Monday, January 23, 2017

CPACKed Again on the Way Out the Door

Before leaving office, the outgoing Obama Administration made late appointments or reappointments to all the available slots for the 11 member Cultural Property Advisory Committee.  CPAC members are appointed to three year renewable terms.  As such, the late appointments or reappointments appear calculated to try to ensure that CPAC continues the Obama Administration's "archaeology over all" approach to cultural heritage issues well into the new Administration.

As contemplated by Congress, CPAC is to represent the interests of the public (3 members), the trade (3 members), museums (2 members) and the archaeological community (3 members).  See Senate Report 97-564 at 9.

Under the Obama Administration, however, CPAC picks have been steered to individuals supportive of the retentavist views of the archaeological lobby.  Of course, this also dovetails nicely with the Department of State Cultural Heritage Center's use of MOUs as a "deliverable" to foreign cultural establishments to promote "good will."   At a minimum, all this "good will" helps ensure that the Cultural Heritage Center's allies in the archaeological lobby continue to get the foreign excavation permits they need to continue their work.  These permits allowing for excavations by foreign missions are then portrayed as prime examples of "cultural exchange" fostered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

But archaeology is supposed to be only one stakeholder, not the only stakeholder with an interest in the issues.  Moreover, CPAC ought to provide the President with useful advice so that he or his designee will exercise the "independent judgment" of the U.S. as to the need and scope for import controls.  Senate Report at 6.  Indeed, the Senate has emphasized that "U.S. actions need not be coextensive with the broadest declarations of ownership and historical or scientific value made by other nations."  Id.

Hence, the Obama Administration can and should be faulted for appointing NO ONE representing the interests of the antiquities and coin trade or the interests of members of the public who are collectors. Indeed, having some passing knowledge about trade issues is certainly not the same as "representing" those interests. (The one true "trade representative," James Willis, is an expert in ethnographic artifacts, not antiquities.)

CPO hopes the Trump Administration will undertake a full review of the operations of CPAC and the Cultural Heritage Center to ascertain whether both are operating as contemplated by statute.  CPO also hopes Obama picks (other than Mr. Willis) will be replaced at the earliest time possible with individuals that will provide useful advice reflective of the interests of all stakeholders.

Here are the recent appointments and reappointments to CPAC.

Key, A-Archaeology; M-Museums; P-Public; T-Trade. Where the affiliation is unclear from Obama Administration official announcements, the designation is followed by a ?

January 11, 2017 Announcement

John E. Frank (T?)- 
John E. Frank is Microsoft's Vice President for European Union Government Affairs, a position he has held since 2015 From 2002 to 2015, Mr. Frank served as Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, and Chief of Staff in Microsoft’s Legal and Corporate Affairs Department He worked as Associate General Counsel for Microsoft Europe, Middle East, and Africa from 1996 to 2002 and Corporate Attorney for Microsoft Europe from 1994 to 1996 Mr. Frank was an Associate Attorney with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom from 1988 to 1994 and with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP from 1985 to 1987 He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Seattle Art Museum and served as Board Chair from 2013 to 2015 Mr. Frank received an A.B. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.

ABC News lists Frank as a campaign donations bundler in the $500,000-plus category.

Karol Wight (M)- Was senior curator of antiquities at the Getty Villa and internationally renowned specialist in Roman glass, was named the next executive director of The Corning Museum of Glass, the world’s foremost museum dedicated to the art, history, and science of glass.

Lothar von Falkenhausen (A)- Lothar von Falkenhausen is Professor of Chinese Archaeology and Art History and Associate Director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, where he has taught since 1993. He was educated at Bonn University, Peking University, Kyoto University, and Harvard University, and received his PhD in anthropology from Harvard in 1988. His research concerns the archaeology of the Chinese Bronze Age, focusing on large interdisciplinary and historical issues on which archaeological materials can provide significant new information.

Nancy Wilkie (A)- Nancy Wilkie is a distinguished archaeologist who has lectured on numerous study tours worldwide, especially in the Mediterranean. She is William H. Laird Professor of Classics, Anthropology, and the Liberal Arts, Emerita, at Carleton College where she was co-coordinator of the Archaeology Concentration. Nancy has worked on archaeological projects in Greece, Egypt, and Nepal, authored more than 30 articles, and co-edited three books on archaeology. From 1998-2002 she served as President of the AIA, and in 2009-10 she was the AIA’s Charles Eliot Norton lecturer, one of the highest honors that the Institute bestows. In April 2003 the President appointed Nancy to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee of the U.S. State Department, on which she continues to serve. In April 2013 she was elected President of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, an organization dedicated to the protection of cultural property in times of armed conflict.

