Advisors represent the skills, interests, backgrounds, accomplishments, and diverse constituencies involved in the preservation movement in the United States. They are selected after consultation with preservation partners in the affected states, and offer assistance to the National Trust through their personal skills, knowledge of issues, and familiarity with the state’s and region’s resources, leaders, government, media, and community organizations. Advisors provide valuable counsel on emerging concerns and trends, and in turn have stimulated the creation of program activities responding to a range of issues, including diversity, the recent past, heritage education, heritage tourism, and economic development. The Trust’s regional offices maintain a strong working relationship with each Advisor in his or her region and help to determine when and how the skills of an individual Advisor might best be matched to identified needs. The Resource Center in the National Trust’s Washington D.C. office supports the leadership of the Board of Advisors and coordinates the meetings of Advisors.
Advisors convene at least twice annually, once at the national preservation conference and again each Spring, either in different cities in their region, or in Washington, D.C., on a rotating basis. Since 1999, Advisors have sponsored educational sessions at the conference, using the opportunity to bring together the experiences of a group of individuals around a rising issue challenging preservationists and communities across the country. Spring meetings every other year in Washington coincide with the preservation movement’s Lobby Day activities, coordinated by a partnership of preservation organizations including the National Trust. Advisors are prominently active in such advocacy activities on a national, regional, and local level.
The Board of Advisors is governed by an annually elected Executive Committee of officers and the chairs of the regional boards of Advisors, plus four individuals from the at-large Advisor membership. The work of the Advisors is accomplished on specialized committees formed around specific issues in concert with staff of the National Trust. Additionally, Advisors serve on committees of the Board of Trustees and the National Trust’s Diversity Council at the invitation of the Chairman of the Board. The Chairman of the Board of Advisors is an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees and a member of its Executive Committee.
Advisors Emeritus are former Advisors who have completed three three-year terms or who have served with distinction, and were elected to Emeritus status. Since the Board’s inception, 221 Advisors have become Emeritus.