The Commissioners and State Review Board

Courtroom, Old State House
Inside the Old State House, the former courtroom of the Sixth District Court serves as a RIHPHC meeting space

Created in 1968, the Commission consists of fifteen members who serve in a voluntary capacity. Ten public members are appointed by the Governor and include an historian, an archaeologist, an architectural historian or an architect, a landscape historian or landscape architect, a museologist, and an anthropologist. Five members serve ex officio: the director of the Department of Environmental Management, the director of the Economic Development Corporation, the associate director of Administration for planning, the State Building Commissioner, and the State Historic Preservation Officer. 

Commissioners include:

J. Michael Abbott, AIA (Commission Secretary)
Mr. Abbott is an architect with over thirty years professional experience with historic rehabilitation and adaptive reuse projects.

Tripp Evans, Ph.D.
Dr. Evans is an Architectural Historian who teaches at Wheaton College.

C. Morgan Grefe, Ph.D.
Dr. Grefe is the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Historical Society.

Kaity Ryan
Ms. Ryan is the Executive Director of the Norman Bird Sanctuary.

Clark Schoettle
Mr. Schoettle is the former executive director of the Providence Revolving Fund.

Ruth Taylor (Commission Chair)
Ms. Taylor is the executive director of the Newport Historical Society.

Meredith E. Brady (ex officio)
Ms. Brady is the Associate Director of the Division of Statewide Planning, Rhode Island Department of Administration.

Terrence Gray (ex officio)
Mr. Gray is the Acting Director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
Represented by Paul Jordan

Jesse Saglio (ex officio)
Mr. Saglio is President of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation.

John P. Leyden (ex officio)
Mr. Leyden is the State Building Code Commissioner.
Represented by Warren Ducharme, R.A.

Jeffrey Emidy (ex officio)
Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer


The State Review Board includes Commissioners Abbott and Evans as well as:

Marisa Angell Brown, Ph.D.
Dr. Brown is a cultural historian and curator.  She serves as Assistant Director for Programs of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage at Brown University.

Patrick Malone, Ph.D.
Dr. Malone is an industrial archaeologist and historian of technology. He is Professor Emeritus of American Studies at Brown University.

Ronald Onorato, Ph.D. (Board Chair)
Dr. Onorato is Professor Emeritus of Art and Architectural History at the University of Rhode Island.

Edward F. Sanderson
Mr. Sanderson is a former Executive Director of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission and a former State Historic Preservation Officer.

Keith Stokes
Mr. Stokes is Vice President of 1696 Heritage Group, a consulting firm that helps persons and institutions of color expand their knowledge and access to their unique American heritage.

Martha Werenfels, FAIA, LEED AP
Ms. Werenfels, FAIA, LEED AP is a Senior Principal Architect at DBVW Architects in Providence.