Stephanie Meeks - President and Chief Executive Officer
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.
Meeks led the repositioning of the organization’s portfolio of 27 historic sites to achieve new levels of stewardship, interpretation, and financial sustainability, and added a significant new historic site in Southern California, Thornton Gardens. 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.
Recent Speeches and Statements
Speech | November 15, 2018
Remarks by Stephanie K. Meeks at PastForward 2018
Statement | November 2, 2018
National Trust for Historic Preservation Statement on the Hateful Violence at Tree of Life Synagogue
Statement | October 29, 2018
National Trust for Historic Preservation Statement on the Passing of William J. Murtagh, Jr.
On April 26, 2017, Stephanie had the opportunity to speak at length with Kai Ryssdal of Marketplace about historic preservation, The Past and Future City, and all the benefits that come from reusing existing and historic buildings for contemporary purposes.
Stephanie Meeks Stories
From coast to coast, fascinating historic places are waiting for you to visit and explore.Begin Your Journey