Lori Foley, HENTF Administrator, Receives CoSA President's Award
Sep 30, 2019
At its August annual meeting in Austin, TX, the Council of State Archivists recognized the disaster response leadership of Lori Foley, the administrator of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The Council, whose membership consists of the heads of the state and territorial government archives of the 56 U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia, announced that Foley was presented the Council’s President’s Award in appreciation for her disaster response and recovery work with archives, libraries, museums, and other cultural heritage organizations in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the 2017 storms.
Foley coordinates the functions of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF), a program co-sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Smithsonian Institution, ensuring that local, state, territorial, and federal cultural stewards and emergency managers work together before and after disasters to protect cultural heritage. Prior to joining FEMA and serving as the HENTF liaison to the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, Foley was VP of Emergency Programs at Heritage Preservation, where her responsibilities included creating and supporting cultural heritage emergency networks, including the Alliance for Response and the State Heritage Emergency Partnership. She has lectured widely and conducted numerous workshops on emergency preparedness and response at cultural institutions across the U.S. and internationally.
In announcing the award, Council President John Dougan, Missouri State Archivist, noted the importance of Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands cultural heritage to residents and to the nation, and underscored the special preservation challenges of island environments, which require particular vigilance. “In every respect, Lori Foley understands these challenges,” said Council Executive Director Barbara Teague. “You can count on Lori to quickly mobilize efforts, offer expertise and encouragement, and keep many stakeholders in the communications loop. She is dedicated to helping cultural heritage institutions preserve their collections after a disaster.”
A President’s Award was also awarded by the Council to Susan Lugo, retired Territorial Archivist of the U.S. Virgin Islands, for her dedicated post-disaster cultural heritage work in the U.S. Virgin Islands following the 2017 hurricanes. After the storms, Lugo provided voluntary consultations, professional guidance, and educational resources to the Virgin Islands community of heritage collection caregivers and custodians. Eventually, Lugo was hired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as its Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF) Liaison for the Virgin Islands disasters and served in that role for a year.