The Presidency and Historic Preservation Symposium Contributors
May 26, 2022
Elaine Rice Bachmann
Elaine Rice Bachmann is the State Archivist of Maryland, and also serves as the Secretary of the State House Trust. She was formerly Director of Artistic Property, Exhibits and Outreach as well as curator of artistic property at the Maryland State Archives. She is a graduate of the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture from the University of Delaware, and received her undergraduate degree in Art History from Indiana University. She has written and lectured extensively on Maryland's state-owned art collection and is the co-author of Designing Camelot: The Kennedy White House Restoration and Its Legacy (White House Historical Association, 2021), as well as numerous other publications about Maryland's public buildings including the State House and Governor's Mansion. She lives in Severna Park, Maryland.
Dr. Sara Bon-Harper is the Executive Director of James Monroe’s Highland in Albemarle County, Virginia. Research she initiated at Highland recently discovered the archaeological remains of the Monroes’ main house and opened a new chapter of site interpretation, with inclusive narratives enriched by descendant collaboration. She earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Classics from the University of Arizona. At the College of William & Mary, she is also a Research Professor of Anthropology and Faculty Affiliate of the Institute for Integrative Conservation. She serves on the board of the Presidential Precinct. Prior to her work at Highland, Ms. Bon-Harper was Monticello’s Archaeological Research Manager from 1999 to 2012, and studied Roman peripheries in Italy and France, with topical expertise in archaeological ceramics and research methods. She has lectured and written on a variety of themes, including the analysis of archaeological data, landscapes of slavery, and the construction of historic narratives for academic and popular audiences.
Leslie Greene Bowman
Leslie Greene Bowman is President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which owns and operates the UNESCO World Heritage site, Monticello -- the home of Thomas Jefferson. She has spearheaded the Foundation’s vision to bring history forward into national and global dialogue, propelling restoration, dialogue, and programs that offer an honest, complicated and inclusive view of our past – common ground for all Americans. She earned her Bachelor of Philosophy at Miami University of Ohio, and her Master of Arts in Early American Culture as a Winterthur Fellow at the University of Delaware. She has spent her entire career in museums, authored two books on American decorative arts history, and enjoyed academic appointments with both USC and UCLA, where she taught American decorative arts history. She is a trustee emerita of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a member of the Virginia Bar Association’s Committee of Special Issues of National and State Importance, a member of Virginia’s American Revolution 250 Commission, and a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, in London. She continues to serve by Presidential appointment on the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, on which she previously served under Presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
Dr. Matthew Costello is Vice President of the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History and Senior Historian for the White House Historical Association. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in American history at Marquette University, and B.A. in history and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has published articles in The Journal of History and Cultures, Essays in History, and White House History Quarterly. His first book, The Property of the Nation: George Washington’s Tomb, Mount Vernon, and the Memory of the First President, was published by University Press of Kansas and was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize. He is currently editing and contributing to a volume entitled Mourning the Presidents, which will be published by the University of Virginia Press in 2023. He is also working on a book project that explores how Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, as well as their children, shaped the presidency and White House. Matthew also teaches a course on the history of the White House at American University.
Andrew M. Davenport
Andrew M. Davenport is the Public Historian at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and Manager of the Getting Word African American Oral History Project. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Georgetown University. Davenport has published in Lapham’s Quarterly, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Smithsonian Magazine. His first academic article, “Ralph Ellison and New York City, 1946-1994,” appeared in Ralph Ellison in Context (ed. Paul Devlin, Cambridge University Press, 2021), and his second article, “Mourning at Monticello,” will appear in Mourning the Presidents (eds. Lindsay Chervinsky and Matthew Costello, University of Virginia Press, 2023). Davenport serves on the Board of Directors of the American Agora Foundation (Lapham’s Quarterly) and is a member of the inaugural cohort of the White House Historical Association Next-Gen Leadership Ambassadors. Davenport has taught middle school history at Brooklyn Jesuit Prep, high school history at Fairfield College Preparatory School, African American Art History at Fairfield University, and a Georgetown University course on the history of the Georgetown neighborhood. He earned a B.A. in English from Kenyon College, an M.A. in American Studies from Fairfield University, and an M.A. in U.S. History from Georgetown University.
