World Monuments Fund and Global Heritage Fund Announce New Affiliation to Protect Cultural Heritage
New York, NY, October 17, 2023—World Monuments Fund (WMF) and Global Heritage Fund (GHF) announce a strategic affiliation to grow their impact in protecting cultural heritage around the world. The groundbreaking affiliation will see WMF and GHF unite efforts to protect endangered heritage as global challenges increasingly threaten vital sites and the well-being of communities around them.
“Collective action is critical in the face of growing challenges such as conflict, climate change, and overtourism,” says GHF Board of Directors Chair Ro King. “We are thrilled to join forces with World Monuments Fund. By uniting, we are amplifying our efforts and increasing resources for communities to protect their cultural heritage.”
Several GHF team members will join WMF. Former GHF Board members Rob Harper and Russell Platt have been elected to the WMF Board of Trustees. Several other former GHF Trustees will transition to WMF’s International Council, the WMF Britain affiliate Board of Directors, and a special task force to maximize the benefit of the affiliation.
“We eagerly welcome the GHF team to our community,” says WMF Board of Trustees Chair Lorna B. Goodman. “Our organizations share a commitment to preserving cultural heritage and our aligned missions create a formidable partnership poised to make an even greater impact on safeguarding cultural sites and traditions for generations to come.”
GHF’s two active projects—Dali Village in Guizhou Province, China, and Ciudad Perdida in Colombia—will be added to WMF’s project portfolio. WMF will benefit from the GHF community, especially on the West Coast of the United States and in Asia. GHF’s experimentation at the intersection of heritage and technology, a legacy of its 2002 founding in Palo Alto, California, will be continued under the auspices of WMF.
“WMF and GHF bring together complementary regional and programmatic experience while sharing the same mission," says WMF President and CEO Bénédicte de Montlaur. “This affiliation will allow us to further our work with communities around the world to safeguard irreplaceable heritage.”
Together, WMF and GHF aim to create a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable future for cultural heritage protection worldwide.
About World Monuments Fund
World Monuments Fund (WMF) is the leading independent organization devoted to safeguarding the world’s most treasured places to enrich people’s lives and build mutual understanding across cultures and communities. The organization is headquartered in New York City with offices and affiliates in Cambodia, France, India, Peru, Portugal, Spain and the UK. Since 1965, our global team of experts has preserved the world's diverse cultural heritage using the highest international standards at more than 700 sites in 112 countries. Partnering with local communities, funders, and governments, WMF draws on heritage to address some of today’s most pressing challenges: climate change, underrepresentation, imbalanced tourism, and post-crisis recovery. With a commitment to the people who bring places to life, WMF embraces the potential of the past to create a more resilient and inclusive society.
About Global Heritage Fund
Founded in 2002, Global Heritage Fund (GHF) invests in the preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage to support the social and economic well-being of communities. Our programs leverage cultural heritage assets to address today’s most pressing global issues including economic disparity, gender inequality, and environmental sustainability, while benefiting local communities directly. We have partnered with over 100 public and private organizations at 30 sites across 20 countries through creative collaborations and grassroots partnerships.
About the New WMF Board Members
Russell Platt: Russell Platt is Co-Founder and CEO of Forum Partners, a global investment company focused on investing in and alongside real estate companies. He is also a philanthropist and an avid supporter of efforts to transform local communities by investing in global heritage. Mr. Platt has over 30 years of experience in real estate finance and investment in Europe and North America. He is an adjunct Professor of Business—Real Estate at Columbia University. Previously, Mr. Platt was Chair of the Governance Committee and member of the Executive and Finance Committees at Global Heritage Fund, a Board Member at DIC Asset (one of Germany’s leading listed property companies), President and Managing Director of Security Capital Research & Management, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, and Founder and Director of the Global Real Estate Department at Morgan Stanley Asset Management. Mr. Platt graduated from Williams College with a BA in Economics and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. He joined WMF’s Board of Trustees in 2023.
Rob Harper: Rob Harper is a Senior Managing Director, Head of Real Estate Asset Management Americas at Blackstone, and a member of the leadership team of Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust (BREIT). Previously, Mr. Harper was based in London and served as Head of Europe for Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies. He has served on numerous public and private boards for real estate companies. He is an avid supporter of efforts to transform local communities by investing in global heritage. Previously, Mr. Harper served as Treasurer, Chair of the Finance Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee at Global Heritage Fund. Mr. Harper graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. He joined WMF’s Board of Trustees in 2023.
Judith Walker | Vice President of Communications, World Monuments Fund | firstname.lastname@example.org