11th Annual Celebration of World Heritage 2020:
A Virtual Celebration of World Heritage

We reimagined our annual gala into the Virtual Celebration of World Heritage with exciting and festive online programming and bespoke packages sent to sponsors’ homes. The event took place on Saturday, December 19, at 5 pm EST.  The Celebration Program is below or can be downloaded here.

Saturday, December 19, 2020


It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to the World Heritage USA Virtual Celebration of World Heritage. In previous years, we would be gathered in the beautiful ballroom of the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. Instead, we are coming together virtually and celebrating all that World Heritage offers with friends and colleagues across the globe.

We know that 2020 has been a transformative year with many challenges. This year, World Heritage USA introduced a number of new programs, coming together virtually for critical conversations and collaborating with many partners new and old. World Heritage USA conveys its deep appreciation to the sponsors of this event. All sponsorships and donations received by December 31, 2020, will be doubled by a generous $200,000 matching challenge grant from World Heritage USA Fellow Ronald Lee Fleming.

As we think about the role of World Heritage USA in this changing world, we are reminded of the power and importance of heritage. Heritage is the foundation on which we build our communities. At World Heritage USA, we will continue to employ heritage as a tool to advance our priorities of intercultural understanding — to support social justice, slow climate change, and implement the UNESCO 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

In our program this evening you will hear from speakers who will address the need for intercultural understanding from World Heritage Sites in the United States and around the world. This will be our eleventh annual Celebration of World Heritage, and we invite you to celebrate Russell E. Train’s revolutionary idea of our shared cultural heritage. Your support and commitment ensure that the future of World Heritage USA will continue to be bright.


The Honorable Irina Bokova
Former Director-General, UNESCO

The Honorable Esther Coopersmith
UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

Henry R. Muñoz, III
Designer, Opinion Leader, Philanthropist


Welcome by Douglas C. Comer, Ph.D.
President, World Heritage USA

Remarks by Jan C. K. Anderson
Fellow, World Heritage USA

The Honorable Irina Bokova
Former Director-General, UNESCO

Remarks by T. Destry Jarvis
Vice President, World Heritage USA

The Honorable Congresswoman Deb Haaland
U.S. Representative from New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District

Year-End Greetings by World Heritage Sites
Recognition of Ronald Lee Fleming by Jan C. K. Anderson
Fellow, World Heritage USA

Remarks by Her Royal Highness Dana Firas

Celebratory Toast
Kate Montague Perry, Secretary, World Heritage USA
T. Destry Jarvis, Vice President, World Heritage USA
Peyton Hall, FAIA, Trustee, World Heritage USA
Jan C. K. Anderson, Fellow, World Heritage USA
Honorable William A. Bell, Sr., Trustee, World Heritage USA
Douglas C. Comer, Ph.D., President, World Heritage USA

World Heritage USA TRUSTEES

Douglas C. Comer, Ph.D., President
T. Destry Jarvis, Vice President
Ellen Delage, Fellow, World Heritage USA, Treasurer
Kate Montague Perry, Secretary

Jan C. K. Anderson, Fellow, World Heritage USA
John M. Fowler, Fellow, World Heritage USA
James Reap, Fellow, World Heritage USA

Honorable William A. Bell, Sr.
Tom Cassidy
Caroline Sidney Cheong, Ph.D.
Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
Stephen J. Farneth, FAIA
R. Grant Gilmore III, Ph.D., RPA
Peyton Hall, FAIA
Archer St. Clair Harvey
Zoe Leung
Brian Michael Lione
Adam Markham
Lea A. Shanley, Ph.D.
John F. Smith III, LL.B.
Sheree Wen, Ph.D.


Jan C. K. Anderson
Honorable William A. Bell, Sr. & Dr. Sharon C. Bell
Elizabeth & Douglas C. Comer
Archer St. Clair Harvey
Sheree Wen

Kent Diebolt, 1% for the Planet
Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
John M. Fowler
Peyton Hall, FAIA
Brian Michael Lione & Hillori Schenker
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Kathryn H. Washburn
Timothy P. Whalen

Stephen Farneth, FAIA & Elizabeth Rintoul
Kate Montague Perry
Robin Tauck

Brenda Barrett
Bo & Susan Ciaverelli
Cultural Heritage Partners, PLLC
Ellen Delage
R. Grant Gilmore III
Gray & Pape Heritage Management
Nan R Gutterman, FAIA, FAPT & William H. Irby
T. Gunny Harboe, FAIA
T. Destry Jarvis
Pamela Jerome
Randolph Langenbach
Zoe Leung
Christy McAvoy
James & Carol Reap
Kak Slick
J. Todd Stephenson
Kathryn Wollan

Michele Aubry
Tom J. Cassidy
Caroline Cheong, Ph.D.
Theresa Donnelly
Nancy Farrell
Christine Grubbs
Christopher Marrion
Andy McLeod
Tennessee Mills
Gareth Morgan
Richard Murphy, Former Director, Prince William Public Library System
Kevin Murray
Ohio History Connection
Kaitlin Paecklar
Laura Purvis
Alison Ross
Bret Ruby
Dr. Lea Shanley
Carol & Joe Shull
Rhonda Sincavage
Caitlin E. Smith
Jennifer Spreitzer
Karl Stumpf
Jeanne Marie Teutonico
Rebecca Viagran
Mark Wulff

In formation, as of December 28, 2020


We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to the World Heritage Sites and countries who contributed to our videos.

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Glacier National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
ICOMOS Estonia
ICOMOS Germany
ICOMOS Hungary
ICOMOS International (Paris, France)
ICOMOS Ireland
ICOMOS Moldova
ICOMOS Morocco
ICOMOS Netherlands
ICOMOS South Africa
ICOMOS Thailand
ICOMOS United Kingdom
Mammoth Cave National Park
Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville
Sitio Histórico de San Juan

World Heritage USA

The United States National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (World Heritage USA) is part of the worldwide ICOMOS network of people, institutions, government agencies, and private corporations who support the conservation of the world’s heritage. For over 50 years, World Heritage USA has worked to deliver the best of international historic preservation and heritage conservation work to the U.S. domestic preservation dialogue, while sharing and interpreting for the world the unique American historic preservation system.

As the only U.S. professional preservation organization with a global focus, World Heritage USA is the gateway for U.S. professionals to participate in worldwide heritage conservation. With over 700 members, World Heritage USA promotes strong ties between national, regional, private, and governmental organizations within the U.S. and the international preservation community.

World Heritage USA guides and promotes activities through an extensive membership network of preservation professionals, institutions, and organizations, including specialized scientific committees. World Heritage USA also organizes an annual international scientific symposium, an international intern exchange program, and occasional special training courses and workshops.

Thank You for Your Support