Author Biographies

Author Biographies

Francesca Russello Ammon is associate professor of City and Regional Planning and Historic Preservation at the University of Pennsylvania. A cultural historian of the built environment, she studies the forms, social life, and meanings of postwar American cities, focusing especially on attempts at urban revitalization and the urban renewal era. She is the prize-winning author of Bulldozer: Demolition and Clearance of the Postwar Landscape (Yale University Press, 2016), and of articles published in the Journal of Urban History, Journal of Planning History, Planning Education and Research, Preservation Education and Research, and Technology & Culture. She is currently writing a book about the urban renewal of Society Hill, Philadelphia.

Amanda Johnson Ashley is associate professor in Boise State University’s School of Public Service, where she also directs the Urban Studies and Community Development program. Her work explores urban revitalization through property-based economic development, public/private partnerships, and civic collaboration. Dr. Ashley’s research examines the function of arts and entertainment in cities and the redevelopment of former military bases. She earned a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania, a master of urban and regional planning from the University of Minnesota, and a bachelor of arts in political science and international studies from Northwestern University.

Erica Avrami, Ph.D., is James Marston Fitch Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and an affiliate with the Earth Institute – Center for Sustainable Urban Development. Her research focuses on the intersection of heritage and sustainability planning, the role of preservation in urban policy, and societal values in heritage decision-making.

Caroline Cheong is assistant professor in the University of Central Florida’s History Department. Her research spans historic preservation and economic development, focusing on the relationship between urban heritage conservation, urban regeneration, and poverty reduction. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in city and regional planning, her master of science in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania, and her bachelor of science in anthropology from the University of Chicago. Previously she was director of research for Heritage Strategies International and PlaceEconomics, through which, with preservation economist Donovan Rypkema, she published numerous research reports and professional publications focusing on the economic impacts of historic preservation.

Kecia L. Fong is a conservation professional and lecturer in the Graduate Program of Historic Preservation in the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked internationally for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, US National Park Service, and the Getty Conservation Institute, among others. Her current research examines the conservation movement in Yangon, Myanmar for what it suggests about an increasingly global practice and the ways in which urban conservation is enrolled in civic transformations in rapidly urbanizing Southeast Asia. She is senior associate editor of Change Over Time.

Scot A. French is associate professor of history at the University of Central Florida, specializing in the study of cultural landscapes and sites of memory associated with African- American history in the U.S. South. He is author of The Rebellious Slave: Nat Turner in American Memory (Houghton Mifflin, 2004) and has contributed essays to various edited volumes, most recently Marked, Unmarked, Remembered: A Geography of American Memory (West Virginia University Press, 2017). A film based on his research, That World is Gone: Race and Displacement in a Southern Town, won Audience Favorite, Best Short Documentary, at the Virginia Film Festival (2010).

Cherie-Nicole Leo holds a master of science in historic preservation from Columbia University and a bachelor of arts in geography with honors from the University of British Columbia.

Dennis Rodwell, MA, DipArch(Cantab), DipFrench(Open), RIBA, FRIAS, FSA Scot, FRSA, IHBC, MRTPI (Affiliate), independent researcher and consultant architect-planner, works internationally in the field of cultural heritage and sustainable urban development and focuses on the promotion and achievement of best practice in the management of the broadly defined historic environment. Previously a principal in private architectural practice, he has also served in local government posts as architect, conservation officer, urban designer, principal planner, and project manager. He writes and publishes widely on the theme of conservation and sustainability in historic cities. Further information including a bibliography of his publications may be found at

Stephanie Ryberg-Webster is associate professor in the Department of Urban Studies at Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs, where she also directs the Master of Urban Planning and Development program. Her work addresses the intersections of historic preservation and urban development. She has published research on preservation and community development, African-American heritage, historic rehabilitation tax credits, and preservation amid urban decline. She holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania, a master of historic preservation from the University of Maryland, and a bachelor of urban planning from the University of Cincinnati.

Alberto Sanchez Sanchez is a doctoral student in architecture at UC Berkeley and a licensed architect in Spain. Mr. Sanchez Sanchez holds a professional degree in architecture from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and a master of science in historic preservation from Columbia University. He has worked as a consultant for several architectural firms and public institutions and was a program associate at World Monuments Fund.

Dr. Meredith Wiggins is a researcher with Historic England, The U.K. government’s expert adviser on the historic environment. She works at the intersection of the natural and built environments, and is particularly interested in climate change adaptation, ecosystem services, and sustainable development.


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