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Economic Development and Site Preservation: Lawrence Coben’s Interview with the Antiquities Coalition

January 5, 2016

Lawrence S. Coben is the Executive Director of Sustainable Preservation Initiative. In this interview conducted during the September 24 New York Forum, Coben stresses how essential economic development is as a means to combat looting of archaeological sites and monuments. Coben states that the majority of looting is done for reasons of subsistence rather than for intentional, targeted destruction, which can be solved by dedicating efforts towards economic development of local communities. Such efforts can include identifying key markets, developing tourism, service, and craft industries, and capacity training local entrepreneurs in business skills. Coben is the Chairman and CEO of Tremisis Energy Corporation, and is a member of the NRG Energy and Freshpet boards, an Advisory Partner of Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, and one of the founders of Catalyst Energy Corporation. He is additionally a consulting scholar and archaeologist affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Coben holds a BA in Economics from Yale University, a JD from Harvard Law School, and a PhD in Anthropology and Archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania.