VINCENT L. MICHAEL, Ph.D.
is Executive Director of the Global Heritage Fund (GHF) in Palo Alto, California. The Fund helps preserve World Heritage Sites in developing countries, employing the four points of Preservation By Design®: Planning, Conservation, Partnerships and Community Development. It is this mission and four years on the Senior Advisory Board of GHF that brought Vince to GHF from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he held the John H. Bryan Chair in Historic Preservation and was Director of the Historic Preservation Program from 1996 to 2010.
A professional preservationist since 1983, Vincent first worked on the creation and interpretation of the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor, and then as a planner and advocate for Landmarks Illinois for 8 years. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Chicago and received a Trustee’s Award from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts to complete his doctorate in architectural history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His dissertation looked at the history of historic districts in New York and Chicago.
Vince is a Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the nation’s premier private preservation organization, and serves as Chair of the Historic Sites Fund Subcommittee and Vice Chair of the Diversity Task Force. He is on the Board and has served as Secretary and Issues Committee Chair of Landmarks Illinois, the leading private preservation organization in the state. He is Chair of the Senior Advisory Board for the Global Heritage Fund and has traveled to international preservation conferences for various organizations and the U.S. Department of State. He is Chair Emeritus of the National Council for Preservation Education, and President Emeritus of the Site Council for the Gaylord Building, a National Trust property.
Vincent has served on the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council and the Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission, as well as numerous local preservation organizations and advisory bodies, including the Black Metropolis/Bronzeville Convention and Visitors Bureau and Maxwell Street Foundation. He has served as an expert witness in a variety of landmark cases in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois and has been a consultant on award-winning restorations and community plans. For the last decade he has worked to preserve the Weishan Heritage Valley in Yunnan, China with the Center for US-China Arts Exchange at Columbia University, frequently bringing student study groups to the Southern Silk Road city. He has lectured on historic preservation, architecture, geography, art and history throughout the United States, in Europe and Asia. Since 1983 he has led hundreds of tours on subjects ranging from architecture and geology to literature and industry throughout Chicago, Illinois, and abroad. His writings include two videos on Chicago architecture, several Michelin Travel Publications, articles in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Design Issues, Future Anterior, Traditional Building, forum journal and The Encyclopedia of Chicago and the book The Architecture of Barry Byrne (University of Illinois Press, 2013). Since 2005 he has authored the weekly blog Time Tells, which has been cited by traditional media and was heard on Marfa Public Radio’s weekly program Preservation Nation in Texas from 2007 to 2012.