Deborah Lehr

Deborah M. Lehr is an accomplished global business strategist who has supported leading global firms and organizations to grow their presence in the world’s most complex markets. Deborah has applied her business acumen and policy knowledge to launch the Antiquities Coalition, which works with governments across the world to fight against antiquities trafficking and its use in funding terrorism and organized crime.

As the Chairman of the Antiquities Coalition, Lehr launched a robust Minister-level dialogue on how to preserve and protect our cultural heritage and has elevated global understanding of the linkage between antiquities trafficking and terror networks. Heritage projects offer a tremendous chance for business to create opportunity throughout the Middle East and around the world.​

Deborah is also CEO and founding partner of Basilinna, a strategic consulting firm focused on China and the Middle East. She is also the Executive Director of the Paulson Institute, a think tank founded by former Secretary of Treasury Hank Paulson, which is focused on US-China trade, finance, and conservation. She oversees their Green Finance initiative including helping to establish the U.S.-China Green Fund to invest in energy efficient technologies and projects.

She is on the Board of the World Monuments Fund, the Middle East Institute, the International Advisory Board of the London School of Economics, and the Sesame Workshop Global Advisory Board. Deborah is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. UNESCO has nominated Deborah as one of its inaugural list of accomplished global women. She also received the prestigious Hadrian Award from the World Monument Fund for her work in fighting the illicit trade in antiquities.

Claire Buchan Parker

Claire Buchan Parker is a veteran strategic communications professional. She has expertise with complex public policy and crisis communications stemming from hands-on experience at the highest levels of government and the private sector. Claire led strategic communications for two Fortune 500 companies and served three Presidents of the United States.

Today, Claire is the principal of CB Communications, a firm that delivers public affairs strategy, crisis communications, issues management, media training, executive positioning and media relations. The firm’s crisis work has included prominent individuals in newsworthy circumstances, being investigated by Congress, and with matters before the Justice Department, as well as corporations and trade associations in crisis.

As Chief of Staff to the U.S. Commerce Secretary, Claire led the senior management team. She was responsible for strategic counseling, crisis communications, media relations, speechwriting, business outreach and policy development. She successfully positioned and developed the Secretary’s reputation with all stakeholders, including Congress, the media and the public. Under her leadership, the Department managed crises, including a plutonium spill and the loss of thousands of laptop computers containing Census information. She was involved heavily with the auto industry rescue package.

Claire served for four years as Deputy White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush, serving as the lead White House communicator on economic policy matters. She worked closely with the President, Cabinet members and senior White House staff to formulate messages and media strategy. She dealt daily with high profile media on issues such as the 9/11 and anthrax attacks, two wars, Enron and the financial scandals, three economic stimulus packages, energy policy, and criminal justice.

Claire has extensive corporate experience. She held senior executive positions at a Fortune 200 company, Constellation Energy, including vice president for corporate communications and vice president for public strategy. She managed internal and external communications, grassroots development and communications strategy and execution. For eight years, Claire led corporate communications for ServiceMaster, then a $7 billion Fortune 500 company, reported directly to the Chairman and CEO, provided strategic counsel to senior executives, spearheaded a rebranding and repositioning initiative, and managed crisis and investor communications.

Claire served Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Public Affairs, Press Secretary to the U.S. Trade Representative and Deputy Director of Public Affairs at the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration. She also was Deputy Communications Director of the Republican National Committee.

Earlier in her career, Claire worked on Capitol Hill and on various political campaigns. Claire received a B.A. in Business from Michigan State University with a major in marketing.

Erin Durkin

Erin Durkin has an established interest in the role of governments and their stake in the protection of cultural heritage and antiquities. She graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in art history and government, and trained in the art market with Sotheby’s in London. Her experiences in fundraising stem from positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the London Philharmonic. She has also consulted for the London-based management consultant group AEA, where she specialized in arts and cultural heritage. While she has taken a break to raise her family, Ms. Durkin is pleased to bring her extensive background in arts management to the Antiquities Coalition.

