Charles A. Birnbaum, FASLA, FAAR, is the President & CEO, as well as founder of The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF). Prior to creating TCLF, Birnbaum spent fifteen years as the coordinator of the National Park Service Historic Landscape Initiative (HLI) and a decade in private practice in New York City with a focus on landscape preservation and urban design. One of his major projects is the Web-based initiative What’s Out There (a searchable database of the nation’s designed landscape heritage). He has authored and edited numerous publications including the Modern Landscapes: Transition and Transformation series (Princeton Architectural Press, Volumes printed in 2012 and 2014), Shaping the American Landscape (UVA Press, 2009), Design with Culture: Claiming America’s Landscape Heritage (UVA Press 2005), Preserving Modern Landscape Architecture (1999) and its follow-up publication, Making Post-War Landscapes Visible (2004, both for Spacemaker Press), Pioneers of American Landscape Design (McGraw Hill 2000) and The Guidelines for the Treatment of Cultural Landscapes (National Park Service, 1996). In 1995, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) awarded the HLI the President's Award of Excellence and in 1996 inducted Birnbaum as a Fellow of the Society. He served as a Loeb Fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design during which time he founded TCLF. In 2004, Birnbaum was awarded the Rome Prize in Historic Preservation and Conservation and spent spring/summer of that year at the American Academy in Rome. In 2008, he was the visiting Glimcher Distinguished Professor at Ohio State’s Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture. That same year the ASLA awarded him the Alfred B. LaGasse Medal and in 2009 the President’s Medal. Birnbaum is currently a Visiting Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture Planning + Preservation and a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post.
Robert Griffith is a partner in the Louisville, Kentucky, office of Stites & Harbison, PLLC a law firm with over 260 lawyers in offices located throughout the southeast. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Centre College, a Master of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky. Mr. Griffith began his career in the New York offices of White & Case. He is a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Kentucky Superlawyers, and Chambers USA’s Best Lawyers for Business. Throughout his career he has specialized in business litigation. More recently, his representation of River Fields, Inc. and the Bluegrass Conservancy has resulted in an increased concentration on conservation easements, issues surrounding the protection of historic and environmental resources, and non-profit governance. He has been an active community volunteer and has served as the Chairman of the Board of Louisville’s Speed Art Museum, Chairman of the Better Business Bureau of Louisville, and President of the Episcopal Church Home. He is currently President of Preservation Louisville, Inc. and Secretary of Yew Dell Gardens. He lives with his wife, Mary, on their family’s 700-acre farm in Meade County, Kentucky.
Lina Cortas oversees operations, finances, revenue development, external relations, increasing the visibility of TCLF’s programs and ensuring that the organization’s Strategic Plan, Strategic Communications Plan, and Strategic Development Plan are implemented. Prior to joining TCLF, Lina worked as an independent consultant with local, national, and international organizations in areas ranging from health care to affordable housing, microlending, and agroforestry. Lina has served as the director of finance, and later as COO, of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers. She was the business manager at Tudor Place Historic House and Garden and also owned and operated Opus in Green, a landscape design/build firm. She has served as treasurer on several non-profit boards. In her various former positions, Lina was responsible for operations, finance, governance, strategic planning, organizational development, fundraising efforts and strategies, grant management, human resources, and strengthening relationships among stakeholders.
Nord Wennerstrom handles TCLF's public relations and strategic communications and has more than twenty-five years of experience in public relations and marketing. Prior to joining TCLF, he ran his own public relations firm (TCLF was a lead client), was Director of Communications at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and was an executive at The Fratelli Group public relations firm in Washington, DC. At Fratelli, Wennerstrom's principal client was the National Geographic Channel which he helped launch and promote for seven years (clients also included the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Discovery Communications, Sun Microsystems, Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, Magazine Publishers of America, and many others). He has also written art criticism for Artforum and features for Art & Antiques magazines, was an art dealer, and worked for the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the US House of Representatives. Wennerstrom holds a BA in Political Science from George Washington University.
Suzanne Garza oversees financials, conferences and operational programming for The Cultural Landscape Foundation and serves as Assistant Treasurer and Assistant Secretary on the Board of Directors. She comes to TCLF with a background managing non-profit organizations including several professional membership societies and a foundation working to fund national and international development projects. In the private sector, she has worked in publishing and advertising, with a range of experience including operations, accounting, and grant management.
Scott works primarily on the Pioneers program and its related publications, and he also assists with the What’s Out There program, writing and editing content for the ever-expanding database. Trained in classical art and architecture, his interest in cultural landscapes ranges from the gardens and parks of antiquity to the recent ideation known as Landscape Urbanism. Before joining TCLF, Scott professed the history of art for four years at a rural university in Western New York. He has conducted archaeological research at Pompeii, Rome, Ostia Antica, and Morgantina (Sicily), and has led students on study tours of Italy, Greece, and Turkey. His scholarly publications on antiquity can be found in the Encyclopedia of Ancient History, the Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, the Journal of Roman Archaeology, and Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews. Scott earned his bachelor’s degree in classics from Mary Washington College (2002), and his M.A. in art history (2004) and Ph.D. in classical art and archaeology (2010) from the University of Virginia. In 2008 he won the Rome Prize in Ancient Studies, and is a Kress/Richardson Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.
Barrett Doherty manages visual content for TCLF, including photography, video, graphic design, and social media. He produces the videos for the Pioneers Oral History series. Upon graduation from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor's in English literature, he was commissioned a U.S. Naval officer and served aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Independence. After his tour of duty, he settled in Japan where he became a professional photographer specializing in landscapes, before moving to New York City. He has worked with a number of distinguished clients, including Gap Japan, City Magazine, the Times Square Alliance, the Guardian, Friends of the High Line, Garten + Landschaft, SWA Group, James Corner Field Operations, and Andropogon Associates. He received his Master's degree in landscape architecture from the University of Pennsylvania after interning for Atelier Dreiseitl and James Corner Field Operations. After graduation, he served as the inaugural Cultural Landscape Fellow, sponsored by SWA Group.