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AFC welcomes new Presidential appointees to its Board of Trustees

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The American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress welcomes three new Presidential appointees to the Center’s Board of Trustees: Sara C. Bronin, Chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), Admiral Rachel Leland Levine, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Charles Sams III, Director of the National Park Service. Each appointee will serve a term that expires June 1, 2028.

Sara C. Bronin, Chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, has been appointed to the AFC Board of Trustees, 2023

Prior to her confirmation to the ACHP, Sara Bronin spent her career as a professor and public servant. Her interdisciplinary research in the areas of property, land use, historic preservation, and energy has focused on how law and policy can foster more equitable, sustainable, well-designed, and connected places. She has published five books and treatises and dozens of articles, book chapters, and shorter works on these topics. She also founded the National Zoning Atlas, which aims to translate and standardize information about how zoning regulates housing in around 30,000 jurisdictions nationally. While chairing the ACHP, she is on leave from her tenured position at Cornell University, where she serves as Professor in the College of Architecture Art & Planning, Professor in the Rubacha Department of Real Estate, an Associate Faculty Member of the Law School, and a member of the Graduate Faculty in the Field of Architecture.


Admiral Rachel Leland Levine, HHS
Admiral Rachel L. Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has been appointed to the AFC Board of Trustees, 2023

Admiral Rachel L. Levine serves as the 17th Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), after being nominated by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2021. As Assistant Secretary for Health, she’s working to help the nation overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and build a stronger foundation for a healthier future. Admiral Levine also is the head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, one of the eight uniformed services. Admiral Levine graduated from Harvard College and Tulane University School of Medicine, and subsequently completed her training in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City. As a physician, she focused on the intersection between mental and physical health, treating children, adolescents, and young adults. Her previous service includes: Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine Vice-Chair for Clinical Affairs for the Department of Pediatrics, and Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

NPS Director Charles Sams III
 Charles Sams III, Director of the US National Park Service, has been appointed to the AFC Board of Trustees, 2023

Charles Sams III was sworn in as the 19th director of the National Park Service on December 16, 2021. He is Cayuse and Walla Walla and is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Northeast Oregon, where he grew up. He also has blood ties to the Cocopah Tribe and Yankton Sioux of Fort Peck. For 30 years, Sams has worked in tribal and state government, and in the non-profit natural resource and conservation management field, with an emphasis on the responsibility of strong stewardship for land preservation for this and future generations. Sams is a veteran of the US Navy where he served as an intelligence specialist. He holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Concordia University and a Master of Legal Studies in Indigenous Peoples Law from the University of Oklahoma School of Law.

The AFC was created by the U.S. Congress in 1976 through Public Law 94-201, the “American Folklife Preservation Act.”  According to the law, the Center receives policy direction from a Board of Trustees that is composed of representatives from departments and agencies of the federal government concerned with some aspect of American folklife traditions and the arts; the heads of four of the major federal institutions concerned with culture and the arts; persons from private life who are able to provide regional balance; and the director of the Center.  Included in the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 1999, are provisions for the board to be expanded to include four new members appointed by the Librarian of Congress, and, as ex officio members, the presidents of the American Folklore Society and the Society for Ethnomusicology. Members have reviewed the operations of the Center and have provided guidance and assistance on a wide range of topics, from policy issues to programming matters, from planning and fund-raising to community relations.  “We are thrilled to have these new appointees join the Board,” said Nicole Saylor, Director of the American Folklife Center. “The range and depth of expertise represented by this cohort will be invaluable as the Center approaches its 50th anniversary in 2026.”

About the American Folklife Center

The American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress was created by Congress in 1976 and designated as the national center for folklife documentation and research. The Center documents and shares the many expressions of human experience to inspire, revitalize and perpetuate living traditions, and is charged with stewardship of archival collections, creation of publications and public programs, and the exchange of knowledge and expertise. The Center’s work demonstrates and encourages diversity of thought and expression, which is an inherent part of the human experience, and fosters community participation in the collective creation of cultural memory.

About the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at; and register creative works of authorship at

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