Paul Edmondson is the President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Before being named to the position in June 2019, Paul served for more than two decades as the organization’s general counsel. In that role, he championed the strong enforcement and interpretation of preservation laws at the federal, state, and local levels, while at the same time working with developers and local preservationists to find effective compromise solutions to preservation challenges. He has worked with property owners to identify creative options for preserving historic properties, including the use of historic preservation easements. In his work with National Trust Historic Sites, he has advanced new shared-use operating models designed to ensure their long-term sustainability and relevance in modern-day life. A graduate of Cornell University, Paul began his professional career as a practicing archaeologist before entering law school at American University. He joined the National Trust’s legal team following a brief tenure as a senior attorney with the federal government. As general counsel, he previously served as a member of the Trust’s executive leadership under former presidents Richard Moe and Stephanie Meeks.
Mary Elliott is Curator of American Slavery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). She co-curated the museum’s “Slavery and Freedom” inaugural exhibition. Mary curated and wrote the special broadsheet section of the award-winning New York Times featured publication entitled “The 1619 Project.” She is also the inaugural curator and content developer for the NMAAHC’s award winning digital humanities feature, the Searchable Museum (www.searchablemuseum.com). Ms. Elliott is a graduate of Howard University and the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. Prior to her work at the Smithsonian, she helped produce local history exhibits and public programs in the Washington, D.C. area, as she worked with various organizations including the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C., National Visionary Leadership Project, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and the Reginald Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History. Ms. Elliott has over twenty years of experience in researching and presenting African American History and culture. Her personal research focuses on Antebellum slavery, Reconstruction and African Americans in Indian Territory, with a specific concentration on Black kinship networks, migration, and community development.
Sarah Fling is a Historian at the White House Historical Association. She first joined the Association in 2019 as a graduate public history fellow. Her research focuses on free and enslaved workers, the first ladies, and the White House Collection. Sarah’s previous work experience includes internships at historic sites such as George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the Frick Pittsburgh. She received her bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Pittsburgh and her master’s in Public History from American University. Sarah is originally from York, Pennsylvania.
Dawn Hammatt is the director of the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home in Abilene, Kansas. The Eisenhower Presidential Library is one of 15 presidential libraries operated by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). She’s been in her current role since 2016. Working in the museum field her entire career predominantly in the Southeast for local, state, and private organizations, Dawn has overseen the building of two museums, design and fabrication of seven multi-million-dollar exhibition renovations, and disaster recovery efforts following two natural disasters. Her work, chiefly in collections management and administration, has always focused on safety and security of the holdings.
Katherine Malone-France is the chief preservation officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Prior to assuming this role, Katherine served as the senior vice president for historic sites at the National Trust, leading its portfolio of 28 historic sites around the country to provide expansive and sustainable public benefit as they model exemplary preservation, collections management, and interpretation. Katherine’s tenure included the creation of a dedicated fund to support historic gardens and landscapes at National Trust Historic Sites and the successful completion of a $21 million campaign to address critical capital projects across the portfolio of sites. Her leadership has also resulted in a diverse range of collaborations with contemporary artists creating new works inspired by National Trust sites and a revision of the National Trust’s collections management policy that has been hailed as a national model for its inclusion of historic structures and landscapes. Katherine is a graduate of Wofford College with a B.A. in History and holds a Masters in Historic Preservation from the College of Environment & Design at the University of Georgia.
Lina Mann first joined the White House Historical Association in 2017 as American University’s Public History fellow and came onboard as a historian in March 2020. She is interested in many different aspects of White House history, including her latest research on the enslaved individuals that built, lived, and worked in the White House. As a lifelong Marylander, she also researches local and regional history. Previously, she has worked with the National Park Service and the Maryland Historical Society. Lina received her Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in Anthropology, Environmental Studies, and Museum Studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2016 and earned her Master of Arts in Public History from American University in 2019.
Michael Atwood Mason
Dr. Michael Atwood Mason is the CEO and Executive Director of President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Old Soldiers’ Home, a National Monument and award-winning museum in Washington, DC. A PhD in Folklore, Dr. Mason began his career at the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum as a researcher and exhibit developer. Later, he spent 20 years at the Museum of Natural History where he ended his tenure as Director of Exhibitions. He was named as the Director of Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in 2013, where he oversaw cultural and educational programs and led the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Smithsonian Folkways recordings. During his tenure at Folklife, his team won Grammy awards, research awards, and commendations from Congress and two foreign governments. Under his watch, the center increased their digital reach from 10 million to 305 million. He also developed a new Cultural Sustainability Program working with communities to document, preserve, and present their most cherished cultural expressions. This reflects his career commitment to putting people at the center of cultural heritage.