January 6, 2017 Announcement

Rosemary Joyce (A) - Cultural Property Advisory Committee; first appointed to CPAC in 2011.
Rosemary Joyce is an American anthropologist and social archaeologist who has specialized in research in Honduras.

James Wright Willis (T) - Cultural Property Advisory Committee; first appointed to CPAC in 2003.
James Wright Willis is the founder of James Willis Tribal Art in San Francisco, which he has owned and operated since 1972.  He is a member of the San Francisco Art Dealers Association and Friends of Ethnic Art in San Francisco.  In addition, he served on the boards of the Museum for African Art, the San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum, and the Ancient and Tribal Arts Study Committee of the M. H. De Young Museum.  Mr. Willis received his B.A. from Pomona College and his M.A. from San Francisco State.

December 15, 2016  Announcement

Dorit D. Straus (T?)- Dorit D. Straus is an Art and Insurance Advisor for Art and Insurance Advisory Services Inc., a position she has held since 2013.  Ms. Straus was previously Vice President Worldwide Specialty Fine Art Manager for Chubb, where she held various management positions from 1982 to 2013.  She has been a Visiting Lecturer at the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art since 2009 and was an Art Culture and Entertainment Manager at ACE USA from 1998 to 2000.  Ms. Straus was a Curatorial Researcher at the Jewish Museum from 1981 to 1982, an Assistant Collection Manager at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography at Harvard University from 1978 to 1981, and an Assistant Registrar at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts from 1976 to 1978.  She serves on the Board of Directors of AXA Art Americas Corporation, and the International Foundation for Art Research.  Ms. Straus received a B.A. from The City University of New York.

September 16, 2016  Announcement

Adele Chatfield-Taylor (P?)-Adele Chatfield-Taylor, a native of Virginia, is an American prominent arts administrator. She served as president and CEO of the American Academy in Rome from 1988 to 2013.

Shannon Keller O'Loughlin (P)- Former chief of staff of National Indian Gaming Commission. Ms. She also supports repatriation of indigenous artifacts.

James K. Reap (M?)-Secretary General of ICLAFI, ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Legal Administrative and Financial Issues.  He also is associated with the Lawyer's Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation.

Jeremy Sabloff (Chairman) (P?) -Jeremy "Jerry" Arac Sabloff is an American anthropologist and past president of the Santa Fe Institute. Sabloff is an expert on ancient Maya civilization and pre-industrial urbanism.


Wayne G. Sayles said...

If memory serves me right, there is in fact a precedent for this. At the end of the GW Bush administration eight years ago there were several CPAC appointments made. The State Department bureaucracy sandbagged all but one (who personally forced the issue by demanding to be sworn in)and reappointed folks with common cause to their agenda. What do you suppose the chances are of Obama's appointments being disenfranchised by DOS? Depending on which side of the fence you're on, what's good for the goose may not be good for the gander. More simply put, double standard is a way of life in Foggy Bottom.

APOHKO said...

I am honored to be a public appointee. I can't wait to hear more from your blog and others about the mission of the Convention, which is to protect cultural property. In the future, you should have my proper bio information; I have included a quick bio here. And yes, I have worked many years to support the protection and repatriation of indigenous peoples cultural property. Thanks!
Shannon Keller O’Loughlin is Chief of Staff at the National Indian Gaming Commission, a position she has held since 2015. Ms. O’Loughlin was Partner and Chair of the Indian Nations Practice Group at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP from 2013 to 2015. During this time, Ms. O’Loughlin was appointed by the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Sally Jewell, as a member of the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act Review Committee. Prior to her partnership at Lewis Brisbois, Ms. O’Loughlin had built her own law firm from 2006 to 2013, where she practiced federal Indian law and indigenous peoples law and policy on behalf of Native American governments and for not-for-profits serving Native Americans. Ms. O’Loughlin was in private practice as an Associate Attorney from 2002 through 2006, and was a Law Clerk for the Arizona Court of Appeals from 2001 to 2002. Ms. O’Loughlin is a member of the National Native American Bar Association and the Lawyers Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation. Ms. O’Loughlin received a B.A. from California State University, Long Beach and joint M.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Arizona. Ms. O’Loughlin is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Cultural Property Observer said...

Ms. O'Loughlin, thanks for your note. The CPIA is supposed to consider all views and I am hopeful you will do so. For some concerns raised by prior CPAC members, see You may also be interested in articles generated after an ABA symposium on the subject. I can provide them to you via email if you request them (my email is

Interestingly, the UNESCO Convention only recognizes State as opposed to indigenous rights, and as you are no doubt aware, the interests of nation states and indigenous peoples don't always coincide.

Best wishes,

Peter Tompa

APOHKO said...

Thank you Mr. Tompa. I look forward to reviewing the information.

Be well,
Shannon Keller O'Loughlin.