Tess Davis

Tess Davis, a lawyer and archaeologist by training, is Executive Director of the Antiquities Coalition. She oversees the organization’s work to fight cultural racketeering and also manages the day-to-day operations of the institute’s staff in Washington, DC, as well as programs overseas.

Since 2013, Davis has been affiliated with the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, at the University of Glasgow. She came to Scotland from the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation — a not-for-profit institution based in Washington, DC — where she was Executive Director until 2012. She previously worked for the nongovernmental organization Heritage Watch in Cambodia, first as Project Coordinator, and finally Assistant Director. Her career began at the Archaeological Institute of America.

Over the last decade, Davis has conducted extensive field research on the illicit trade in Cambodian antiquities, as well as legal research on the kingdom’s cultural property law. She also conceptualized and implemented a number of exciting projects in the country, including an exhibition at Angkor Wat about threats facing the temple, a hotline for the public to report archaeological discoveries or looting, and a children’s book entitled “If the Stones Could Speak.” From 2012-2014, she directed a legal internship program in Phnom Penh for international students from the Tulane-Siena Institute, who assist the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts with their legal needs.

Davis has been a legal consultant for the Cambodian and US governments and works with both the art world and law enforcement to keep looted antiquities off the market. She writes and speaks widely on these issues — having been published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, the Huffington Post, and various scholarly publications — and featured in documentaries.

After graduating magna cum laude from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology, Davis earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia School of Law. She now serves on the Board of Directors at the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and the Advisory Boards of Heritage Watch and the Ocean Foundation. She is admitted to the New York State Bar.

In 2015, the Royal Government of Cambodia knighted Davis for her work to recover the country’s plundered treasures, awarding her the rank of Commander in the Royal Order of the Sahametrei.

Helena Arose

Helena Arose serves as the Director of Programs at the Antiquities Coalition. In this role, she closely collaborates with representatives from the U.S. and international governments, law enforcement agencies, international partners, academics, and other key stakeholder groups to develop and implement programs to fight the illicit trade in ancient art and antiquities. 

Helena plays a critical role in advancing the AC’s mission by leading key research projects and publications, and also developing and managing popular online educational resources including interactive maps, timelines, and campaigns. She has organized and coordinated both in-person and virtual programs with world-renowned experts on topics pertaining to antiquities and cultural heritage. In addition, she helps edit and publish the Antiquities Coalition’s award-winning Think Tank Policy Brief series.

Helena conducts in-depth research on antiquities looting and trafficking, cultural heritage diplomacy and protection, and financial crimes and the art market. In addition, she has authored several publications for the AC and academic outlets. She also serves as an expert on topics related to cultural racketeering, speaking widely on these issues for academic, government, and general audiences.

Prior to this role, Helena served as Research Associate and Project Director at the AC. Before joining the organization, Helena worked as a Collections Specialist for the City of Raleigh Historic Resources and Museum Program, where she gained experience working in museums and collections.

Helena graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2018 with a MSc in Art History: Collecting and Provenance in an International Context. An archaeologist by training, she holds a BA in Archaeology from Johns Hopkins University, and has participated in archaeological excavations in Athienou, Cyprus, and in North Carolina.

Abir Chorfa

Abir Chorfa is a project manager and public relations specialist, who currently serves as Program Manager for the Antiquities Coalition projects in her native country of Algeria. In her work with the Antiquities Coalition, Abir has overseen the development and implementation of multiple solutions in service of safeguarding heritage and furthering international cooperation and diplomatic efforts. Most notable among these is Turathi, a web-based tool developed for use by law enforcement and customs officers, as well as international partners, in identifying vulnerable cultural goods at high risk for looting and trafficking. The general public can also access the database to learn more about heritage materials originating in Algeria and the importance of protecting heritage for future generations.

Through her work on the Antiquities Coalition and other projects, Abir has collaborated with the U.S. Embassy in Algiers, the Ministry of Culture and Arts of Algeria, the Global Heritage Fund, and other international organizations in countering illicit trafficking and sustainable development within the heritage sector. Additionally, she has delivered trainings on cultural heritage protection, combatting trafficking, and digitization for various audiences in Arabic, English, and French, and previously taught courses in communications and entrepreneurship.

