Smithsonian Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer
Corine Wegner is the Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer in the Office of the Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution. She coordinates the Smithsonian’s role in emergency response and recovery for cultural heritage threatened by natural disasters, human conflict, and other challenges. Her connection to Smithsonian began with the Haiti Cultural Recovery Project, where she served as international project coordinator for the preservation of more than 30,000 objects of Haitian heritage after the devastating 2010 earthquake. Her recent projects include assistance for cultural heritage in New York after Hurricane Sandy and emergency training workshops for cultural heritage professionals from Mali, Iraq, Syria, Nepal and other countries experiencing disasters.
Before her arrival to the Smithsonian, Corine was associate curator in the department of Decorative Arts, Textiles, and Sculpture at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. In her concurrent Army Reserve career, she served her last assignment as the Arts, Monuments, and Archives officer for the 352d Civil Affairs Command in Baghdad, Iraq. Corine assisted staff at Iraq National Museum in the aftermath of devastating looting and supervised the preservation and freezing of the water damaged collections known as the Iraqi Jewish Archive. Now retired from the Army Reserve, she continues to serve on the board of the Civil Affairs Association and organizes regular military cultural heritage awareness events at Smithsonian. In 2006, Corine founded the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, part of an international organization dedicated to raising awareness of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of Armed Conflict. Her efforts led to the U.S. ratification of this important treaty in 2009.
Corine lectures and writes about the importance of cultural property protection during natural disasters and armed conflict. She holds a BGS from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and dual MA degrees in Art History and Political Science from the University of Kansas.