June 24, 2019

Announcing Our New President & CEO

A message from Timothy Whalen, Chair National Trust Board of Trustees

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

On behalf of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Board of Trustees, I am delighted to share with you that Paul Edmondson has been appointed the 9th President and CEO of the National Trust. Through the search, the Trust’s Board identified Paul as the person who, owing to his experience, his lifelong commitment to preservation, and his integrity, is perfectly suited to lead the National Trust. The Board embraces him with great enthusiasm and complete unanimity.

Before taking on the role of interim President earlier this year, Paul Edmondson served for many years as the National Trust’s chief legal officer. In that capacity he has not only been a strong advocate for historic preservation, but also someone who worked to find practical and creative solutions in a broad range of projects and places. Paul championed the strong enforcement and interpretation of preservation law in campaigns ranging from the ongoing fight to remove a massive power transmission line across the James River near Jamestown, Virginia, to defending the protection of archaeological and cultural resources on public lands such as Bears Ears National Monument. He has also built the National Trust’s easement program into a national model and, in his work with National Trust Historic Sites, he has advanced new shared-use models at both Cooper-Molera Adobe and Woodlawn to ensure their sustainability as vibrant and inclusive community assets.

With Paul’s appointment, the National Trust reinforces its unwavering commitment to fostering innovative approaches to save and preserve historic places, including our own 28 National Trust Historic Sites. Under Paul’s leadership, the National Trust will continue to engage in a robust program of technical assistance and legal, legislative, and public advocacy. Further, the National Trust will build stronger working relationships with partner organizations because those relationships are essential to continuing to strengthen the national movement. Above all, the National Trust will focus its work to assure that we tell the full American story so that all citizens can see themselves in our work.

I want to thank the members of the Trustee Search Committee for the enormous effort they have invested to identify the National Trust’s 9th president. Over the course of many months, Jay Clemens led this committee with thoughtfulness, determination, and commitment.The Trustees are deeply grateful for his service and leadership.

During the search, Paul’s leadership as interim President, and his clarity, compassion, and strategic approach, have been enormously valuable to the National Trust and to historic preservation. He and the Trust’s senior leadership team, including the presidents of the National Main Street Center and the National Trust Community Investment Corporation, secured a strong foundation for the Trust’s future. The Board of Trustees is grateful for their efforts.

Thank you for helping us preserve and protect our nation’s historic places.


Timothy Whalen

Chairman, National Trust Board of Trustees

This year, Preservation Month is going virtual. Unlock a piece of history every day from May 1 to May 31.