Her trans-disciplinary educational background includes two degrees from the University of Mostaganem, a Bachelor’s in Quality Control and Master’s in Biotechnology, and she is currently completing her law degree at the University of Algiers. Abir speaks French, Arabic, and English.

Khora Nano

Yokhanna Nano (Khora) is an accomplished professional with a strong background in cultural heritage preservation and community engagement. As a Program Director for the Antiquities Coalition, Khora plays a pivotal role in coordinating and liaising with partners in northern Iraq. His responsibilities include managing partner meetings, facilitating donor engagement, orchestrating public events, overseeing video production, and leading the digitization efforts for both tangible and intangible heritage within minority communities in the region.

Khora holds a degree from Salahaddin University Erbil, where he graduated from the College of Art Media Department. Prior to his current role, he demonstrated his dedication to community development by actively serving as the Erbil Media specialist for the Chaldoassyrian Student and Youth Union. During his two-year tenure, he also assumed the role of Erbil Branch Manager for another two years, followed by an additional two years as the General Public Affairs representative. In these roles, Khora adeptly addressed a wide array of student and youth concerns spanning sports, theater, art, and more.

Khora’s commitment to fostering positive change extends beyond his local community. He showcased his international perspective and dedication to democracy by serving as an international observer during the Georgian Parliament election in 2012. Additionally, Yokhanna’s diverse skill set led him to marketing roles as a fresh graduate and later to a critical role as a fixer during the ISIL war in Iraq. In this capacity, he ensured the smooth coordination of meetings, locations, and adherence to legal regulations for journalists and reporters.

With a proven track record of leadership, cross-cultural collaboration, and an unwavering dedication to preserving heritage, Khora continues to make significant contributions to the fields of cultural preservation, community engagement, and international cooperation.

Nina Youkhana

Nina Youkhana is a Program Manager at the Antiquities Coalition, and brings an experience and impact in the fields of cultural preservation, community engagement, and humanitarian efforts to the role. Her work encompassing diverse responsibilities such as maintaining communication with partners, overseeing project progress, orchestrating meetings, and compiling comprehensive reports for partners and donors.

Nina’s academic foundation is rooted in law and political science, having graduated from the esteemed University of Dohuk. Her career trajectory includes a four-year tenure at the Dohuk Courthouse, where she honed her legal acumen and contributed to the administration of justice. Beyond her formal engagements, Nina’s volunteer work spanned a remarkable eleven years at the Chaldoassyrian Student and Youth Union. In this capacity, she undertook multifaceted roles including media management, branch oversight, and student affairs coordination in the city of Dohuk. Notably, Nina advocated for heritage preservation by collaborating with governmental bodies to safeguard historic sites within the Assyrian community of northern Iraq.

During the tumultuous times of conflict in Iraq, Nina’s commitment to humanitarian aid shone brightly. As a coordinator at HEVIE organization, she skillfully led teams of medical professionals to provide support and relief to refugees and displaced individuals across the country. Additionally, Nina showcased her adeptness in human resource management as a Senior Officer for Samaritan’s Purse, contributing her expertise for four years in Erbil.

With a profound dedication to justice, heritage preservation, and community welfare, Nina continues to make a profound impact, utilizing her extensive skills to navigate complex challenges and create meaningful change.

Liz Fraccaro

Liz Fraccaro is a trained archaeologist and attorney, admitted to the Illinois State Bar and New York State Bar. With an extensive background in museum collections and field archaeology before attending law school, Ms. Fraccaro is dedicated to preserving and protecting cultural heritage worldwide and contributes expertise in the legal dimensions of cultural heritage management and international human rights. Ms. Fraccaro worked with the Art Law Centre at the University of Geneva, has clerked with an intellectual property firm, the general counsel at the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the general counsel of the Field Museum of Natural History and the Chicago History Museum.

