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Assistant Secretary Satterfield (first row, third from left) is pictured with CHCC members who attended the meeting in person. An additional 40+ members attended virtually.

On September 27, 2022, the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Lee Satterfield, convened the 16 member agencies of the Cultural Heritage Coordinating Committee (CHCC) for the second time this year.  The Committee’s discussion focused on recent cultural heritage multilateral meetings, policy changes, and increased capabilities.
Assistant Secretary Satterfield and Cultural Heritage Center staff updated the Committee on outcomes of the G20 Culture Ministerial, where member states’ ministers of culture met to discuss shared goals, including post-Covid-19 recovery in the cultural sector.  At the Ministerial, the United States took a strong stance against Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian cultural identity and the heritage of minority groups, and enhanced U.S. bilateral relationships with Indonesia (2022 G20 President) and India (2023 G20 President).
The Committee discussed the Smithsonian Institution’s new Ethical Returns and Shared Stewardship Policy released this spring.  The new policy allows for shared stewardship arrangements and the return of museum collections to individuals and communities in appropriate circumstances, based on ethical considerations and best practices.  The United States is an example of success for shared stewardship of cultural heritage and is eager to continue investing in long-term relationships and capacity building initiatives with countries or groups that engage with the policy.
The Committee also spoke about the recently reconstituted U.S. Army Monuments Officers.  These modern-day “Monuments Men” are members of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs Corps with responsibility to advise the military about cultural heritage issues, legal obligations, and diplomatic concerns encountered in deployments throughout the world—especially in times of war and political crisis.  The first class to graduate from Army Monuments Officer Training in August included 14 U.S. Army officers, one archivist, and eight foreign military representatives from the UK, Italy, Australia, the Netherlands, France, Lebanon, and Austria. This training was developed by the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative and the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command.
Following up from the April 2022 CHCC meeting, the Committee applauded the Institute of Museum and Library Services for its recent award of $50,000 to the University of Pennsylvania to support and expand the Cultural Property Experts on Call Program, which facilitates consultations between U.S. law enforcement officials and experts in archaeology and art history when expertise is needed during investigations.  The one-year grant will support program staff and broaden recruitment of subject matter experts for regions most in need.
The U.S. Department of State established the Cultural Heritage Coordinating Committee in 2016 to coordinate U.S. government efforts to protect and preserve cultural property internationally when it is at risk from political instability, armed conflict, or natural or other disasters. 
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries to promote friendly and peaceful relations. We accomplish this mission through academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges that engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and rising leaders in the United States and more than 160 countries.


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