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About the Commission: Commissioners, State Review Board Members, Strategic Planning Committee Members

The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission includes the following Commissioners:

J. Michael Abbott, AIA
Mr. Abbott is an architect with over thirty years professional experience with historic rehabilitation and adaptive reuse projects.

Tripp Evans
Dr. Evans is an Architectural Historian who teaches at Wheaton College.

Morgan Grefe
Historian.  Dr. Grefe is the Executive Director, Rhode Island Historical Society.

Tanya Kelley
Landscape Historian.  Ms. Kelley is a landscape designer with more than 30 years of experience.  She is a member of Newport’s Washington Square Advisory Committee.

E. Pierre Morenon, Ph.D.
Dr. Morenon teaches Anthropology at Rhode Island College. His research has spanned from pre-European archaeology to study of recent immigrants.

Kaity Ryan
Ms. Ryan is the Executive Director of the Norman Bird Sanctuary

Clark Schoettle
Mr. Schoettle is the former executive director of the Providence Revolving Fund.

Lucie Searle
Public Member.  Ms. Searle has managed historic rehabilitation projects and is a past president of the Providence Preservation Society.

John Smith
Museologist.  Mr. Smith is the director of the RISD Museum.

Ruth Taylor (Commission Chair)
Anthropologist & Historian.  Ms. Taylor is the executive director of the Newport Historical Society that has a library and archives, museum collections, and operates several historic sites.

Meredith E. Brady
Associate Director, Dept. of Administration, Division of Planning
Represented by Kevin Nelson  

Janet Coit (ex officio)
Director, Department of Environmental Management
Represented by Paul Jordan

Jesse Saglio (ex officio)
President, Commerce RI    

John P. Leyden (ex officio)
State Building Code Commissioner
Represented by Warren Ducharme, R.A.

J. Paul Loether (ex officio)
State Historic Preservation Officer


The State Review Board includes Commissioners Abbott, Evans, and Morenon as well as:

Marisa Angell Brown, Ph.D.

Patrick Malone, Ph.D.

Ronald Onorato, Ph.D. (Board Chair)

Edward F. Sanderson

Martha Werenfels, AIA, LEED AP


The Strategic Planning Committee includes Commissioners Kelley, Schoettle, and Searle well as:

Donna Alqassar

Marisa Angell Brown, Ph.D.

Timothy Ives, Ph.D.

J. Paul Loether

Elizabeth Warburton Rochefort

Sarah Zurier