Stewart D. McLaurin
Stewart D. McLaurin, as president of the White House Historical Association since 2014, leads the Association’s non-profit and non-partisan mission to support conservation and preservation at the White House with non-government funding. Under his leadership, the Association has expanded greatly in mission reach and impact; fundraising results; educational public programming and award-winning publications that teach the story of White House history; and related retail offerings inspired by history. For more than 35 years, Stewart has held leadership roles with national non-profit and higher education organizations such as the American Red Cross, Georgetown University, and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. He currently serves on the board of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Metropolitan Club Preservation Foundation, and National Trust of Scotland, USA Foundation. He also serves as a Senior Advisor for Concordia.
Melissa Naulin is the Associate Curator of Decorative Arts for the White House, where she has served since 2003. Prior to coming to the White House, she held curatorial positions at George Washington’s Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon, Virginia), Winterthur Museum (Winterthur, Delaware), and Strong Museum (Rochester, New York). She holds a Master of Arts degree from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture/University of Delaware and a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College. She writes and lectures frequently on White House topics.
Brandon A. Robinson
Brandon A. Robinson is an independent historian and attorney based in Durham, North Carolina. He practices primarily in the areas of corporate law, mergers & acquisitions, estate planning and business litigation; in the field of history, his research interests include Reconstruction and American presidents. Robinson currently serves as President of the Conservation Trust for North Carolina--the state's largest land trust--and as President-elect of the Durham County Bar Association. For the past three years, Robinson has been a member of the North Carolina Bar Association Board of Governors, and North Carolina Bar Foundation Board of Directors.
Susan P. Schoelwer
Dr. Susan P. Schoelwer is the Executive Director of Historic Preservation and Collections and Robert H. Smith Senior Curator at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. She directs the architectural preservation, furnishing, and interpretation of George and Martha Washington’s home and surrounding plantation buildings and landscape. She led the creation of the award-winning special exhibition, Lives Bound Together: Slavery at George Washington’s Mount Vernon (2016-2021). Dr. Schoelwer holds a Ph.D. in American studies from Yale University, an MA from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, and a BA from the University of Notre Dame. She has written and lectured extensively on American art and decorative arts, needlework, women’s history, and the Washingtons.
Dr. Colleen Shogan joined the Association in the winter of 2020 after almost fifteen years of federal government service. She previously worked in the United States Senate and as a senior executive at the Library of Congress. Colleen was the Vice Chair of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission and now serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors at the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation, designated by Congress to build the first Washington, D.C. memorial dedicated to the early movement for women’s equality. Colleen teaches at Georgetown University in the Government Department and is a member of the History Education Advisory Board for America250. She is the previous President of the National Capital Area Political Science Association and served on the American Political Science Association (APSA) Council, the governing body of the organization. Her research focuses on the American presidency, presidential rhetoric, women in politics, and Congress. A native of Pittsburgh, she holds a BA in Political Science from Boston College and a Ph.D. in American Politics from Yale University, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Order of the Cross and Crown, and the United States Capitol Historical Society’s Council of Scholars.
John Stanwich serves as the National Park Service Liaison to the White House overseeing the National Park Service’s responsibilities for the care of the White House and its grounds, as well as the park areas immediately surrounding the White House. Stanwich has over 25 years of federal government experience. Stanwich served as the NPS lead for the 56th – 59th Presidential Inaugurations. During his previous position as Deputy NPS Liaison to the White House and Manager of President’s Park, he has participated in the planning and implementation of nationally significant events such as the National Christmas Tree Lighting, the White House Easter Egg Roll, and numerous State Arrival Ceremonies. Stanwich’s duties have also included overseeing the White House Visitor Center, care and preservation for several monuments, memorials, statues, and gardens and the monitoring of First Amendment demonstrations that frequently occurred in Lafayette Park and on the White House sidewalk on Pennsylvania Avenue. A native of Virginia, John graduated from Boston University, and received a Master of Science in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and pursued Ph.D. studies in American Diplomatic History at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Lydia Tederick is the Curator of the White House. She received her M.A. in museum studies, with an art history concentration, from George Washington University in 1980. She also has a B.A. in art history and political science from Northern Arizona University. She has been part of the White House curatorial staff since 1979. Tederick has lectured and published articles on the White House collection and specializes in historic photographs of the Executive Mansion. Recent articles for White House History include “Photographs of the Lincoln White House,” “Uriah Levy’s Gift to the Nation: A Statue of Thomas Jefferson by Pierre-Jean David d’Angers,” and “Painted at the Paris Peace Conference: A Portrait of President Woodrow Wilson by William Orpen.” In 2020, Tederick wrote about an important collection of eighteenth-century Italian crèche figures in an article for the Association journal entitled, “From Naples to the East Room for the Holidays: A Crèche for the White House.”