White House Fine Arts Committee. This committee was tasked with the acquisition of antique furniture for the restoration, and for drafting many of its controlling principles. 

Mrs. Kennedy realized how important it was to assemble a team of leaders and advocates that could successfully champion White House preservation, and it is for that same reason we’ve established the National Council on White House History.

The Kennedys at The Blair House
Blair House: The President's Guest House, U.S. Department Of State

What we do

Through investments of their time, influence, and resources, individuals invited to join the National Council are committed to promoting and preserving the rich history of America’s Executive Mansion. Council members serve as ambassadors for the Association, raising our profile nationally and advocating for our efforts in the areas of protection, preservation, and public access. They also serve as incubators for new relationships with potential donors, and provide critical unrestricted financial support. 

National Council members take part in a number of exclusive engagements and events which we’ve outlined in more detail in our ‘How You Can Help’ section.

White House Historical Association event honoring First Lady Michelle Obama, November 15, 2016
White House Historical Association

Council members serve as ambassadors for the Association, raising our profile nationally and advocating for our efforts in the areas of protection, preservation, and public access.

This photograph is of First Lady Barbara Bush and former first ladies at the dedication of the Reagan Presidential Library on November 4, 1991.
GEORGE BUSH PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM/NARA

National Council Members

  • Teresa Carlson, National Council Chair

    Teresa Carlson leads the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Worldwide Public Sector business, which includes state, local, central and regional governments; educational institutions and Ed Techs; non-profits and non-governmental organizations (NGO); and she advises Amazon Public Policy on global policy issues.

  • Kathryn Ballard

    Kathryn Ballard serves on the Board of Directors of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and is a Trustee at Florida State University. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Florida Special Olympics, the Board of Trustees of the Maclay School. Kathryn resides in Tallahassee, FL.

  • Buffy Cafritz

    Buffy Cafritz serves on the board of the Kennedy Center, NIH FDN, trustee council National Gallery of Art, French-American Cultural board, advisory board Madison Council, Library of Congress. Among awards, Legendary Women's award for Philanthropy, Spirit of Columbia NTL Org. of Italian Women, Manifesting the Kingdom of the Archdiocese of Wash.

  • Debbie Driesmen

    Debbie has lived in the Washington DC area for the past three decades, having grown up in Ontario, Canada. She worked as a computer engineer in NASA's communication division at Goddard Space Flight Center until she retired in 1999. Debbie is the Vice President of the Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman Foundation. 

  • Lorna J. Gladstone

    Lorna grew up in Santiago, Chile and took her PhD at the University of Virginia. She serves on the Sheridan Libraries Council of Johns Hopkins University and is a commander in The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Jerusalem as well as serving on the national chapter. She has lived in McLean, Virginia since 1971.

  • Sachiko Kuno

    Dr. Sachiko Kuno is the co-founder and Chair of Halcyon, a nonprofit dedicated to the power of human creativity. Kuno also serves as CEO of S&R Foundation, a 501(c)(3) she co-founded in 2000 to support talented individuals with great potential and high aspirations in the arts, sciences, and social entrepreneurship.

  • Goldy Kamali

    Goldy Kamali is Founder & CEO of Scoop News Group, the leading tech media company in Washington, DC and the Gov IT community’s platform for collaboration & education through news, events, radio & TV. Ms. Kamali has 20 years’ experience in the tech industry and is known for her ability to bring the brightest and most influential IT leaders together.

  • Melissa Kirkpatrick

    Melissa is an entrepreneur, Chairwoman and Founding Director of Circuelle Foundation, which educates young adults on the importance of breast health and awareness. She is the owner and Creative Director at MK Collection, a design business of printed fabrics and woven textiles. Her greatest accomplishment is raising her three sons and two stepsons.

  • George Logothetis

    George Logothetis is Chairman and CEO of the Libra Group, a business active in 35 countries and spanning aviation, energy, finance and diversified, hospitality, real estate, and shipping.

  • Andre Pienaar

    Andre is the founder of C5, a specialist technology investment group focused on Cybersecurity, cloud and big data analytics.

  • John Wood

    Mr. Wood oversees support of Telos customers in cybersecurity, secure mobility and identity. He is Chairman of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, an organization providing care for families of America’s fallen military. Wood also serves on the boards of Northern Virginia Technology Council, Wolf Trap Foundation and INOVA Loudoun Hospital.

how we do it

  • Protect

    We fund the acquisition and protection of historically significant artwork, furniture, china, and other household items for the White House’s permanent collection.

  • Preserve

    We assist in the preservation and periodic renovation of White House interiors, and commission the official portraits of both the President and the First Lady.

  • Provide

    We provide meaningful connection to the White House through our publications, educational programs, digital image library, exhibits, and the White House Visitors Center.

How You Can Help

As our thank-you, members of the National Council receive:

  • The National Council

    • Invitations to convene twice a year with senior leadership of the White House Historical Association
    • Briefings from Association leadership throughout the year
    • Invitations to exhibitions, symposia, lectures and book signings at the Association
    • Invitation to an annual presidential site trip (Presidential Libraries, Birthplaces, and Homes)
    • Early access to White House Historical Association exhibitions at Decatur House
  • Members also receive exclusive “first look” updates on Association projects and initiatives, which include:
    • Participating in strategic discussions with Association leadership
    • Visibility as an important leader within the White House Historical Association
    • Engaging with content leaders, historians, authors, and peers in the social and business communities
    • Receiving early notice of news and updates about the Association
    • Receiving complimentary invitations to Association events

For more information about the National Council on White House History, please contact Mr. Rhett Wilson, Vice President for Development at rwilson@whha.org