Ms. Fraccaro graduated in 2012 from Indiana University with bachelor degrees in Anthropology and English Literature. She earned an MA in Mediterranean Archaeology from University College London in 2014, and has participated in archaeological excavations in Ostia Antica and Poggio Colla in Italy. She earned her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law, with a certificate in Art, Museum, and Cultural Heritage Law. At the Antiquities Coalition, she serves as Legal Consultant. She also directed the Antiquities Coalition’s Financial Crimes Task Force, uniting a diverse group of experts and leaders from the art, legal, and banking sectors to develop concrete recommendations for combating money laundering, forgery, fraud, and terrorist financing via art and antiquities.

Yousra Abdelhameed

Yousra Abdelhameed is a Fellow at The Antiquities Coalition. She was formerly the Social and Communications Officer with the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt, where she reported directly to the Ambassador and coordinated all embassy events and Ministerial visits, assisting with Embassy members, U.S. Administration, international organizations and the think tank community.

Dr. Eric H. Cline

Dr. Eric H. Cline is Professor of Classics and Anthropology, former Chair of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and current Director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at The George Washington University, in Washington DC. A Fulbright scholar, National Geographic Explorer, and NEH Public Scholar, Dr. Cline holds degrees in Classical Archaeology, Near Eastern Archaeology, and Ancient History, from Dartmouth, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania.

An active field archaeologist who is the former co-director at Megiddo (biblical Armageddon) and the current co-director at Tel Kabri, he has more than 30 seasons of excavation and survey experience in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, Greece, Crete, and the United States. Dr. Cline has written (authored, co-authored, or edited) a total of 17 books, which have been published by prestigious presses including Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge, Michigan, and National Geographic.

His books have been translated, or are currently being translated, into fifteen languages, including French, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Turkish, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, and Hungarian. He is a three-time winner of the Biblical Archaeology Society’s “Best Popular Book on Archaeology” award (2001, 2009, and 2011). He also received the 2014 “Best Popular Book” award from the American Schools of Oriental Research for his book 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed, which is an international best-seller and was also considered for a 2015 Pulitzer Prize. In addition, he has also authored or co-authored nearly 100 academic articles, which have been published in peer-reviewed journals, festschriften, and conference volumes.

At GW, Dr. Cline has won both the Trachtenberg Prize for Teaching Excellence and the Trachtenberg Prize for Faculty Scholarship, the two highest honors at the University; he is the first faculty member to have won both awards. He has also won the Archaeological Institute of America’s “Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching” Award and been nominated three times for the CASE US Professor of the Year. Dr. Cline has presented more than 300 scholarly and public lectures and presentations on his work to a wide variety of audiences both nationally and internationally, including at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Explorers Club in New York, and the Getty Villa and Skirball Museum in Los Angeles. He has also appeared in more than twenty television programs and documentaries, ranging from ABC (including Nightline and Good Morning America) to the BBC and the National Geographic, History, and Discovery Channels. His most recent book is Three Stones Make a Wall: The Story of Archaeology, published in 2017.

Ambassador Yasser Elnaggar

In December 2014, Yasser Elnaggar was appointed as Principal Deputy Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform, Arab Republic of Egypt. Mr. Elnaggar served as the “Overall Coordinator” for the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) that took place in Sharm Elsheikh during the period 13-15 March 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Elnaggar was the Deputy Chief of Mission for the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Washington since 2010. During his time in Washington, Mr. Elnaggar played a leading role in the Embassy during the unfolding events of the 25th of January revolution and the 30th of June revolution. Mr. Elnaggar supervised the entire process of the first ever parliamentary election for Egyptian Expats in the United States, as well as subsequent presidential elections and referendum on the new constitution; he also organized bilateral visits of Egyptian officials including the visit of the President of the Arab republic of Egypt to New York in September 2014, the Prime Minister’s visit to Washington D.C. to participate in the US Africa leaders’ Summit in August 2014, as well as numerous visits of cabinet members to Washington DC, and visits of U.S. officials and business community members to Cairo.

Mr. Elnaggar has over 20 years of diplomatic experience where he has held several posts such as: Senior Policy Adviser to the Presidents of the 61st and 64th sessions at the General Assembly of the United Nations, Director of the Department of United Nations Affairs at the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Egypt, Counselor at the permanent mission of Egypt to the United Nations in New York as well as Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt.