In August 2020, Professor Peter Stone was elected as President of the Blue Shield, after serving on the international Board as a member from 2014-2017, and as Vice-President from 2017-2020.
He is the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Property Protection (CPP) and Peace at Newcastle University (UK), and has served as Chair of the UK national committee of the Blue Shield since its founding in 2012. He was previously Head of the School of Arts and Cultures and Director of the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies at Newcastle University, prior to which he worked for for English Heritage, as a field archaeologist, and history teacher. He has published widely on heritage management, interpretation, education, and CPP. Peter was Honorary CEO of the World Archaeological Congress (1998-2008), and has worked with colleagues in China since 2007 on the better management of the historic environment.
Peter has been involved in CPP since 2003 when he was advisor to the UK’s Ministry of Defence regarding the protection of cultural property in Iraq. He has written 17 papers on CPP and co-edited, with Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly, The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Iraq (2008) and edited Cultural Heritage, Ethics and the Military (2011). His article ‘The 4 Tier approach’ led directly to the establishment of a CPP Unit in UK forces, and he advised the UK Government on the ratification of all parts of the 1954 Hague Convention.
Board Member, Designated representative of ICOM
Medea Ekner became the Director General (interim) of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in June 2023.
She is a museologist and future oriented museum strategist, with a passion for the preservation and promotion of global cultural heritage and international cooperation among museums. As Chair of ICOM Sweden, she initiated the accreditation process of one of the latest national BS committees: Blue Shield Sweden. She has previously served as the Vice Chair of the Advisory Council of the ICOM.
Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly
Elected Board Member
Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly is an archaeologist and journalist. She has worked from 1998 till 2013 in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, documenting the discovery and destruction of heritage in the Middle East. She has written for several Lebanese newspapers and co-edited with Professor Peter Stone the book “The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Iraq”, winner of the James R. Wiseman Book Award in 2011. After witnessing the loss of heritage, she decided to start “working” on the topic.
In 2005, she was a founding member of Biladi, an NGO dedicated to the promotion and safeguarding of heritage through training for professionals and educational activities. In 2015, she collaborated with colleagues to create the Lebanese Committee of the Blue Shield and launched with Blue Shield International several training programs for UNIFIL forces in South Lebanon and heritage professionals. After the Beirut Blast on the 4th of August 2020, she coordinated with the Blue Shield International and Cultural Emergency Response mission to safeguard the destroyed heritage in collaboration with the Lebanese Armed Forces, the UNIFIL, the Directorate General of Antiquities and the Heritage sector in Lebanon.
Joanne is currently the program manager at Biladi and CER-HUB Lebanon for an emergency response program (Jouhouzia) in order to safeguard heritage in times of crisis. She helped set up the first Cultural Property Protection centre in the Lebanese Armed forces and has an MOU with the Independent Work Regiment.
Elected Board Member
Hamady Gaye is of Senegalese nationality, where he is the Curator of Libraries. He is the Secretary General of the Senegal Blue Shield National Committee, and the Head of the Conservation and Preservation of Collections Department at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar (UCAD). He was elected to the International Board of the Blue Shield in August 2020 and was re-elected for a second term in 2023.
M. Gaye’s university course at UCAD leads to a professional Master 2 in documentary information sciences, option: Heritage valuation, a professional license in documentary information sciences, a diploma of aptitude for the functions of librarian; and a Diploma in Emergency Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis from ICCROM.
Mr Gaye is a library marketing specialist (stationed in the Public Relations Department of the Central Library of UCAD from 2011 to 2018), and is particularly active in emergency and heritage aid. In this capacity, he is a member of the Senegalese “Memory of the World” committee, the Sources Commission of the Editorial Board of the General History of Senegal and the Senegalese Association of Librarians.
He is the author of several communications and scientific publications on the theme of heritage and its safeguarding:
- The West African cultural heritage in the effect of political-ideological issues: a heritage in sursis? Lessons of the past. Conference “Coping with Culture: Culture in Times of Geopolitical Challenges”, November-11-14, 2019, Hamburg, GERMANY
- Popular legitimacy as a factor in a preventive strategy for safeguarding cultural heritage in local communities: the example of the Central Library of the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar. FAC Africa Participants Conference, November 2018 _ Bamako, MALI
Information skills and documentary practices, in the digital age, among UCAD students: from uncertainty … to autonomy. EBAD-UCAD international colloquium, 14, 15 and 16 November 2017, UCAD, Dakar SENEGAL
Protection of book and cultural heritage: Senegal deploys its Blue Shield. In “Sud quotidien”, September 06, 2009, No4910
Emilie Gagnet Leumas
Board Member, Designated representative of ICA
Emilie Gagnet Leumas, PhD, CA, CRM is the chair of the International Council on Archives’ Expert Group on Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness. She is the director of Archives and Records at the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
Leumas has received national and international recognition for her efforts in disaster recovery after Hurricane Katrina. She has participated in recovery efforts after local and regional disasters, especially those related to flooding in south Louisiana.
She has presented conference papers, facilitated workshops and guest lectured at local, state, national and international meetings on subjects including disaster recovery, risk management, salvaging sacred objects, archives management, and records management.
Board Member, Designated representative of IFLA
Sharon Memis, FRSA, took up the role of Secretary General and CEO of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in June 2023. Sharon’s background is in international cultural relations and higher education. She is a passionate internationalist and speaks several languages. Sharon spent most of her career with the British Council and held senior leadership roles in Europe, North America and Asia promoting UK Education and Culture. She has also worked for a range of organisations as a consultant in international strategy. Prior to joining IFLA, Sharon was Chief Operating Officer at the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
Elected Board Member
Anna Puhr is specialized in the fields of communication, cultural heritage protection and digitalization. She obtained a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies at KU Leuven and a Bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies as well as in Romance Studies studying at the University of Vienna and at Paris-East Créteil University.
Starting her professional career at the UN Information Service in Vienna, she afterwards moved to Brussels to work for the Austrian Foreign Ministry at the Cultural Forum and became later a policy advisor at the Austrian Mission to NATO. Contrary to her expectations, she was able to establish a relation between culture and security matters which has sparked her interest for cultural heritage protection in conflict zones. In 2020, she spent two months with the NGO Biladi in Lebanon, first during a revolution, then after the Beirut port blast researching the role of civil society for the protection of cultural heritage.
Since 2021, she is part of the communications department at Burgtheater, the national theatre of Austria, where she encourages digital cultural participation and the transmission of intangible heritage. Remaining engaged to cultural heritage protection from hazards, she was elected Deputy General-Secretary of Blue Shield Austria in May 2021 and is Blue Shield’s EU Digital Representative since 2022.
Elected Board Member, Treasurer
Klaus Weschenfelder presently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Blue Shield Germany since May 2020. He was elected to the International Board of the Blue Shield in August 2020 and was re-elected for a second term in 2023.
He was a Board Member of the International Committee of Fine Arts (ICFA) within ICOM 2003–2009, a Board Member of ICOM Germany 2007–2009 and Chair of ICOM Germany 2009–2013. Furthermore, he served on the Board of the Prince Albert Society 2007–2017 and on the Advisory Board of the Richard Wagner Museum Bayreuth 2012–2017.
Born in 1952, he studied art history, archaeology and history of the Roman Provinces, and pedagogy at the university of Munich; he graduated (M.A.) in 1977, Dr. phil. in 1980. He has worked in several German museums, last as director of Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg (2002‒2018).
He published in the field of museums education, cultural action, museology and on art his-tory from Middle Ages to 20th century. As Head of the Museums Department of the City of Koblenz, he gained experience in Disaster Risk Management, e.g. in dealing with the flood that affected the municipal museums situated near the rivers Rhine and Moselle; as Chair of ICOM Germany he initiated the publication of a manual on Preventive Conservation.
Board Member, Designated representative of ICOMOS
Michał Wosiński, MA ML, is the representative of ICOMOS on the International Board of Blue Shield and is an expert member of ICOMOS ICLAFI - International Scientific Committee on Legal Administrative and Financial Issues. Michał works internationally as Heritage Consultant specialising in World Heritage, cultural heritage law and Heritage Impact Assessments. He was involved in projects in the Arab States, Central Asia and Europe.
He works at Jacobs as Principal Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Specialist. Before that, from 2014 to 2021, he worked as Cultural Heritage Specialist in Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities.
Michał has published several papers on legal protection of cultural heritage in the Arab States. He is an alumnus of the World Heritage Studies programme at Brandenburg University of Technology.