WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sara Bronin, former chair of Hartford’s Planning and Zoning Commission, founder of DesegregateCT, and former chair of Preservation Connecticut, was confirmed as chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation by the U.S. Senate in a unanimous vote on Dec. 22.
President Joe Biden nominated Bronin in June 2021 and she testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in Sept. that year. The committee approved her nomination in March 2022.
“I am grateful to President Biden and the Senate for the incredible opportunity to lead the ACHP,” Bronin said in a release. “Historic, tribal, and cultural resources connect us with our past, while offering a chance to shape our future. That is why preservationists must engage in current debates about energy policy, climate resilience, housing development, transportation infrastructure, tribal sovereignty, and the tax system.”
Bronin said that as chair she hoped to work with the agency’s “experienced and knowledgeable staff to continue the ACHP’s involvement in these key issues, bringing a spirit of innovation, a commitment to inclusion, and a sense of deep responsibility to generations to come.”
A tenured professor at Cornell University, Bronin is an architect and attorney specializing in historic preservation, property, land use and climate change, according to a release. She served on the board of Latinos in Heritage Conservation and as an advisor for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She founded the National Zoning Atlas, which has researched the nation’s approximately 30,000 zoning codes.
Jordan Tannenbaum, vice chair of the council, has overseen the operation of the agency since June 2021. He told CT Examiner that the council provides leadership in preserving America’s heritage by actively advancing the protection, enhancement and contemporary use of historic properties that are owned by the federal government and by promoting inter-governmental cooperation and partnerships for the preservation and use of historic properties.
“Professor Bronin certainly will provide leadership, given her incredible background,” Tannenbaum said.
The council was created by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, which was signed by President Lyndon Johnson. The council consists of 24 statutorily designated members, including four general public members, four experts, and positions from a variety of federal agencies.
Bronin will assume her role in early 2023. Her term as chair runs concurrently with the term of the sitting President and will expire Jan. 19, 2025.